For so many couples, regardless of how long they’ve been together, what they’ve been through, what their specific problems may be… There’s one common issue that runs through nearly every relationship… Something that can stand to be improved for pretty much every couple under the sun…
That idea of openly talking about the good and the bad, sharing experiences, expressing appreciation (or concern), and just having an ongoing dialogue with your spouse is essential to staying happily connected – but what about when it falls apart?
For any range of reasons – and sometimes a complex combination of reasons – couples stop communicating, and because of the silence, the relationship suffers. In fact, it doesn’t have to be a full shut down in communication to cause a problem. If you’re just talking about the run of the mill, mundane stuff – not how you feel, how you’re doing, showing an interest in your spouse’s life, and so on – you’re not really communicating.
So, if this is the case, what can you do?
It comes down to one very simple fact: the key component of communication is listening. If you want your spouse to open up about their feelings, about what’s wrong in the marriage, about what’s caused this change in communication – you have to ask questions…
Here’s the hard part, though: once you ask the question, you have to truly listen.
This means no interruptions, no defending yourself, no arguing about the details of what your wife or husband is saying. This is not the time for any of that. The point is to open a wide channel for them to get their ideas and opinions out.
Your role here is to listen and understand – nothing more.
Be mindful of your nonverbal reactions, reserve judgment, and ask questions that will allow your spouse to open up.
Ask that your spouse keeps it civil, avoiding personal attacks or mocking, and to keep things as on-topic as possible. Deal with one issue at a time. Similarly, don’t view this as a time to argue “your side” when the other person is finished making a point. Trust that you can get to that at another time – this is all about getting your spouse to open up and communicate.
Most of the time, people want their opinions heard – they just don’t speak up because of fear or consequences, because they don’t want to “rock the boat,” or because they don’t think they will be taken seriously. With all of this in mind, it’s your job to put those worries at ease.
You can assure your spouse that this will be a “safe” conversation – that you truly want to hear what they have to say – whatever that may be.
For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!