Communication in a marriage, at times, can be frustrating. Here are seven tips to improve communication with your spouse and decrease arguing.
How to Improve Communication in a Marriage and Decrease Arguing
Most of us don’t plan on arguing when we communicate with our spouses, but sometimes it happens. Communication in a marriage, at times, can be frustrating. Sometimes you don’t feel listened to or understood. Sometimes you might feel like you can’t express how you feel because it could start an argument. So, how do you communicate with your spouse without arguing?
These seven tips can help you improve communication in a marriage and decrease arguing with your spouse.
Yelling does not set the tone for effective communication in a marriage. It makes the other person defensive. When we use a calm, quiet tone, your spouse is more likely to listen to what we have to say. Think about how you feel when you are yelled at. Do you feel open and willing to listen? Most likely you shut down and want to walk away. Being gentle with each other creates a safe and open atmosphere for communicating.
Use “I” Statements
Don’t blame your spouse for how you feel. Instead of saying things like “you make me…” Say “I feel upset.” If you leave it at that then your spouse will probably ask why. When they do, use positive statements to respond. Things like “I want to spend more time together,” instead of things like, “because you are never around.” Using “I” statements and then expressing what you want in a positive manner will open the door for communicating instead of arguing. Your spouse won’t feel the need to defend him/herself.
Remove all distractions. Turn off the TV and your electronic devices, and really listen to each other. Pay attention to what your spouse is saying. Don’t be preparing how you are going to respond. When you aren’t listening, your spouse can get frustrated and angry which leads to a breakdown in communication in a marriage. By listening, we show our spouses we care and they will appreciate the attention we give them.
Look at your spouse’s concerns from their perspective. Empathize with your spouse. When you are able to see things from your spouse’s point of view, you are better able to understand them and what they are trying to say.
If you don’t understand, clarify. Repeat back to your spouse what he/she said, and ask them if that is what they meant. Allow them to confirm or explain more so that you both are on the same page and understand each other.
Not all communication in a marriage is verbal. Body language speaks volumes as well.
Face your spouse when you are talking. Look him in the eyes, and speak to her face-to-face, not over the phone or through text. When you aren’t looking at your spouse, they can interpret that as not listening or caring about what they are talking about, and they can be hurt which could start an argument. Being aware of body language is important.
Choose The Right Time
Timing is important as well. If there is something that you need to discuss with your spouse, you might not want to try to talk when his favorite football team is playing or when her favorite TV show is on. Let your spouse know you need to talk and schedule a time. When you are in public, it is never a good time to try to have an important conversation either. Keep important conversations private and when you both can give each other your full attention.
Take A Break
Sometimes you come to a point in a conversation where communication has broken down and you both become frustrated. At this point, you both can agree to take a break and revisit the topic later. Set a specific day or time when you will meet and talk about it again. This will give each of you time to reevaluate your thoughts on the matter and think about it a little more. When you come back together to talk, you will have cooled down and have fresh ideas to discuss.
These seven tips are great ways to help you improve the communication with your spouse and decrease the arguing.
Eveliina is an intern currently working with us! She is on her way to getting her degree in Marriage and Family Studies! Eveliina is a wife, a mom, and a grandma. She loves every moment of life. She also has a love for photography and reading!