4 Habits to Change to Improve Communication With Your Spouse

If you and your spouse are having trouble communicating, you are not alone. Communication problems are extremely common in marriage, yet they are problems that should not be left unaddressed. Poor communication skills can cause conflict in marriage and can rob a marriage of its intimacy and oneness. Here are four habits you may have in your marriage that are adding to this problem, and these are things you should consider changing if you want your marriage to improve.

Having a Bad or Sarcastic Attitude

The tone you have when you talk to your spouse sets the stage for what will happen next. Unfortunately, having a bad tone might be normal in your marriage. This is the first thing you and your spouse should work on changing. In order for both of you to feel heard, respected, and loved, you may both need to change your attitudes.

Bad or sarcastic attitudes will lead to fights, whereas kind, gentle, and positive attitudes can lead to positive communication. To change this area of your marriage, you will need to talk about it and determine what the proper ways are to talk to each other. Here are a few tips you could try using to obtain a better and healthier tone in your conversations:

  • Think before speaking
  • Listen more than you speak
  • Use a gentle tone
  • Try to make your spouse feel validated and important when he or she speaks

Aiming to Win Your Fights

A second bad habit many couples have is trying to win fights. If you win a fight, what does that prove? In other words, if you win, your spouse loses, yet this is not how marriage should be. A husband and wife should be one. They are on the same team, which means that you truly only win when both you and your spouse win.

This means that the goal of communicating or resolving conflict is to make sure both spouses feel happy, content, and satisfied with the results. To do this, you may need to stop looking at how you can get what you want out of the marriage, and instead aim to find out what would be best for both of you as a couple. This is called the win-win philosophy, and your marriage will improve if you can both aim for this.

Not Really Listening

Failing to really listen and try to understand where your spouse is coming from is the third bad habit you may need to eliminate from your marriage. Listening means stopping what you are doing and looking your spouse in the eye. It requires full attention, and it requires empathy. Empathy is the ability to see and feel what another person feels, and this is a must-have trait in marriage. If you want to stop hearing your spouse nag you about the same issue over and over, stop and listen to him or her. Find out why this is such a problem, and truly spend the time it takes to solve the issue at hand.

Getting Off Point

Finally, you and your spouse may need to work on one other issue, which involves getting off point. Good communication skills require focusing solely on the issue you are discussing. It can be very easy to get sidetracked during a conversation, but this is a habit you may want to change. Focusing on one issue at a time is a lot easier to do than trying to discuss five things at once. Doing this will require good listening skills and a win-win attitude. It will also involve keeping a good attitude during the conversation.

Developing good communication skills does not happen overnight, but it is a key to a happier marriage. If you would like to receive professional help for your marriage problems, call a counseling center such as Comprehensive Behavioral Health Associates Inc.