Guest post by Kate Tekurio Katable.com, @KTekurio
Every couple could improve in some areas of their marriage.
Learning how to communicate better with your spouse is definitely one many need to improve on.
Communication is key to a successful marriage.
If you do not know how to communicate effectively with your spouse, many other vital aspects of your marriage will falter.
A lack of good communication can lead to resentment toward one another. Once resentment starts, it can almost be never-ending.
It eats at our souls and bugs us until one day we explode.
In some cases, when resentment is never fixed, couples find it hard to remain together.
Communicating in a way your spouse feels loved and understood eliminates those feelings of anger and resentment.
It helps bring you closer together with your spouse and makes your marriage able to withstand whatever comes your way.
How to Communicate Better with Your Spouse
Learning how to communicate with your spouse will take time. It is also very different for every couple.
However, there are a few ways to strengthen your communication that are the same for everyone. Here are two of my favorite ways to strengthen communication in your marriage.
Listening is vital to any communication. When we do not listen we simply cannot understand anyone or anything.
In a marriage, not only do we have to listen to our spouse to know and understand what they are going through but to let them be heard.
Sometimes it is the simple act of being heard that resolves some instances. Othertimes more is needed.
It is usually pretty easy to see when someone is acting like they are listening but their mind is elsewhere. It truly hurts when you’re on that end.
Here are a few ways to build your listening skills.
Practice is the best way to achieve success in anything. The more you practice the more natural listening will be.
Choose times throughout the day to focus on your spouse. Make the sole purpose of the conversation to listen to them.
One- Minute Exercise
If you are struggling to listen, try a one-minute exercise with your spouse. Let them know you will only listen to what they say. Then set a timer.
Oftentimes when you try to listen to your spouse it can become overwhelming. The longer they talk the more you find your mind wandering.
Having to listen for just one minute at a time helps to focus solely on your spouse and can better your communication very quickly.
When you get into that natural habit, try lengthening the time. Eventually, it will become a solid habit and you won’t need the timer.
Rewrite Thinking/ Be Intentional
When you find your mind wandering, stop for a moment and rewrite your thinking. Tell yourself that you are here to listen and will listen.
Correcting your thinking will help your mind to rewrite the thought process so you don’t tune out your spouse.
When you are intentional in when you want to listen, it also helps to rewrite those thought processes in order to remain listening to your spouse.
If you are always tired when you talk with your spouse, try to change when you have conversations.
Pillow talk right before bed is usually the easiest especially when you have kids. However, it might not always be effective.
When you are tired you have to work harder to listen. Try talking in the morning or right after lunch.
When you do things together, it naturally brings you closer together.
Going through a similar experience will help you to have more to talk about and the conversation is usually a lot deeper.
There are a few things you can do to strengthen those activities and further your communication.
Research has shown that baking from scratch bonds a couple together.
This is because when you bake from scratch things are bound to go wrong. The flour might spill or you over bake the cookies.
Whatever the case may be, things will happen. Then, it allows you to work through those “hard times” together.
Those scenarios will not be hard at all. But it helps build those times to work through something together so when hard challenges come, you already can work together effectively.
- Adrenaline Rush
Doing something that makes your heart race and builds adrenaline is another way research shows to bring a couple closer together.
After doing something scary or exhilarating, you and your spouse can talk about each of your perspectives with that activity.
Yes, the experience is the same, but the perspectives will always be different. It will also be easier to put yourself in your spouse’s shoes, as you went through the experience as well.
- Date Nights
Date nights always help you to focus on one another and communicate.
When you have kids, it often is difficult to have regular date nights.
However, it is still possible. Here are a couple of date night ideas you can do with kids.
Try to set a time each week, or month to hold a regular date night whether you leave the house or not.
Be focused on one another. Do a fun activity and then simply talk. You’ll see how easy and fun it is to talk with one another.
Learning how to communicate better with your spouse is vital for a long and happy marriage. The sooner you learn, the happier you’ll be.
Kate is a mom of two children and has been married for 4 ½ years now. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and hopes to continue to become a virtual therapist. Kate met her husband while in college and quickly fell in love. However, being from two completely different cultures (US and Tahiti) they had to work hard to overcome differences and make their own family culture. Kate’s blog is all about being mentally stable in your relationship and as a mother.