12 Things You Can Do to Communicate Effectively in Your Marriage
How to Communicate Effectively With Your Spouse
Communication is Important
Communication is a very important part of any marriage relationship. Through communication, you can resolve conflicts in the marriage, improve your romance, and get your spouse to do generous things for you.
But what are the best ways to communicate with your spouse? How can you communicate effectively in your marriage relationship so that you can get your spouse to take the kind of action you require?
Below are tips to communicate effectively in a marriage relationship so that you can continue to enjoy harmony in the marriage.
Choose the Right Setting
If you want to communicate more effectively in your marriage relationship, you must be careful where you say what. For example, if you want to say something negative about your spouse’s lovemaking skills so that he or she will make efforts to improve his or her performance, the best place to pass on that information would be the bedroom, and not the sitting room (if the children are around), or the kitchen, where you may be hungry and thinking about eating.
If you do not choose the right place to say the right thing, your spouse, out of anger, will not even listen to what you are saying because he or she will feel you are deliberately trying to embarrass them.
Saying the right thing in the right place can help you to communicate effectively when you are in a romantic relationship.
If You Are Not In a State to Communicate, Tell Your Spouse
There is nothing more painful than to talking to someone who seems disinterested in what you are saying. It can make one very angry. If, with enthusiasm, you try to communicate with your spouse, and your spouse responds with disinterest, you may get angry, and vice versa.
Therefore, if you feel you are not in a psychological state that will make you pay full attention to what your spouse will say to you, let your spouse know. For example, if you are feeling sleepy and your spouse wants to have a conversation at that time, politely tell him or her you feel sleepy. It will be better not to have the conversation at all, than to pretend to listen.
Consider Your Spouse's Mood
If you want to communicate effectively in a marriage relationship and receive the best response from your spouse, you must judge his or her mood, and make requests, or admonish, when your spouse is in his or her best mood. If your husband, or wife, is looking angry, or showing signs of irritability, or is dealing with an emotional problem, such as the death of a loved one, then it is better to wait till he or she is in a good mood before you make an attempt to communicate. When the mood of your spouse is not right, he or she may not receive the information you want to pass on well because they may be distracted mentally.
For example, if your spouse behaves inconsiderately towards you and you see he or she is in a terrible mood, it will be unwise to start accusing your spouse there and then of showing lack of concern. That is likely to infuriate him or her further. The best thing to do is to hold your peace at that moment, and bring up the issue later when your spouse is feeling more relaxed, and is in a mood to be responsive. At such a time, you can approach him or her and say something such as, “Darling, I am not happy about the fact that you did not come home immediately you finished work, and with the way you walked out on me when I asked you about where you went after work yesterday. It really hurt me, I must be honest.” Your husband, or wife, is more likely at this time to patiently tell you why they were not able to come home right after work.
You Will Have to Sacrifice
In today’s world where many are “married” to their electronic gadgets, such as their smart phones and laptops, it is essential to see your spouse as the most important thing in your life, and not the gadgets which help you to live a comfortable life. That means, you must put aside your electronic gadget and give your spouse full attention when he or she wants to communicate with you. Some spouses are guilty of fidgeting with their smartphones, and browsing the internet, whilst speaking to their spouses. That is not an effective way of communicating.
- So, if you are watching Real Madrid versus Barcelona on television and your wife walks into the room asking to have a word with you, you must go through the pain of sacrificing, and stop watching the game, so that you can give your wife a few minutes of your time. Afterall, if you don’t watch that game, you will not die! It will make you a good husband.
- If your husband wants to make love to you, and you are watching your favorite soap opera (on the television in the bedroom), decide to sacrifice that episode to satisfy your husband. Switch off the television and give your husband full attention. You will not lose anything if you miss that one episode! It will also make your husband love you more.
Gather Your Thoughts
If you want your spouse to understand exactly what you want to pass on to him or her, you need to know exactly what you want to tell him or her. The communication should be clear and devoid of any ambiguity.
To do this, you must organize your thoughts properly before you communicate your requests, or concerns, to your spouse.
- If you feel you are confused about exactly what you want to convey to your spouse, write your thoughts down on a piece of paper.
- Then ask yourself, “Why am I thinking this way? What made these thoughts come to my mind? Is it because of what my husband did to me? Is it because I am not happy in the marriage? If so, what exactly do I want to pass on to my husband?”
- Write down the information you want to pass on, so that you can deliver a clear, concise message which your spouse can understand better.
- When your spouse can make sense of what you want to convey, then the likelihood that he will respond to solve the problem, or meet your request, is greatly increased.
- One thing that can disturb your mind and cause you to be confused about your thoughts, and which can lead to communication distortions, is your emotions. Therefore, you need to analyze your feelings, and deal with any emotional issues before you communicate, or else you may not convey the message you intended in the way you intended. For example, if you are angry, or if you are sad, you may become easily offended when your spouse talks to you, or even cracks a joke. When you are in such a mood, it is best to keep quiet and try to deal with your emotional upheaval. If your spouse asks you why you are quiet, just tell him or her you need some space to gain control over your emotions.
Don't Talk at Your Spouse
If you want to communicate effectively in your marriage relationship, you should refrain from talking at your spouse. For example, if your spouse wrongs you and you confront him or her, and you speak your mind to him or her, refrain from saying something such as, “I am not ready to listen to what you have to say. You knew very well what you were doing was wrong. You have no excuse to give, and so I will not listen to whatever you want to say.” If your desire is to always point out your spouse’s weaknesses, but you never want to listen to your spouse’s responses, and you never give your spouse the chance to also tell you his or her side of the story, you are not communicating effectively with your spouse. At least, give your spouse the chance to speak their mind, for there may be a reason for why he or she acted the way they did, even if what they did was very terrible. Giving them a chance will also help you become a better spouse, because it will reveal shortcomings in the way you relate to your spouse, which will help you to correct your mistakes.
Don't Talk Your Spouse Down
When you have fights, it will be wise of you not to talk your spouse down. When you talk your spouse down, he or she will feel disrespected, and feel you think they have nothing meaningful to offer to the resolution of the conflict. It will hurt your spouse, and he or she is not likely to want to continue any further communication. This will harm the harmony in the marriage and may lead to a fight.
Instead, communicate with your spouse in a low and gentle voice. Remind yourself that he or she is your lover, and not your competitor. That will help you speak in a moderate tone.
Don't Talk Down to Your Spouse
Speaking to your spouse as if he or she does not matter will do two things:
- It may make your spouse angry.
- It may hurt your spouse so badly they may withdraw emotionally and refuse to talk to you, or listen to whatever you want to say.
Therefore, speak with respect, if you want to communicate effectively in your marriage relationship. When you do so, and you don’t hurt your spouse’s feelings, your spouse will understand you better, and will be more willing to open up to you so that he or she can express their thoughts and feelings without reservation.
Talk With Your Spouse
You must talk with your spouse, if you want to communicate effectively in your marriage relationship. Talking with your spouse means you understand that communication is a two-way affair in which you try to make your spouse understand your point of view, and you also try to understand your spouse’s point of view. Talking with your spouse, and actively listening to him or her, is what effective communication is all about.
- When you want to pass on information to your spouse, insist he or she gets rid of all distractions and gives you full attention, so that you can express yourself without being misunderstood.
- Speak slowly at a pace your spouse can assimilate everything you are saying. This will avoid misunderstanding, which can create more problems for you.
- When you are having a conversation with your spouse, and you have said quite a lot, ask your spouse, “Do you understand what I am saying?” This will give your spouse a chance to give you feed back as to whether they are following what you are saying, and whether they have a good grasp of the issues you want him or her to deal with, which will help to create the right atmosphere in the marriage.
Listen, and Don't Just Hear
- When you are communicating, for example holding a discussion about your family, or how to improve your love life, after you have spoken, let your spouse also speak, and make it a point to listen, and not just hear. Hearing is pretending you are taking in what your spouse is saying, whilst your mind is “a million miles away” focusing on something entirely different. Listening is telling your mind to focus on what your spouse is saying, and trying to understand the words he or she is saying to you, and making meaning out of what they are telling you. Listening will help you to grasp the main issues in the information, and to act appropriately on them.
- Tilt your head to one side to show you are listening actively. However, don’t do it for too long or else your spouse will feel you are getting bored with what they are saying.
- Watch your body language and avoid signals that may indicate to your spouse that your mind is not on what he or she is saying to you. For example, do not put your hand on your cheek, to indicate you are worried about something else going on in your life, or do not drum your fingers on your knees, to show you are bored with what your spouse is telling you, and do not put your head in your hands to show you are bored.
Look Into Their Eyes
If you have nothing to hide, you should not feel uncomfortable looking into your spouse’s face. If you cast your eyes down whilst communicating with your spouse, your spouse will start getting suspicions of you. Therefore, look into your spouse’s face, and admire their handsomeness or beauty, whilst you communicate. At the end of the communication, you can reward your spouse with a, “you look beautiful, darling,” or “you still look handsome, honey.”
Also, when you look into your spouse’s eyes, he or she will know you are serious about the matter, and he or she is more likely to take you seriously. On the other hand, if you keep diverting your eyes whilst your spouse is speaking to you, he or she may feel they are wasting their time, and they may cut short the communication.
Do not let things around you distract you and take your attention away from your spouse. For example, if you are communicating in the sitting room, do not use that time to start admiring the piano sitting in its corner, when you have never bothered to look at it, at other times.
Make Sure There is Time
If you want to communicate effectively in your marriage relationship, you must ensure you have adequate time to convey your message. If you feel the message you want to convey is a bit complicated, and will take some time for your spouse to digest it well, then schedule a time when both of you will be in a relaxed mood to convey your message.
- If your spouse is in a hurry to go to work, that might not be the best time to confront your spouse about a series of wrongs he or she may have done you, and which you want addressed.
- When your spouse is tired and feeling sleepy, that may not be the best time to tell him or her about the way your supervisor is treating you at work.
- You can give your spouse the main points of your concerns, when he or she does not have time, and let them promise to hear you out fully during the weekend. And then on Saturday afternoon, when both of you are doing nothing, you can go into the details of your concerns so that your spouse can address them for you.
Learning to communicate effectively in your marriage relationship can go a long way to enhance your marriage relationship. It will help you to smoothen issues that could potentially cause problems to your marriage, so that your marriage can grow stronger.