- Do you want to understand your spouse better?
- Have you ever desired to improve your communication with your spouse?
- Do you want to have constructive discussions with your husband/wife?
If the answer to any of the aforementioned questions is yes then you are about to find out the tips and communication exercises which will help you improve your communication with your spouse.
In any marriage, good communication is the key to keep it strong and healthy through thick and thin. The importance of communication in a relationship is excellently described by Tony Gaskins, he says: “Communication is to a relationship like oxygen is to life, without it …it dies.”
Hidden resentment and grudges are a poison for your marriage. If you want to improve your relationship you have to have good communication with your spouse.
The following tips are very much helpful in improving communication among couples. I would also like to add that in this process of improvement of communication skills both husband and wife should be actively participating one-sided effort can’t provide a fruitful and fulfilling outcome.
Time of Discussion Should Be Appropriate
Whenever you intend to discuss something make sure that you’re choosing an appropriate time for it. At times couples start important discussions at inappropriate times. For example: Discussing something serious when one of the partners is exhausted. Or choosing a time to discuss something when there is an imminent activity after the discussion.
Ideally, you should put aside a time when both you and your spouse are calm, relaxed and ready for the discussion.
Remember To Be Respectful and Kind
In your marriage, there will be good times and not so good times. You will need to discuss difficult topics every now and then. Whatever you want to convey be it anger, frustration or resentment always remember to do it with respect and kindness. Without these two ingredients, the whole activity will be counterproductive.
Be Explicit In Your Expression
Men and women are different by default. Something which is second nature to one might be totally unnecessary and needless for the other. Therefore always state your desires, fears, emotions, and needs clearly. Don’t assume anything. Put in your opinion clearly and demand the same from your spouse. This will save you from misunderstandings and unmet expectations.
Try To Control Your Emotions During The Discussion
In our society, in those marriages where communication level is low, generally men become angry and women start crying on petty issues during a discussion. This makes the discussion counterproductive and the couple comes out of the discussion with more hidden resentment and frustration.
To avoid this undesired outcome try your best to control your emotions during a discussion. Keep your focus on the solution of the issue at hand.
If You Disagree Keep The Discussion Open
If you disagree, keep the discussion open and try to find a common ground in the next session. Finding a common ground might take some time and several discussions but it is always worth your time and effort.
Choose Your Words Wisely
While expressing negative feelings put extra effort in choosing your words wisely. Instead of saying” I hate it when you create such mess” try saying “I like it when you keep things tidy and organized”.
Instead of using ‘You statements’ use ‘I feel statements’. For example; Instead of saying “You are always busy with your work” say “I feel lonely when you are overly busy in your work.” By using ‘I feel statements’ you take responsibility of your feelings. This practice won’t put your spouse in a defensive mode and your complaint will be conveyed in a constructive way.
Freely Express Positive Feelings
Always express your positive feelings. This will not only improve your communication but also improve your relationship in general.
Communication Exercises for Couples
In order to improve your communication with your spouse, you can also work in a structured environment. There are several communication exercises for couples to improve their communication skills. Couples can practice those exercises and as a result, their communication skills will improve a lot. Out of many I like and recommend the following three.
The Three and Three Exercise
In this exercise, the couple needs to find a quiet place and write down three things they like and three things they don’t like about each other. Then they share their lists with each other. This activity gives both the partners three things to be proud of and three things to work on. You can also read aloud the lists and explain why you like something and what you feel about the things you don’t like.
Share Your emotions
Sharing your emotions and vulnerabilities has a great potential to bring a couple closer. Having said that it takes time to build the trust and comfort level to share your deep emotions with your spouse. You may start by discussing your emotions regarding something which happened in the past.
Share an Activity
Another very useful communication exercise is sharing an activity which you both like and enjoy. It can be anything from going on a walk to watching a movie to reading books. Something which your spouse really likes to do can give you an insight to him or her. For example, your spouse’s favorite book can give your valuable knowledge about him or her.
Swapping each other’s favorite books is a very helpful activity in knowing each other better. Once you know each other better improving your communication skills becomes easier.
Healthy communication between couples is the lifeline of their relationship. If both the partners are willing to put the effort and work into improving their relationship then they have to work on their communication skills. The good news is the hard work done in this regard always pays off.
Would you like to add anything to the article? Share your feedback in the comment section.