3 Effective Ways to Improve Communication in Marriage

Communication is the crux of most human interaction, but in a marriage it’s an actual dealbreaker. Though it is vital for couples to communicate effectively, it is usually easier said than done. Of course, problems in romantic relationships don’t arise because people have lost their communication skills. It is more accurate to say that partners in distressed and unhappy relationships have connection issues. Effective communication can increase marital satisfaction and help solve a relationship problem easier. 

Communication in romantic relationships is a function of emotional connection. When people feel connected, they communicate well and, when they feel disconnected, they communicate poorly –– regardless of their choice of words and communication techniques. Communication can be improved multiple ways including marriage counseling using a therapy matching service

Why is communication important in a marriage?

Good communication and healthy communication is incredibly important. The way in which a married couple communicates about their issues is crucial to a sustained and fulfilling marriage. The importance of communication in marriage is often left on the backburner. Fights blow up and peter out, and passive aggression gets stronger and less passive as time wears on. At some point, there needs to be healthy and consistent communication or major problems arise. 

Communication is the vehicle through which all other important parts of marriage are performed. If you love someone, but you don’t use your words and actions to communicate, how will they know? If you trust someone, let them know. Communicate it to them. Honest communication is the only way to see a happy and healthy marriage. In fact, the importance of communication should be, ironically, discussed during courtship to make sure both partners are aligned on its priority in a serious relationship. 

How to use communication styles to improve your marriage

Every individual receives communication effectively in different ways. Because this isn’t usually one of the qualities that makes us fall emotionally in love with our partner, it’s not always apparent until a problem arises. Even then, it might still not be obvious. Communication styles, if you’re not looking out for them, can be difficult to pinpoint. This is where a marriage counselor can be a great support. A marriage counselor is an experienced and trained professional who can work with partners to help them communicate better. It is also important to understand what to expect from marriage counseling before you start to have clear ideas and goals. 

One such method is to explore each other’s communications styles. Communication problems in marriage can be difficult but this could be one of the reasons poor communication arises.Chances are, if you experience conflict often, you might have different styles and not even know it. Once you have correctly identified how both of you best receive and give information, it can be a game changer in improving communication in your marriage.

There are three main communication styles:

  1. Verbal communication

Verbal communication is being able to express how you feel to your spouse through spoken words. You could feel love, adoration, and respect for your partner, but if you rarely verbalize these feelings, it can be difficult for them to believe it. Being able to tell your spouse how wonderful they are will make them feel loved, appreciated, and connected. It’s not just about compliments; you have to also be able to speak up about negative emotions. If your spouse is doing something that bothers you to your core, but you’re silent on the subject, the lack of communication and trust will only allow the transgression to continue. Consider this expression should be done in a tactful and understanding manner, but don’t wait until the event is too far in the past, or your hurt or anger has grown to an unmanageable place.

  1. Nonverbal communication

Your body language and facial expressions can be just as communicative as words. Being aware of how and what your physical language is communicating with your partner is critical to a healthy relationship. If you’re hunched over and closed off while trying to have an important conversation, your partner will subconsciously feel that lack of vulnerability. No leg crossing. No arm crossing. Your body should show your partner that you are open to hearing what they have to say, and are willing to work through it. Be more conscious and thoughtful about how your body expresses your feelings. It often goes undetected, since it can be nuanced, but physical communication can be a major pivot in de-escalating many conflicts.

  1. Physical acts

Making dinner. Going to the grocery store. Taking out the garbage. Going on an ice cream run.

All of these examples aren’t things that you say, but rather things you do that show your spouse that you care. Small and thoughtful acts communicate your love without saying anything. Physical acts of affection are often performed subconsciously, but once recognized, can go a long way for couples who may not be as in tune with verbal communication.

The phrase “actions speak louder than words” fits appropriately with this form of communication. You could tell your wife you love her until you’re blue in the face, but it may not resonate as much as cleaning the house or accompanying her to a movie she wants to see. You could shower your husband with compliments, but making dinner for him is maybe even more powerful than complimenting his appearance.

For most people, there isn’t just one way to communicate. And, just because someone has a preference for one style, doesn't mean they are unable to provide or receive another. Finding the right balance of all three will ultimately be the most effective, even if it’s just something you’re always working towards. 

Make sure you remember to verbalize that feeling of admiration when they flex one of their strengths, but also don’t be afraid to confront them about actions that may have inadvertently hurt your feelings. That open and honest verbal communication will become an investment with a vast return throughout your marriage.

Show your spouse, through your body language, that you are being honest and open with them by making eye contact and keep your arms relaxed at your side. Be conscious of what your body is saying, and make the proper adjustments so that your wife or husband knows that you’re being genuine.

Use your actions to communicate your love, trust, and honesty with your partner. Pickup a thoughtful gift on your way home for no reason, give them the night off from doing the dishes, or sit a little closer on the couch at the end of the day. Words don’t have to be spoken; your actions will speak for themselves.

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