Communication is an integral aspect of any successful marriage or relationships and the individuals involved must learn how to communicate in order to produce an effective and efficient communication. A famous quote by Peter Shepherd, author of ” Daring To Be Yourself“, says, “Communication is the solvent of all problems and is the foundation for personal development.”
In line with the above, communication have the ability to make or break a relationship between spouses. In relationships especially between spouses, communication is like a river. When thoughts and feelings flow smoothly between married partners it’s fun, feels good, and helps support everyone around.
However, when communication flow is turbulent, it’s potentially dangerous and destructive. And when communication gets blocked, pressure builds up.
Then when the words start flowing again, they tend to come out suddenly in a damaging raging flood. Thus, the spouse should be able to convey information, emotions and even the deepest feelings and issues in order to ensure exciting and happy marriage. There are basic things, though little but important that can be done to improve communication with your spouse and to avoid relationship breakdown. These basics things are as follow:
1. Recognise that your spouse is your best friend
First, you need to understand that your spouse is your best friend and that friendship building takes a lot of work and time. Best friends do not come by wishing and saying but with the zeal and the commitment to make that work with time.
2. Learn to appreciate your spouse
This is one of the most important amazing ways to spice up already broken down communication gap. According to David Goodman, author of (A Guide to Meaningful and Significant Parenting: Family & Relationship Educational Book), “Appreciation is no simple, vague theme. Appreciation is a real force. It is governed by a principle almost as direct as a law of physics: We draw to ourselves the good of everything we appreciate”.
“Most of the time, we are tempted to be used to our spouses that we tend to forget to appreciate them with the achievement of even the smallest feet. Little thank you can do and I will conclude this section by saying that the happiness of life is made up of the little charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment.” —Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
3. Keep your emotions in check
Laurence Peters says ‘’Speak when you are angry — and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.” Sometimes, we have the urge to speak and act the way we feel within, actions that we will end up regretting after strong inner feelings are gone. You want to express all that feelings and your spouse is not ready to listen to you, by simply walking away , can be a huge break from that looming catastrophes.
4. Listen to your spouse
Listening is one of the great qualities of a good communicator. Your ability to listen to your spouse while they express their concern shows that you care about them and that alone is a huge boost to preventing conflicts in marriage. Catherine de Hueck says ‘‘With the gift of listening comes the gift of healing.” And “A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he knows something.”—Wilson Mizner
5. Speak your truth
Truth, they say is bitter to the taste but it is actually a relationship savior. Sara Padison says “Have the courage to be sincere, clear and honest. This opens the door to deeper communication all around. It creates self-empowerment and the kind of connections with others we all want in life. Speaking from the heart frees us from the secrets that burden us. These secrets are what make us sick or fearful. Speaking truth helps you get clarity on your real heart directives.”
6. I love you!
Your spouse knows you love them but making that word a part of you is a way of assuring them that they are still very much important in your life and according to Gary Smally best-selling author of; If only He Knew: A Valuable Guide to Knowing, Understanding, and loving Your Wife, says “to speak a word of affirmation at the right moment is like lighting up a whole roomful of possibilities. This word can be a source of motivation when their judgment is clouded by the burden of daily activities”.
7. Resist the urge to win.
The element of competition tends to crop up in marriage as time goes on. This should not be because you and your spouse are one team. You were joined in marriage because you believed in the vision of each other and the urge to always win should be eliminated because marriage is not a competition platform. No winner and no loser, all win with no loss no matter what.
8. Pay attention to nonverbal signals
Nonverbal communication is a unique way of communication between spouses especially in the public and equally at home. It could range from eyes signal to body language or symbols adequate attention have to be given in order to see and understand that when coming.
9. Force yourself to hear.
It’s a different thing to listen and another one to hear, by implementing the concerns voiced by your spouse simply means that you have listen, heard and understood, because sometimes we want to just talk and talk, not willing to hear from our spouse their own opinion and suggestions.
10. Initiate intimacy
Intimacy in relationships, especially between spouses is like a grease oiling its wheels to reduce or eliminate frictions as time passes by, so it is important that you initiate intimacy by way of spending more time together or take care of certain things they hold dear, even when they least expected.
11. Be understanding with your spouse
“Nothing lowers the level of conversation more than raising the voice.” —Stanley Horowitz. For the fact that both of you are two individuals from different worlds before now, calls for great understanding between you both. The masculine and feminine are two different species that need to be understood.
12. Make your spouse top priority both on your schedule and your mind.
It is not just enough to say that my spouse is the top priority in my mind but also in your list. You need to schedule on how to spend time together with our spouse every day, every week and every moment possible. For this I have a few suggestions:
- Choose a time each week to spend quality time together, then guard that period with all that you have got!
- Decide to spend quality time together rather apart, if it means sacrificing some good things for a season such as small groups, ministry gathering or bonding time with peers.
- Take time to learn what interest your spouse, it could be baseball, hunting, gardening or charity visitation. Find out about their passions and join them. However, this requires some sacrifice on your part. Actually our definition of how we “connect” can be different. We need to make sure we both feel we’re connecting. (Tim Downs, author of the book, “Fight Fair”)
13. Give your spouse the benefit of doubt
Being too expectant could sometimes pressure our spouses towards meeting our expectations and thus make mistakes. When such an expectation is not met, we tend to act in a manner that shows our displeasure or disapproval which in turn can breed rancor between you both. One important way to avoid this is to always give our spouse some ‘slack’ because they are human and sometimes may not be able to meet our expectations.
14. Learn to forgive and move on
“Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” By Mahatma Gandhi. It takes a man or woman of strong character to forgive and move on especially when their spouses wrong them, but this is a very important attribute that must be possessed by all sundry and as the saying goes ‘to err is human but to forgive is divine. For free flow of communication, learn how to forgive and move on.
15. Speak with kindness and respect to your spouse
Lao Tseu says “Speaking with kindness creates confidence, thinking with kindness creates profoundness, giving with kindness creates love.” Nothing can gladden the heart of your spouse more than to know that you respect them and always speak to them with kindness. Thus your spouse will not be afraid to approach you with their views knowing that it will be respected.
16. Protect and defend your spouse
This could be very demanding especially in a relationship with little or no trust, but you must defend and protect your spouse against external aggressions. In this way, your spouse will have full confidence to face any task knowing that somebody got his or her back. “What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined… to strengthen each other… to be at one with each other in silent unspeakable memories.” —George Eliot
17. Build a wall of trust and confidence around your spouse
Trust is like a house built with glass materials that required to be taken adequate care of while inhibiting in it. When a part is broken, a new foundation has to be laid to build another one and this takes time and commitment.
You have to build a wall of trust and confidence around your spouse and yet maintaining the expected level of understanding knowing that they are human. Devoting adequate time to build trust around your spouse can be a great boost to a free flow of information and feelings between both of you.
18. Correct and criticize your spouse with kindness and gentleness
Kind words heal, make your words good –you will be glad you did (the book of proverbs). It makes more sense to correct and criticize your spouse with care and gentleness than to do it with disrespect and forcefulness that could cause an argument between you both instead of corrections and adjustments from them.
19. Be accountable and have mutual respect for your spouse, including the areas of sexuality, finances, and relationships.
Being very accountable to your spouse in the areas of sex, finances and relationship can create a good communication between you and your spouse. Lack of understanding in the area of sexuality can lead to infidelity in marriage.
Inadequate financial information has led to the separation of many beautiful homes and marriages, this can be avoided by providing adequate information to your spouse in the areas listed above
20. Am sorry
The word sorry can be considered as a very small, unimportant word for some people yet can do wonders in relationships, be it marriage or friendship, business or work. It takes a man of great humility to acknowledge his or her faults and say am sorry to the affected individuals.
Sorry is like a tip of salt dropped at the bottom of a turbulent ocean to settle for clarity, so learn how to say am sorry to pacify already heated environment and save the day.
21. Establish a daily praying together habits.
The families that pray together, stays together. Praying together every morning does not only set the tone for our day, and release the burden on our hearts, but it also puts us on the same page in so many areas. God meets us in the midst of our friendship every morning’ by Justine.
Some may have a different opinion about this but it is an integral part of effective communication between you and your spouse.
There are obviously a thousand and one ways to improve communication with your spouse but the ones listed above is practical, effective, efficient, and implementable, so enjoy your marital cruise thanks. Your friend, David.
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net