Marriage can be hard. And they say the first year is the hardest. Why is that? Why isn’t marriage just like dating? You go out on dates, show your love and affection, and have fun together as a couple. But why isn’t marriage like that? Factor in the house, the cars, bills, the kids, and money and you’ve got yourself an equation of disaster if you don’t know how to deal with them. The key to any relationship is communication, so how can you communicate with your spouse to the best of your ability?
Lack Of Communication
A lack of communication in a marriage might as well be a non-verbal relationship. You cannot nurture any relationship without communication. Along with a lack of communication, you’ll have mind games that come with that. It sounds silly to assume that, but think about it, if you don’t communicate with someone, you start to assume. You make accusations and worry about things that you shouldn’t worry about.
How To Improve Communication
You don’t have to spend every minutes together… Really, you don’t. Be sure to make an effort to want to spend time together. If you can’t stand his need to play video games, sit down and play with him (of course, you won’t be a pro and he will have to understand that, but you’ll at least be trying to take an interest in his interest!).. and have him do something that you enjoy! Not only does this open up new interests for you both but you can find new things to do together!
Listening may seem like a no-brainer, but be sure to actually hear what your spouse is saying. Sometimes what they say to you doesn’t always need a response. You don’t have to give an answer for their questions if the questions don’t need answers. Sometimes our spouse just needs us to listen to them.
A listening ear and a strong shoulder is something that will not only build strength in your communication, it will also build trust. Depending on how you respond, you may elicit more conversations this way and build trust with your spouse to come to your for even the littlest of things.
Go On Dates
Dating your spouse is probably the most fun of all of these tips on great communication… Why? Because it is fun! You get to go back to your dating stage! Reminisce about your early days together. Remember why you fell in love in the first place.
This is also a great time to try new things! Don’t do the same old song and dance of dinner and a movie every single date night. Go paint-balling or take a drive to a place neither of you have been before. Take a day trip and explore a new city.
We all have feelings, but sometimes we don’t always know how to express our feelings. If you are feeling any sort of positive feeling, express it freely. If you mean it, say it. For example, if you’re both at work and you’re thinking about them in the best way, shoot them a text and tell them you love them. Call them on their lunch break and tell them that you’re happy and thinking of them.
Expressing these feelings not only give them the opportunity to hear you say them or let them know that you’re thinking about them, but it may be a mood booster for them. If they are having a bad day for whatever reason then be the source of their smile.
Negative feeling aren’t necessarily a bad thing. They just need to be expressed in a way that you both can navigate and understand. Expressing negative feelings in a negative way can not only leave a bad taste in your mouth, but it can leave a bad taste in their mouths as well. As my mother always told me, say what you mean, but don’t say it mean.
Don’t say something that you don’t mean. If you have to, walk away from the situation completely until you can get your thoughts and actions in order. Walking away doesn’t mean that you give up, it just means that you are more concerned at the issue at hand and wish to resolve it without making it worse for you both.
Assuming is probably one of the worst things you can do in a relationship. Assuming negative things about your spouse breaks trust. If you’ve gained trust, don’t weaken it by assuming things. If you don’t know, ask!
Assuming the worst about a situation breaks the bridge to trust and leaves anger in it’s path. Don’t assume and tell your spouse how they are feeling just because of your assumptions. This goes back to listening! Ask and listen.
Compliments and Thanks!
Give them… Say thank you… Don’t give so many compliments that they become unbelievable, but give them enough to show how you feel about them. If you like something that they habitually do for you, tell them! “Thank you for starting my car every morning so it is warm, it means a lot to me!” and “I like your smile, it brightens the world.” are great ways to thank and compliment your spouse.
Compliments and thanks are confidence boosters. This allows your spouse to know that you are thankful for them and you notice all the good that they do. This builds confidence and love.
Phones and Social Media
Shut it off. You don’t need it. You don’t need to check Facebook every five minutes or Tweet your every single moment. Check out your spouse. Make them feel like the only other person in the room and “tweet” to them. But don’t make your date or time dedicated to them about your phone and social media.
Effective communication can not only lead to a happy and healthy marriage, but it can lead examples for other relationships you will build throughout your life. Be an example in your marriage at all times, by doing this it makes you want to put the work in and makes it easier to use effective communication throughout life and not just in your marriage.
Marriage is about trial and error. Figure out what works best for you both and do that. There is nothing saying that you have to be a cookie cutter wife to your cookie cutter husband. Similarities are great, but remember that opposites attract. The importance of communication is abundantly clear and necessary.
There is no such things as a perfect marriage, but know that your marriage could be as close to perfection as you wish it to be with these communication tips. Know that getting married isn’t easy and marriage is even harder, but know that it is worth it. Every second of every day is worth the work that you put into your relationship when you have found the one!