10 Must Know Tips On How To Overcome Lack Of Quality Communication In Marriage
The key to a healthy, long-lasting relationship is communication. But how easy is it to overcome a lack of quality communication in a marriage?
Your wife or husband should be the one person in your life who you can talk to about anything, from the way you’re feeling to a seemingly trivial episode at work. They should also be able to communicate easily with you, too, and there should be no room for secrets or tense misunderstandings.
It can be hard to talk about our feelings, and it can be hard to open up even when we’re married. This is especially true if we’re with someone who from the start of the relationship hasn’t enjoyed key, intimate conversations.
But without quality communication, a marriage simply won’t last the distance.
I’m reminded at this point of an episode of U.S. sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. In the episode, Ray and Debra worry after a particularly uneventful evening out in which they barely said a word to each other that their marriage is coming to an abrupt end. It seemed as though they had finally, after a few years of marriage, ran out of things to say.
A few days later, they spy on Ray’s parents enjoying dinner together at the table. Just like Ray and Debra a few evenings earlier, Ray’s parents aren’t really saying much of anything to each other. Or so it seems. But there are subtle gestures, glances and touches that betray their love and the magical way they have learned to communicate after all these years together.
The lesson Ray and Debra learn is that quality communication is more than having something to say about your day. It’s much more than just yacking on and on at a restaurant. There are many beautiful ways to improve the way we communicate with our partners that many of us miss.
Let’s take a look at 10 must-know tips on how to overcome a lack of quality communication in a relationship.
Make Small Talk
What’s so bad about small talk? Sure, when you first start dating someone, the last thing you want to do is indulge in small talk. On a first date, small talk is the biggest sign yet that this just isn’t working out.
“Nice shoes,” he says absently before asking for the check. Not cool.
But in a marriage, small talk is what can fill in the gaps and strengthen bonds. Use it to your advantage.
There is nothing wrong with bringing up the weather or a TV show you just watched. These are inherently relatable subjects that both of you can talk about. Not all your emotions have to be tied to the deep discussions!
Accept When You’re Wrong
There will be times during an argument when you’re wrong. It’s important that you accept this and apologise as quickly as possible so that you can both move on.
Also, there will be times when you’re right but should still admit you were wrong. Why? Because if that’s what it takes to calm the situation down and start the forgiving and moving on process, then that’s what you have to do for the sake of your relationship.
Be big enough to be wrong.
Many of us prefer to give the edited version of ourselves to our friends and family, especially on social media. But is it fair that your spouse only gets the edited version of you?
For better communication, it’s important that you’re honest with your spouse. A small lie can easily turn into a big lie. Not only will this be damaging when he finds out, but it will constantly make you feel guilty.
Be as open as possible. Tell him what’s on your mind. Lies will only create communication problems, distrust and hurt.
Never Mind Read
Never, ever assume you know how your spouse is feeling, or what they want. Always ask for clarity. Mind reading causes fractions, especially when you get things wrong.
For example: “But I thought you’d want to come shopping with me tomorrow! I just assumed you would.”
Talk About The Things You Have In Common
“I know what you mean. The struggle is real!”
Think back to a time you bonded with a friend or your partner or even a total stranger when you talked about a time when something went wrong in your life. What happened? The other person could totally relate!
Perhaps you were late to a staff meeting but, thinking you were early, you burst into the room while singing a song at the top of your voice. Talk about embarrassing!
Sharing moments such as these are great for bonding in any relationship and friendship, but they’re essential in a marriage.
Always talking about negative things? Start talking about positive things! You will both feel a lot better, and will be inclined to communicate more often.
The moment you start getting negative is the moment they get defensive and switch off.
Practice Active Listening
How many times has your spouse spoken at length about something and you’ve sat and listened.
And how many times have you REALLY listened?
Many of us are guilty of not giving our spouse our full attention when they’re talking. We’re either tapping away on our phone, playing with our hair, or we’re just dying for him to stop talking so that we can interject.
Sometimes we just interrupt him because he’s going on and on and on.
Stop. Listen. Properly listen so that you actually understand what he is saying to you.
You should also ask him questions. Ask for clarity if there is something you don’t understand, or ask him to elaborate on something. This shows him that you’re listening to him, and it improves the way you two communicate. You’re learning more about him instead of just waiting for him to stop talking.
Ask “How” Not “Why”
If your husband is feeling low, don’t just ask him Why. This won’t progress the situation by finding a solution. Instead, ask him How you can help, or What he needs right now to feel better.
Make Sure They Are Listening Too
If you really need them to listen to you, make it clear. Tell them to put their phone down and give you their undivided attention.
Talk About Yourself
As weird as it sounds, many of us forget to actually talk about ourselves when we’re married. Assuming he doesn’t want to know about our day at work, we keep quiet about it. We don’t talk about our friends anymore, or what happened on the train.
Start talking about yourself again. Involve him in your day.