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5 Tips to Improve Communication in Your Marriage

a young couple sitting on a bench talking and communicating with each other.

Communication is an important foundation of any relationship. When you start off, communication is one thing that pulls you in and keeps you coming back to each other.

Over the years, as you get to know this person and fall into a routine, communication skills can start to diminish if not actively worked on. Here are five tips to improve communication in your marriage. 

1. Improve Your Active Listening

Hearing and listening are two different skills. You may be hearing what your partner is saying, but are you actually listening to what’s being said? 

Life gets busy. There are plenty of external factors that pull your attention away so you’re only giving each other divided attention at best. It’s also easy to start to expect what the other person is going to say, especially in times of disagreements or charged conversations. During any conversation, it’s a natural habit to start planning what you’re going to say next while the other person is still talking.

Any of these things can take away from your ability to be listening to what is actually being said. To improve communication, you need to practice active listening. Allow your partner to finish their full statements before providing your response. Paraphrase their statement back to them to demonstrate understanding. Ask meaningful questions. 

2. Avoid Criticism

In any relationship, disagreement and argument is not only a normal part, it’s an opportunity to grow with each other. In the face of any type of conflict, it’s important to refrain from being overly critical or placing blame on your partner. 

Criticism can make them go on the defensive and shut down productive conversation. Your responses to each other are key to effective communication. The goal isn’t to turn on each other, but to find a common ground and move on together. 

If you’re feeling like you’re in attack mode, take a moment to refocus your thoughts and find a way to rephrase your thoughts more positively. 

3. Practice Giving and Receiving Feedback

Another important component to communication is the ability to give and receive feedback. You need to learn how to express yourself in a respectful way, especially when your feedback is not going to be ideal. 

The same applies to being on the receiving end. It takes some effort and practice to be able to hear your partner express their thoughts and feelings if they aren’t aligning with yours. 

You’ll want to be willing to hear each other out in a non-rushed or judgmental way. You need to be respectful of each other’s opinions. More importantly, you need to be willing to make any needed changes to maintain relationship health. 

4. Don’t Hold a Grudge

There’s the old adage of never going to bed mad. This might be one of the most honest and helpful statements for most relationships. 

No matter how perfect you and your partner are, there are going to be ups and downs. When you find yourselves in a place of disagreement, no matter how big the argument, it’s crucial not to turn it into a grudge match. Stubbornness isn’t the goal.

Effective communication entails being able to disagree, discuss the situation, find some common ground for resolution, and move forward. Harboring old, unresolved feelings will allow them to come back in future arguments and can cause a quick escalation. 

5. Be Present

In the cell phone age, having to schedule device-free time is a real thing that can be effective. Meal times are a great place to start. 

Make your kitchen or dining room table a media-free zone, leaving any tech devices in another room. It gives you an opportunity to be present and have true discussions with each other. 

This same principle applies to television or any other external factors that can distract from conversation. Prioritize your partner. 

Do you have concerns about communication with your partner? Marriage counseling can help. Contact us to implement effective strategies to improve your communication skills. 


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