What Is Healthy Communication in a Marriage?
If you’re looking for advice on relationship communication, you might also know some of the telltale signs of bad communication in a relationship: constant fights, lack of respect, or stonewalling. But what about the signs of healthy communication? With the importance of communication in marriage being so critical, it’s valuable to know when you and your partner are doing things right—or when you might need a little work. So what is effective communication in marriage? Let’s look at good examples of communication and some solutions, like marriage counseling, that might help it get even better.
What Are the Qualities of Good Communication in Marriage?
Good communication in a marriage can look different for every couple, but ultimately it comes down to being respectful of your partner and being clear about your own feelings and needs. However, there are some signs of effective communication in a marriage you should always look for in your relationship.
- Listen to your partner when they’re speaking—and don’t interrupt! It can be easy to listen to respond, rather than listen to understand. But when you take the time to hear what your partner is saying, you can give them the space they need to clearly explain their wants, needs, and concerns.
Tip: You can show your partner you’re actively listening by maintaining eye contact and nodding your head rather than being distracted by technology or a wandering mind. Alternatively, you can repeat their point back in your own words to show you understand and create a moment to clarify any misunderstandings.
- Think before you speak, even in moments of frustration or hurt. It can be easy to say the wrong thing if you respond reactively. However, it’s important to take a step back and think about what you want to say and how you want to say it. Remember, after you say something you can’t take it back. If you say something hurtful, it can be hard to redeem yourself. You should express your negative feelings in a constructive way.
Tip: Communicate with your partner about how you’re feeling during tense conversations. Avoid attacks or malicious responses.
- Talk about small things—good or bad! It’s important to have conversations about your day, what’s new and exciting, or what’s got you down (and not always the big-picture stuff). Nobody wants to talk about serious topics all of the time. In fact, talking about fun things is fun in its own right! Having these conversations can help reaffirm your connection with one another.
Tip: Asking about your partner’s day is a great way to show them you care.
- Be aware of body language and non-verbal cues. Understanding both your and your partner’s body language can help you adjust the way you approach a conversation. How are you and your partner showing your emotions? Are you guarded with your arms crossed? Or are you leaning in and listening to your partner attentively?
Tip: Make sure you take your partner’s non-verbal cues into consideration when having a conversation.
- Express gratitude on a regular basis. It always feels nice to know you’re loved and appreciated by your partner. By communicating your gratitude regularly, you can give your partner confidence and security in your relationship. Not only that, but it will help you both focus on the good things about your marriage and strengthen your connection.
Tip: Tell your partner one thing you appreciate or admire about them every day.
Of course, there are several more qualities of effective communication in a relationship. It’s all about giving each other the space you need to feel comfortable expressing your feelings. It’s okay if you and your spouse don’t always understand each other—sometimes things get in the way. However, poor communication can be a sign of a deeper issue, but there are ways to help you navigate the root of the problem. For example, marriage counseling at Well Marriage Center can help you refocus your marriage on your strengths, rather than what’s holding you back.
What Is the Importance of Communication in a Marriage?
Effective communication enables couples to establish trust, resolve conflicts, share their needs, and forge a deep emotional connection. With open and honest communication, you and your partner can gain a greater understanding of one another, which means greater trust and intimacy. You can also feel more connected to your partner by expressing your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a safe and encouraging environment.
Conflict resolution is also an important skill for marriage. Of course, arguments are bound to happen in every relationship and they can even be healthy, but good communication can help you and your spouse reach respectful and constructive outcomes. This includes clarifying expectations with your partner to avoid misunderstandings. By communicating in the most straightforward way possible, partners may steer clear of assumptions that would otherwise cause arguments and uncertainty.
Overall, if you and your partner prioritize communication, you can establish a lasting and rewarding connection that can last a lifetime. But making communication a priority also comes with exploring the possibility of more in-depth relationship concerns, like lack of intimacy or conflicting approaches to finances. You can address those concerns by reaching out to professionals like us at Well Marriage Center. You and your partner can dig into the problems you’re facing by focusing on what’s working in your relationship. Building a solid foundation on your strengths gives you a well rounded perspective on how you communicate with your partner.
What Is One Way to Create Healthy Communication in a Marriage?
If you feel like you’re having difficulty communicating in a healthy way with your partner, or just want to make a good marriage stronger, it might be time to consider a solution like marriage counseling. Attending couples therapy doesn’t mean your marriage is unsuccessful—or that you’re alone. In fact, about 50% of couples try counseling at some point in their marriage.
If you’re looking to rejuvenate your marriage, Well Marriage Center provides a strengths-based approach to counseling. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of your marriage—and communication—we help you restore your relationship based on your successes. You’ll also get marriage communication tools to help strengthen your connection. If you’d like to deepen your relationship, connect with our intake coordinator, Melinda, and get started on your counseling journey!