Communicating Effectively is a very important ingredient for success in any relationship. If you do not communicate how will you ever know or understand what problems your spouse is facing.
Hey honey, what is wrong with you, you seem pretty upset and moody lately, What is on your mind? ”Nothing.”
Does this conversation play itself out in your everyday relationship with your spouse?
You know your marriage is in trouble when the communication suffers, many problems are bound to come up leading to either party feeling frustrated or depressed. The number one complaint wives have about their husbands is that they lock up their feelings and never communicate enough.It can happen either way, but when you put more pressure on your spouse who is reluctant to communicate it can make them lock up even more, making communication even more difficult. Some people are just not good at putting their feelings and emotions into words, and others just don’t want to try.
So how do you communicate effectively with someone who refuses to open up in the first place? Here are a few helpful tips to communicate effectively:
- Timing is important. Choose a time when they are calm and relaxed and seem to be in a good mood for a chat.
- Don’t put pressure on your spouse to talk to you. Let it come naturally when they see you expressing your own emotions.
- Ask about your spouse’s feelings. Show an interest in their feelings. Instead of asking what they did that day, ask how they feel about what they did. Make communication more interesting and enjoyable.
- Initiate a conversation that will need a response mainly about topics they have a strong opinion about (you may want to focus on the positive ones).
- For those who find it difficult to express themselves in verbally, you can communicate by writing your feelings down. Send an e-mail, text or even tuck a note by the bedside.
Avoid these communication killers at all cost
#1 Don’t be a Critic
I am yet to meet anyone who likes to be criticized. Hitting the hammer every time your spouse wants to communicate will not make them open up and therefore can not improve your relationship. If you are having trouble getting your spouse to open up, it may just be because one or both of you is too caught up in the act of criticizing the other. Drop these forms of criticism of character, emotional maturity, intelligence or any other form and see your spouse open up knowing you won’t judge them.
#2 Not listening
Effective communication involves both talking and listening. Not listening is not just when you tune off and don’t hear a word that has been said, but cutting into the conversation or finishing off your spouses sentence can show impatience and a general lack of interest. Do not use awkward silence as a chance to interrupt what your spouse is saying. The best thing to do is listen, maintain eye contact, give a few minutes to absorb what has been said and then responding appropriately. Show empathy where necessary and give assurance. Doing this will encourage your spouse to communicate even more, and it will help you develop a deeper understanding of what your spouse is saying.
#3 Don’t be on the defense
Accusation or verbal attack at a spouse always automatically leads to them defending their actions because you do not want to be seen as being wrong and the cycle goes on making communication to break down. Share information and communicate without an accusing tone.
When your spouse shares information with you, even if that information is critical of you, it’s your responsibility to adopt your most mature self and try to listen and make sense of what is being said without being defensiveness. You do not have to like or agree to what is being said. But try and make sense of and understand it. And to do that effectively you need to drop your defense and remain open to your spouse