10 Tips To Improving Communication in Your Marriage

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Bro Kunle Emmanuel
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Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:51 am
Gender: Male
date_of_ marriage: 23 Oct 2000

10 Tips To Improving Communication in Your Marriage

Post by Bro Kunle Emmanuel » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:52 am


I am always puzzled by how it is that couples who started out loving each other, somehow slope into hating each other, within a short time. Such that they hardly can see eye to eye because of the mounting issues between them. It really shouldn’t be so because nearly every problem in marriage can be resolved by reinstating the basis of effective communication.

The following are my top 10 tips for improving communication in marriage. And I believe that these would help to perpetuate harmony in most troubled marriages.

Top 10 tips for improving communication in your marriage

1. Accept responsibility when you are wrong: Marriage is a union, a partnership and a collaboration. It’s not a place for point scoring or blame casting. The truth is that you are not in a battle with your spouse, but your spouse is your friend. And so long as you see them in that light, you’ll have no occasion for point scoring and blame casting. If you are wrong, accept that you are wrong, apologise and give them the opportunity to forgive you.

2. Maintain an open mind: An open mind ensures that you are not judgemental of the actions of your spouse. It helps you to always give them the benefit of the doubt, even if it seems that they keep repeating the same mistake. Nobody wants to be in a relationship where they are constantly being heavily criticised. No! Criticism suppresses love and increases dissension.

3. Be specific about the problem and use examples: It is important to be specific and not to generalise when trying to discuss issues in marriage. Avoid this mistake that many couples make. If there are specific examples that would help your spouse to fully appreciate how the problem makes you feel, then state this and let them know how you feel. Don’t assume that they should know, chances are that they don’t. Hence you can help them to understand how you feel by telling them specifically.

4. Stay composed: It is always a challenge to extricate our emotions from issues we deem pertinent. Most of us are not skilled in the art of maintaining calmness, especially when we feel very emotional about the issue. So we result to shouting, intimidation and finger pointing. It’s as if we momentarily forget that our spouse is not the enemy, so rather than talk, we shout. Some people even descend so low as to use verbal and physical abuse against their spouse. This is quite disgusting and no one should have to put up with that. Learn to be calm and composed. Don’t let your emotions rule your actions, you may destroy the very thing that was intended for your good.

5. Don’t mix past issues with present ones: We have to let go of the past no matter how strong we may feel about the issues that happened in the past. But if we keep referring to past mistakes, past failures and past events then we wouldn’t be able to have the needed focus to objectively tackle current issues. Let bygones be bygone. Don’t let past issues cloud or discolour your view of current situations.

6. Don’t deviate from the subject of discussion: Always endeavour to disentangle problems so that you can deal with issues one at a time. If you keep throwing issues at each other at intervals without having fully reviewed each one in an orderly fashion, you may end up exercising a lot of energy and time without resolving a single problem. And this can be very tiresome. Some people tend to change the subject when they want to avoid issues, but this is unhealthy and unhelpful. A wholesome person would not shy away from issues, but would accept they’ve made a mistake when their attention is drawn to it.

7. Resist the urge to use words like never, ever, every-time, all the time, always: Words like never, ever, every-time, all the time and always are very accusative in nature, and they can make your spouse to become defensive. If you follow tips 2-6 above, you would rarely fall into the temptation of saying things like – ‘you don’t always show care for my needs’. Or, ‘you never spend time with me’, etc. It is important that we learn to put things into context so that we don’t make false accusations and incorrect assumptions.

8. Don’t conceal information or hold back: This can often happen when one partner is feeling betrayed by the other partner, and so they think there’s no point trying to engage with them. Rather than talk openly about things, they choose to drip-feed. But it is important to realise that if you are ever going to move past the miscommunication in your marriage, you would have to stop concealing information from your spouse.

9. Work towards a consensus and not a compromise: I find that this point keeps coming up in nearly all of my counselling sessions with different couples, and that’s why I tend to highlight it often in my writings. If you’ve read my article on “Avoiding Strife In Your Marriage”, you would see that I dealt with the issue of compromise in some detail. Now! Consensus is reaching an agreement over an issue such that the needs of all the parties involved are equally met. In other words, no one is disadvantaged by reason of the decision or agreed action. Everyone is happy about it and fully consenting to it. The opposite of this is compromise, which is a situation where people forego their needs just to please their spouse, even though they aren’t happy about it. Compromise could temporarily ease an issue but it may not permanently resolve it because the ‘unhappily-compliant’ spouse may feel cheated over time. Matured couples work things out on the basis of consensus and not compromise.

10. Be quick to forgive: This is another key tip that I tend to emphasis. Basically, forgiveness is that aspect in marriage through which we wipe clean the slate and start again, and again. Forgiveness is not a feeling, it is a choice and a decision. It is that opportunity for us to allow freshness into our marriage by letting go of every negative emotion. And once the air is cleared, we can then begin to discuss issues positively.

Marriage is a wonderful platform for sharing: sharing love, sharing hope and sharing happiness, and effective communication can help couples to attain these objectives.

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