Being in a relationship can be quite a delightful experience – especially when you know you’re going to spend the rest of your life with the person you consider your “one.” Unfortunately, it can’t be avoided that relationships do have misunderstandings and fights in between happy moments, and it’s perhaps how you handle these matters that can decide the fate of your marriage. Just because fights happen, however, doesn’t mean it’s game over for you. In this article, you’ll explore key relationship tips on how to communicate better for a healthier marriage.
Marriage: By The Numbers
Before one could learn about making marriages healthier with good communication, perhaps one could benefit from understanding marriage more intimately by the numbers. In fact, it might be interesting to note that healthy couples actually engage in arguments every week, and happier couples have regular “angry but honest” conversations.
In fact,60-percent of married couples would still happily spend the rest of their lives with their partners, even after having a few big arguments. This last bit is important, as it shows just how powerful the bonds of marriage can be – but just because these statistics exist doesn’t mean relationships shouldn’t be improved upon. The secret of happy but arguing couples? Good communicating habits.
Healthier Marriages Begin With Proper Communication
Given the data above, it’s perhaps important to realize that despite the wonders marriage can provide, it’s not exactly the easiest thing to maintain. After all, while there are happy moments in marriage, there really are instances when you and your partner’s patience and love for one another will be tested. If you really feel as though you relationship woes have become too intense, you can try to learn more about how to solve them with a therapist. Here are key relationship tips on how to communicate better for a healthier marriage:
- Actively listen to one another: Did you know listening is perhaps one of the most important steps in establishing communication? This doesn’t mean just knowing what your partner is talking about, but rather to digest and understand what they’re talking about and how it affects them. Nodding, asking questions, and simple affirmative statements like “uh-huh” and “I understand” are important in letting your spouse know that what they’re talking about is important to you.
- Ask questions but don’t assume you know everything: If you disagree or didn’t understand a part of what they’re saying, ask questions only after they’re done talking about the subject. However, don’t ask in such a way as though you’re doubting your spouse, but rather ask for the sake of knowing. This allows them to be able to explain to you their thoughts without feeling attacked.
- Making small talk is extremely important: Do your remember the way you’ve developed your relationship with your partner? Chances are, you’ve spent hours and hours of just talking with one another in order to get to know each other. It didn’t have to be deep talks – sometimes you just hang out and talk about random things, right? This level of small talk is essential when you’re still married, as sometimes talking about the “mundane” or fleeting moments in your life can greatly boost your partnership. This is because this reminds you that there’s much more to your marriage than the seriously happy and the seriously, well, sad things. Remember, small talk doesn’t mean prying for details, but rather just exploring any subject about your partner’s daily life that you think may interest you or interest them.
- Talk about yourself but don’t take the spotlight: When you talk with your spouse, don’t always talk about yourself. Talking and listening can be quite challenging, especially if you’re excited to talk about something. However, it’s important to practice giving each other equal room to talk about your own day, your own hobbies, and your own interests.
- Show, don’t tell: A popular maxim when it comes to creativity is that you show and you don’t tell. When it comes to stories, the tales that have more impact are the ones that can let readers “experience” the story, and not just listen to them. You can do the same to your relationships. This doesn’t mean becoming a bestselling author, but rather find ways to share experiences in such a way that your partner can be a part of the experience. When you have a fight, a good way of destressing is talking about your children or a happy moment during the relationship that you’ve both experienced. Sometimes, even doing things at the same time – watching a movie, riding bikes, eating dessert – can help communicate and form much stronger bonds between you and your spouse.
The Takeaway: Communicate For A Better, Brighter, Healthier Relationship
A lot of people look at marriage as a situation where you’ve finally found “the one” for you. Unfortunately, just because you may have found a partner to keep for a lifetime doesn’t mean a marriage is always perfect. Both of you are people too, and as such you have your own share of needs, wants, frustrations, and aspirations that may or may not be easy to communicate with each other. Developing a good way of communicating with each other can greatly help propel your relationship to the next level, and the above key relationship tips on how to communicate better for a healthier marriage may hopefully be able to do just that.
Philippa is a warm and friendly therapist from Life Resolutions who prides herself on making clients feel welcome and comfortable in the therapeutic space. She believes it is important to take the time to really understand each client and treats the client as the expert in the room as they know themselves best. She uses a collaborative approach with clients to enable them to take an active role in therapy.