How to Create Great Communication with Your Spouse These 5 tips will help you assert your marriage needs and feel heard; creating a healthy marriage. BY RACHEL MOHEBAN-WACHTEL, LCSW
A few simple tips on how to communicate more effectively will greatly enhance your marriage.
“ If you have the habit of delivering monologues, give your partner a breather to make sure he or she understands you.”
Communication is key in relationships, and learning how to listen and feel heard is crucial when having discussions with your spouse. †Below are five tips that will help you assert your needs and communicate more effectively†in order to create a healthy marriage.
1. Donít reply. The hardest part of being a good listener is fighting the temptation to offer your opinions while your spouse is speaking. They are taking a courageous step to initiate a discussion about your relationship problems and you want to focus on being the listener and on your loved oneís message. If you are upset by what your partner says, reserve your response until they are finished speaking. Any words or gestures to show your opinion is not allowed, and that includes inappropriate body language, facial expressions, signs and grunts! After all, a healthy marriage is wanting your spouse to extend the same courtesy to you once it is your turn to speak.
2. Donít go on and on. We are all guilty of delivering lengthy monologues to our spouses. Unbeknownst to us, our partner may be tuning us out. To help our spouse listen actively, deliver your message in bite-size, manageable pieces. If you have the habit of delivering monologues, give your partner a breather to make sure he or she understands you.
3. Use calming words. Conversation inserts are more than random additions to discussions, they are positive statements incorporated into a message to your spouse to make sure you infuse positivity to any talk with your partner. When you and your spouse are embroiled in a heated discussion and neither of you have an exit strategy, throw in a "conversation insert" and warm up the conversation by shifting into a more positive tone. Conversation inserts will not solve your problem, but they will deflate the tension in the conversation so you and your partner can return to the discussion with cooler heads.
4. Speak for yourself. Talk about your thoughts, feelings and concerns; not your perceptions of the listenerís point of view or motives. Try to use "I" statements, and talk about your own point of view and feelings: "I was upset when you forgot our date night," is an "I" statement. "I think you donít care about me" is not. In the latter example, the the focus was shifted to the spouse.
5. Donítí be vague. Provide your spouse with information; the specific behavior, the context in which it occurs, how you feel when it happens and the opportunity to correct it. This is highly preferable to the typical alternativeóa vague description of the problem that, when blurted out, can sound like character defamation.
Rachel Moheban-Wachtel, LCSW currently has a private practice in New York City and specializes in couples therapy, premarital counseling and marriage counseling, and is the creator of the Ultimate Relationship Resolution Program an audio program for couples that includes relationship advice and techniques to make fast and immediate changes in relationships. To learn more, and receive a FREE audio sample program and Relationship Tips please visit www.relationshipsuite.com. You can also follow her on Google+