One of the most important factors that determine a healthy relationship is clear, honest communication between two partners. But communicating without judgment is not the easiest thing to do. As individuals, you grow up with your own internal biases and beliefs that influence your method of communication, especially with a close partner.
Therefore, how you communicate with your spouse in every situation – be it tense or joyous – is a hill you need to climb together. When people say that communication is the key to a successful relationship, they are not wrong. But how do you achieve that?
Here are 15 key tips on how to communicate with your spouse better without hurting their sentiments. Keep reading and implement them!
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15 Tips On How To Communicate Better With Your Spouse
Many children grow up watching their parents fight as a way of resolving tense situations. It could be a battle of egos or just a bad way of expressing their needs and emotions. That aside, the truth remains that this does not contribute to a loving relationship or family dynamics.
As part of a marriage, how should you communicate with your spouse effectively, respectfully, and with love? Read on to find out in these 15 tips.
1. Discuss The Little Problems
Communicate your problems to your partners before they grow into something monstrous and difficult to tackle. It is not always easy to communicate problems that seem like small annoyances. However, what you suppress can come back to bite you harder later in the future.
The little issues are what eventually grow big and signal the doom of an otherwise loving and caring marriage. If you want to enrich your relationship, this is where you can begin.
2. Don’t Discuss Past Mistakes
The past has no place in your relationship. You both might have made mistakes at a time when your dynamics as a couple were different. The fact that you are together now is an indication that you got past those issues.
Dredging past mistakes, again and again, is simply harmful to your relationship in the long run. Focus on the present, understand where the discomfort or irritation lies, and solve it together with your partner.
3. Don’t Accuse Your Partner
Use “I” statements when you are expressing your annoyance about something. Tell them how you are affected and how it is impacting you as a person. This is a great alternative to accusing your partner and blaming them for what’s going wrong.
This is a valuable point to note because it helps your partner understand your perspective on the situation instead of building up their defenses against your accusations.
4. Don’t Compare Your Partner With Others
The worst thing you can do to your partner is compare them to other people you know. Worse still, if it is an ex! This is a harmful communication tactic that many internalize from their parents, who might have constantly compared them to other children while growing up to show how they can do better.
But here’s the truth – no one likes being told that there is a better person than them, especially when it comes from their partner. So, keep other people out of the equation and focus on your current relationship.
5. Do Not Threaten To Break Up
Breaking up is not a threat that you should ever use in a conversation with your partner. Ending a long-term relationship is no joke, and even if you are extremely angry, in no situation should you be using that as a weapon against your partner.
One of the holy rules of communicating better with your spouse is to keep the threat of breaking the relationship, be it separation or divorce, out of the picture. Especially in an argument, if you feel the only way for both of you to feel happy is to go your separate ways, reserve the discussion at a later time when you are calm and collected.
6. Don’t Threaten To Spill Their Secrets
Another mistake many couples make is to use sensitive information that their spouse had shared in confidence to further the argument. This is an extremely horrible and selfish move.
Your partner considered you a safe space when they shared the information with you. Therefore, violating this trust and safety and weaponizing this vulnerability is not only unkind but also extremely hurtful.
7. Take Time Out
Take time out and spend some time away from each other. When you are living with a person and seeing them every day, conflicts are bound to rise. The smallest things might irritate you and lead to unnecessary fights.
Having some time for yourself ensures that you can come back to your spouse happy and rested and ready to tackle the challenges in your marriage together.
Take a trip with your friends, go for a walk, or simply go to another room and read a book. Learning how to communicate with your spouse also involves giving yourself the much-needed break!
8. Don’t Let Others’ Opinions Disturb Your Marriage
Do not let another person’s opinion of your relationship impact the bond that you share. In many South-Asian countries where families are close-knit, it is common for family members to interject and pass their judgments on your marriage.
Whether it is about having children or the demands of your job, do not let the opinions of your relatives become points of dissatisfaction for the two of you. Face them and their opinions as a team and talk about what might bother you about their behavior.
9. Indulge In Small Talk
While this sounds unimportant, as years go by, many couples forget to ask each other about the mundane details of their lives. However, a key part of learning how to communicate better with your spouse is to talk to them about their day, what they ate, or how their colleagues are doing.
This gives them a space to share the tiny aspects of their lives that not only bring you closer but also help you understand what they must be going through in their daily life.
10. Apologize When Required
Say sorry to your spouse. You do not need to apologize to them all the time, but if you are aware that you have done something that has hurt them or annoyed them, do not hold back an apology.
Telling someone that you regret what you did does not make you a smaller person. It only makes you mature enough for accepting your mistakes.
11. Understand What Makes Them Tick
Try understanding their love language. While some people have very obvious love languages like being physically affectionate towards their partner, others are way more subtle.
Knowing what makes them feel loved is a great step in the direction of mastering communication. This allows you to do things that make your partner happy. It also opens up space for you to talk about your needs and your love language. After all, a good relationship is where both partners feel loved equally.
12. Remember That You Both Are A Team
Remember that it is always you both versus the problem. You are a team, and you are not fighting against each other. It is easy to forget this crucial piece of information when you are angry, but this is at the core of achieving better communication with your spouse.
Tackle the problem like it is a challenge that has been thrown at both of you. Even when one of you has come to the other with grievances, take your time to figure out what is going on and how you can solve it together.
13. Let Them Talk About Themselves Too
Do not make the conversations all about yourself. Yes, you are allowed to talk to your partner about things going on in your life – like your workplace, your friends, or family. But in the urgency to share the things that are bothering you, it is common to forget about your partner’s needs. Therefore, make sure that you do not hog the space when it comes to sharing your experiences. Give your spouse the platform to talk about themselves.
A key tip on communicating better with your spouse is not to counter their experiences with one of yours. Resist the urge to steer the focus of the conversation to yourself when they are talking about themselves.
14. Don’t Raise Your Voice
Do not raise your voice even in the tensest situations. The moment your volume goes up in an argument, it could take an ugly shape. You and your partner might be facing a tough problem – but remember that it is always the two of you versus the problem.
The moment you feel your fight is getting out of hand and you are tempted to raise your voice to make a point, remember to take a break from the conversation. Ask your partner for a time out, go on a walk, and come back with a clear mind to get to the root of the problem.
The best books on how to communicate with your spouse will always tell you that this is a much more effective way of solving a problem than shouting over each other.
The most important tip on communicating effectively with your partner is to listen to them more carefully. This means giving them your undivided attention to understand their needs.
The best tips on how to communicate with your spouse more effectively cannot be taught. But the fact that you took a step to understand and learn about how you can be a better communicator is an indication that you are genuinely interested in making your relationship work.
Make an attempt to follow these tips, and you are bound to grow within your relationship with your partner!
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