Communication Problems in a Marriage

Good communication is the foundation of every successful marriage. It enables both partners to openly discuss their fears, hopes and feelings about their relationship and serves as a conduit through which partners can work out difficulties or issues that arise, while avoiding damage to the marriage. But, when the avenues of communication are not fully open in a marriage – when feelings that need to be expressed cannot be expressed or fall on deaf ears – then a relationship becomes less stable. This in turn opens the door to so many different dangers that can jeopardize the relationship, all because there are communication problems in a marriage.

So, how do you protect your relationship from communication failure, or reopen avenues of communication when they’ve closed down? It’s actually easier than you might think…you’ve already taken the first step, as recognition that communication problems in a marriage exist or have the potential to exist is the biggest step of all!

5 Steps to protect & repair communication avenues in your marriage

1) Make time for each other – It is important to every relationship that couples have time set aside to be with each other every day. I don’t mean sat in front of the TV or while playing with the kids. No, one-on-one time, where there are no other distractions, is essential…you must be 100% focused on your partner, or you’ll be letting yourself in for communication problems later on in your relationship.

2) Do a lot of listening – Good communication is not about telling your partner what so-and-so got up to in the office today, or why ‘X’ wants to go out with ‘Y’, and why ‘Y’ isn’t interested. If you do, then your partner could end being the ‘Y’! Listening is just as important as talking…ask questions about how your partner is feeling, showing them that you really care about what they have to say. Listen intently, and don’t be tempted to cut across them. Instead, encourage them to talk more.

3) Be Tactful – Okay, encouraging your partner to talk may not be the easiest thing in the world to do. There are probably a lot of complicated emotions going on in their heads, which they find difficult to express on a verbal level. If you find that they’re not opening up to you, start asking ‘yes/no’ questions relevant to the situation, such as “are you happy with our relationship?”, instead of “what do you think about our relationship?” This will help them to relax and find a level on which they can communicate with you.

4) Don’t be Defensive – If your partner starts saying things that you feel are unfair or hurtful, then don’t immediately jump into an argument. Instead, take a deep breath and let it wash over you. You may even want to take a two-minute break from the conversation. Your aim should be to drag all of the feelings out of your partner, no matter how painful it might seem, because these are the relationship detonators that have the potential to blow your marriage apart…and like any bomb, they must be dealt with and diffused.

5) Negotiate – With communication lines open, it is likely that you will need to do some negotiating to keep your marriage on track. All relationships are a compromise…your partner most likely wants some different things out of your marriage to what you want. The trick here is to negotiate by offering to agree to something that your partner wants out of the marriage in exchange for them agreeing to something that you want out of your marriage.

Adopt these five steps and keep going through them on a regular basis. By doing so, you’ll proof your marriage against future communication breakdowns…guaranteed!



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