Are you going through a difficult time right now? If so, bottling up your emotions can make you feel like somebody you don’t even recognize. Worse still, keeping your thoughts to yourself can cause you to take your stress out on your romantic partner.
Relationship communication is key to having a successful relationship.
Not only will being open and honest help prevent resentments and misunderstandings, but it’ll also help you get to know each other on a deeper level. That’s why we’re showing you 7 tips for healthy relationship communication, no matter which side of the talk you’re on.
1. Choose an Opportune Time
If you have something weighing on your mind, it’s important to get it out in the open.
However, you’ll want to choose an ideal time to have a serious conversation with your partner about whatever is bothering you.
For example, if you want to talk about something with your spouse, but such a topic has the potential to turn into an argument, you wouldn’t want to bombard your spouse with it the moment they come home from work.
In this scenario, your partner is probably tired, hungry, and emotionally exhausted from their long day.
A more optimal time to chat about something important with your spouse is when you’re both feeling relaxed and are getting along. Perhaps after dinner while sitting on the couch together.
2. Watch How You Say Things
It can be easy for your spouse to get upset with you if you start your discussion out by attacking them, so be mindful of your tone when you start speaking.
Instead of saying “You never help me around the house!” try saying “I love how hard you work to help support our family, but I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind helping me with the dishes tonight?”
This is sure to deescalate a potentially argumentative discussion.
3. Encourage Dialogue Often
One way that couples can get better at relationship communication is by making time for it regularly. Have a monthly or bi-monthly “relationship check-in” time together.
Put aside a half hour each month for talking about your relationship. This is a time where you can talk about any issues you’re having in the marriage, but don’t feel like check-in time has to be all negative or tense. You can easily use this time to discuss things that are going well in your relationship.
For example, congratulate each other on how much better you’re doing at communicating or show appreciation for your spouse’s wonderful qualities.
This can be beneficial for the relationship, too, since studies show that showing gratitude for one another is a high predictor in relationship happiness.
The deeper you get into your discussion, you may find you need more time than thirty minutes. Add and subtract communication time as needed.
4. Be Honest
It isn’t always easy to be honest with your spouse, especially if what you have to say might hurt or upset them in some way. Still, it’s important to be completely honest with your spouse when you are communicating.
If you don’t, then you aren’t really getting to the issues at hand.
5. Don’t Let Things Escalate
One way you can practice healthy relationship communication is by keeping your cool during your conversation.
It can be difficult to hear perceives slights from your spouse or to be told that you’re not doing something good enough in your relationship, but you can’t fix something that you don’t know exists.
Therefore, refrain from:
- Throwing a temper tantrum
- Going to bed angry
- Using guilt as a weapon
- Purposely saying things to hurt your spouse
Do not use disagreements as an excuse to yell at, insult, or belittle your spouse. Instead, let cooler heads prevail and see this as an opportunity to fix a relationship issue as partners.
If you feel yourself getting upset or angry, take a five-minute time out to cool off and really think about why your partner feels this way. Then come back together after the five minutes and have a calm and respectful conversation.
6. Listening and Empathy Play their Parts
If you want to have successful relationship communication, you must be willing to listen to what your partner has to say. Listening without interruption also shows your spouse that you are attentive, focused, and respectful of what they have to say.
Don’t be afraid to ask your partner for confirmation on their feelings. After they finish telling you something, say, “If I understand you correctly, you are saying that you…”
Checking in like this shows your partner that you really care about what they’re trying to tell you and that you are taking the appropriate steps in order to see things from their point of view.
Having empathy is another game-changer in the world of communication.
If you are giving your partner fake sympathy or understand, they’ll be able to tell. Try your best to see where they’re coming from and empathize with how they must be feeling, even if you don’t agree.
7. Show Respect
Stay focused and connected while you communicate as a couple. This shows respect for the subject matter at hand and makes your spouse feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings with you.
Since one study found that 46% of the 308 individuals polled, often felt they were being snubbed by their spouse in favor of technology while many other couples will find it helpful to turn off their smart devices/tablets, televisions, and close laptop screens while communicating with a spouse.
Relationship communication is essential if you want to have a happy, healthy partnership for years to come.
Couples must be able to share their fears, goals, and desires with one another in order to grow. Great communication involves more than just talking. It’s also essential to show respect, empathy, and learn how to problem-solve effectively.
Author Bio: Rachael Pace is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.