You hear it all the time, communicating in marriage is the one single factor that can make a marriage strong or weak.
You often hear people say that they “just don’t communicate anymore” – but the truth is in a lot of cases they never really did, at least not in a constructive way.
If you and your spouse have good communications skills right from the start, you will be able to avert many of the problems that plague a lot of marriages. People think that they’re communicating in marriage effectively, but rarely do, and often don’t even with other friends and family.
Communicating in Marriage Isn’t About Talking All the Time
It’s about listening too.
That is the part where most people fail.
You “pretend” to listen but in reality your mind is elsewhere. It’s easy to make excuses for that behavior saying things to yourself such as: “I don’t need to listen, she will just repeat it again in an hour” or “Here he goes again, covering the same old ground”.
The truth is that the reason your spouse repeats him/herself could well be a learned habit. You might have taught them very early on that you don’t really listen or pay attention to them when they talk. They may have developed the habit of repeating themselves just because they don’t think they are ever really being heard.
If that’s the case, it will take some time to reverse the trends, both them repeating themselves and you really learning to listen effectively. Having a counselor help the two of you form more effective methods of communication is a great idea too. Just re-learning some habits can make a world of difference, and with a counselor it’s far less likely that the two of you will get angry or defensive when you hear something less than flattering about yourself.
Communicating in Marriage Requires Truthfulness
Another common problem is that one spouse is afraid to really tell the other how they feel. They may be afraid that their spouse will get angry or defensive, or they may be afraid that they will be mocked. Again, this is a pattern of behavior that has likely been in practice since the start of your marriage, but in the beginning the two of you were so in love that you chose to ignore it. Now, years later (and with some built up resentments) it’s harder to ignore.
This too will take some time to overcome and some practice to re-learn habits and patterns of behavior. You may want to get a counselor to help you with this problem too. Again, it’s a good idea to have a counselor point you both in the right direction and help keep the peace when necessary.
I know it sounds obvious, but most people don’t really think of it, but communicating in marriage starts with each individual in the marriage. If one or both of you has trouble really talking, or listening, than this is likely a lifelong problem and it will take some serious time and commitment to unlearn your bad habits and relearn better ones.
If you feel the communication is suffering, then there’s a good chance you’re beginning to feel your husband moving away from you. You want to rebuild the bond and get him to see the many ways in which you need him. Jeffrey Mark Levine created a program just for you – The Good Husband Toolbox. Take a look and start your work on communicating in marriage->