How to Succeed at Effective Communication With Your Spouse

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How often do you find common ground with your partner during a fight? How many times did you go to bed putting aside a challenging discussion as it seemed that there was no way of finding a solution? Do you tend to feel ignored and not understood whenever you argue with your partner? 

Navigating communication effectively is a tough endeavor but no matter what, all long-term couples need to learn this skill. Having effective conversations is a must if you want to have a long fulfilling relationship. This is exactly what we will focus on today. Here are five tips for communicating effectively with your partner constructively.

Tip 1: Figure out your true feelings

When we experience a negative emotion as a result of something our partner did that we dislike, it seems justified to bring it up immediately for discussion. However, in these cases, the first step should be figuring out what you are truly experiencing to gain clarity in your mind. 

You may have arrived back home after a long day of work only to find out that your partner had forgotten to take the trash. Our first impulse in this case is to start complaining, accusing our partner of never helping around the house. Instead of choosing this path, try to first connect to your feelings. 

Ask yourself, “How does this make me feel?” Generally speaking, there are six main emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, and disgust. Figuring out which one you’re experiencing right now is the first step to setting up a healthy conversation. 

Of course, humans can experience more than six feelings, such as disappointment and frustration. Did you know that there are over 34,000 feelings (Goleman and Dalai Lama, 2004)? Yet we always end up using the same ones. Here is a useful link to some of the most common human feelings to help you figure out what you’re experiencing.

Tip 2: Communicate your feelings

Once you have identified your emotions, you can use them to start your conversation with your partner instead of opening the discussion by assigning blame. For instance, instead of saying “You never help around the house” try something, such as “I felt frustrated when I saw the trash was still here. I am feeling abandoned as I have the impression that I am left alone to take care of the house.”

Avoid the word ‘You’ and instead focus on your feelings. This will prevent your partner from going into defence mode and instead help you focus the conversation on your emotions. Usually, it’s easier for the recipient in this discussion to see how something they overlooked made you upset without having to take the blame. Now they can understand how their actions can impact the one they love and avoid conflict. 

Tip 3: Give up the need to be right

At times when a fight starts we tend to forget about the actual argument and put all our efforts into being right. When we adopt this attitude, we are no longer seeing the fight as a common problem that we need to address to find a solution together. Instead, we see the issue at hand as a win-or-lose situation. For us to win, our partner needs to lose. 

Instead of adopting this mentality, try to see the problem as a common enemy you and your partner need to fight together. Remember, you are not against each other, you’re on the same team! To adopt this mentality you need to give up the need to always see yourself as the right person as your partner has the wrong one. This will help you become more objective and find common ground. 

Tip 4: The three reasons rule

Evidence suggests that whenever an argument arises in a couple we tend to immediately look at the negative evidence related to what our partner did rather than the positive. According to research, this is a natural mechanism we all share but it surely doesn’t lead to conflict resolution.

Instead of finding reasons why your partner is wrong, push yourself to adopt their perspective. A way to help you step in your partner’s shoes is to actively try to find three reasons why their point of view on the matter at hand is right. This will help you acquire perspective on the issue and help you find a compromise together by being open to all possibilities.

Tip 5: Truly listen with your heart and not just your ears

They say women are better at listening, but is this really the case? How many times did you find yourself thinking about what to answer to win an argument while your partner was still talking? Learning how to truly listen to what your partner has to say is fundamental if you want to solve a conflict. 

Make sure to also pay attention to their tone of voice and their body language rather than merely to their words. Experts believe that 55% of communication is non-verbal, 38% is expressed through our tone of voice and only 7% consists of words. There may actually be a ‘heart message’ hiding in our partner’s words that may become evident only when you pay attention to their tone of voice and body language. 

Lastly, make sure to show your partner you’re truly listening to them by saying the magic words: “I hear you” and nothing else. Sometimes the simple act of acknowledging your partner’s words shows you truly care and respect what they’re saying without having to prove your point. Establishing a safe space for you each to be heard goes a long way in the preservation of a happy relationship.

Conclusion

In mastering the art of effective communication with your spouse, the journey towards a fulfilling and enduring relationship becomes a shared endeavor. A willingness to grow in this area takes courage, commitment and compassion. Ultimately, these five tips pave the way for resilient communication, essential for the longevity of any loving relationship.

Author’s Bio
Tanya Larrain is a passionate and dedicated marriage transformation coach for women. With a firm belief that marriages are worth transforming, Tanya’s mission is to guide and empower her clients to revitalize their love lives. She brings her expertise and joy of coaching to show women how to navigate the challenges and discover the keys to keeping their marriages alive. Tanya’s unique approach includes strategies and techniques to bring back the happiness and excitement in their relationships, ensuring that her clients experience long-lasting and fulfilling partnerships. Her commitment to women thriving makes her a sought-after coach in the field of marriage transformation. For more information visit tanyalarrain.com.

The post How to Succeed at Effective Communication With Your Spouse appeared first on Wellbeing Magazine.

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