Has communication in your marriage seen better days? Worried that you may not be able to make it with your partner?
If so, you may need to improve your communication skills within your marriage.
Improved communication skills can take your relationship with yourself and your spouse to new heights.
It can be a difficult process at times and yet it’s worth all your effort.
Here are three bite-sized tips to improve your communication skills and your marriage starting today.
Some of these tips may surprise you, but we promise that you will see the difference almost immediately.
Use “I” Statements to Express Yourself
Do you want your spouse to get defensive and check out of the conversation?
If you do then use “You” statements.
“You” statements put your spouse on the defensive and make them quick to defend their stance.
Statements such as, “You never listen to me” or “Why can’t you…” would put you on your heels, right? It’s the same response in your spouse.
Instead turn “You” statements into “I” statements.
An example of this is, “I get irritated when we talk because I need more attention from you”.
If it helps, write down what you want to say so that it comes out clearly.
It may feel a bit awkward at first and yet when you reword how you speak to your spouse it changes the entire dynamic of the conversation.
Use Your Indoor Voice
We know this may be an outdated way to tell schoolchildren to keep it down, but yelling and shouting really builds communication walls.
When a conversation turns into an argument you need to remind yourself that no one likes to be yelled at, especially your spouse.
If your words are starting to get louder, explain to your spouse that you need a timeout to calm yourself and your words down.
Once you have calmed down you are now in a place where you can sit down and calmly talk with your spouse.
You will accomplish much more when you leave the yelling and screaming behind.
It’s during this time that you’ll be able to work something out together.
Ditch the Tech
You would think needing to improve your communication skills would be a bygone problem in our age of technology.
Instead, plenty of couples actually need to improve their communication skills in part because of technology.
Take a few moments a day to verbally share your thoughts and feelings without your phone/tablet/laptop.
By doing this you are taking a pulse on where you both are mentally and emotionally that day, that hour, that minute.
This exercise helps to keep us grounded in what is important in our lives.
You and your partner can both be doing this and then you can ask each other about your experience.
When asking, genuinely listen to what is being said to you.
One way to make sure you are following what your spouse is saying is to repeat back to them what you have heard.
If you are right, they will let you know.
If not, they will have another opportunity to clearly share again.
Ask your partner clarifying question to better understand why they are feeling a certain way.
When you ask them these clarifying questions you both gain a deeper understanding of one another.
In no time you will see that you are communicating more frequently and better.
For more advice on how to strengthen your relationship by strengthening yourself, check out our group coaching workshop Breaking Free: How To Improve Yourself to Improve Your Marriage today!