Marriage is an adventure. If you aren’t listening, you may miss an important lesson. Here is what you can learn from effective communication in marriage.
Words are a powerful tool. Talking is how married couples get to know each other and learn to solve problems. It's what creates expectations and stops arguments. Used improperly, communication can have a devastating effect on a marriage.
Couples who share their thoughts and feelings regularly have a stronger marriage than those who don't. That is why it is so important for couples to learn how to communicate effectively with one another throughout their marriage.
When couples don’t make the time to talk and connect, they are putting their marriage in jeopardy. Here are 6 lessons that marriage teaches us about effective communication.
"It's Not About the Nail"
There is a viral video that has been making the rounds for its mostly spot-on interpretation of men and women's methods of communication.
The video (found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4EDhdAHrOg) focuses on a woman talking about the immense pressure she is feeling. When she is done speaking, the man is quick to point out that she has a nail in her forehead and if he pulls it out - the problem will be solved!
The message the video brings forth is two-fold. First, men and women look at situations in two very different ways.
Women simply want to communicate their feelings as a form of release. They aren't looking for an instant solution, they just want to talk. It's therapeutic.
Men are fixers. Their natural reaction is going to be to try and solve the problem. Immediately, if not sooner. This is done out of love and concern for their partner.
It isn't wrong to want to solve your spouse’s problem. Neither is it wrong to want to talk out a problem with your spouse before deciding what to do about it. Both parties just need to be on the same page about it.
As the video says, to have effective communication with your spouse, you need to know their thoughts, feelings, and intentions first.
Your Spouse Cannot Read Minds
Another big lesson in effective communication in marriage is that your partner cannot read your mind. Sure, you may finish each other's sentences and always want the same take-out, but that doesn't mean you are psychically-linked.
You may hope that your spouse will use their lover's intuition to crack your code, but, most partners won't know there is a problem until you tell them about it. They may even think you are being cold or distant for no reason at all.
There are two lessons here.
One: Voice your concerns, feelings, and thoughts to your spouse about issues you are having.
Two: If your spouse is behaving in a way that is out of character, don't shrug and hope it will go away. Ask them to talk to you about whatever they are going through.
Small Talk is Big
When it comes to a healthy marriage, sometimes small talk isn't so small at all.
Couples strengthen their relationship when they put forth the effort to communicate about the big things. Discussing emotions, goals, or big changes with work or family are all part of sharing your life. But don't be so consumed with the larger topics that you forget to spend time together just talking.
Communication is about problem-solving and relaying feelings, but it's also about getting to know each other. It's important for couples to talk about their day, share what made them laugh, and talk about the mundane parts of life, too.
The lesson here is don't forget about the little things.
Withdrawal is Damaging
The silent treatment is the refusal to speak to or engage your partner as a form of punishment. This is extremely unhealthy behavior in communication.
Officially referred to as "Demand-Withdraw". Essentially, one partner makes demands for communication or resolution, while the other goes silent to avoid dealing with the issue.
Also, the one demanding can also be the one withdrawing if they choose to use the silent treatment as punishment for not having their needs met.
So, if you want healthy communication in marriage, you must be honest with each other and willing to make a change in your behaviors.
You Must Give Undivided Attention
How would you feel if you were pouring your heart out to your spouse only to have them check their phone half-way through your perfectly thought out monologue? Likely, you would feel hurt and unimportant to your spouse.
Checking our phones has become so second-nature that we sometimes forgo basic manners just to access them. Even if it means hurting or disrespecting someone's feelings to do it.
Effective communication with a spouse involves listening with your undivided attention. Putting your phone away or turning it to silent mode shows your partner that you care about what they are saying and that their problems and feelings are important to you.
You cannot communicate effectively if you are not giving your partner your full attention.
Honesty is the Best Policy
You've heard this phrase everywhere from children's shows to relationship sitcoms. The only way you are going to have effective communication in your marriage is if you are honest about how you feel.
It isn't always easy to be honest with your spouse if the subject-matter you're discussing is of a sensitive nature, such as bringing up a negative aspect of your sex life or addressing a concern with your spouse's family. But, you cannot fix what you don't acknowledge.
Therefore, the couples must be willing to be open and honest about their thoughts and feelings in order to resolve any conflict.
When it comes to communication in marriage, small talk is just as important as big conversations. You can improve your married life by practicing effective communication. It is also important that you give your spouse your undivided attention when they are speaking. Doing these things will lead to a happier, more fulfilling relationship.
All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.