We’ve thrown a lot at you over the last few weeks and months about great couple communication. Specifically, what it should look like, how to talk through conflict when it inevitably happens, and, of course, how all of this fits into the bigger picture of having a safe and connected marriage.
Say it with us one more time — positive communication is vital in marriage! It’s the only way we can truly get to know our spouse and truly respond to each other’s wants and needs.
“Two things can destroy any relationship: unrealistic
expectations and poor communication.” — unknown author
Keys to Great Couple Communication
Susan and I just wrapped up a webinar on great couple communication. If you missed it, below are just a few of the keys or secrets to communication. You and your spouse need to think about if you want to have better conversations.
- Understand — The basic definition of “understand” is to perceive the intended meaning of a person and their words. It can also be defined: to interpret or view something in a particular way. Within the framework of marriage, it also means that we allow our partner to influence how we think (cognitively). And also how we feel (emotionally). We want our spouses to know that they have been heard and understood. Also, remember that understanding comes first, then solutions. You can’t fix something unless you truly understand what is going on.
- Meaning — When we communicate something, whether it be through words, text, a concept, or our actions, the person hearing it should be able to understand what we really mean. But that doesn’t always happen in marriage. What we meant to say often gets misconstrued or isn’t perceived the way we intended, either because we aren’t communicating that message clearly enough or because our spouse wasn’t listening. As couples, we must learn to express or recognize the deeper meaning behind each other’s words and actions.
- Compassion — Compassion needs to be a huge part of every conversation we have. We must open our hearts and show compassion when our spouse is in distress. It is then that we can work together to alleviate any issues.
More Keys to Great Communication
- Generosity — We all know what generosity is, but what we don’t consider is how much of an impact small acts of generosity play. (Making your spouse a cup of coffee, a little back rub while watching the evening news, etc.). Through actions, we are communicating our love for one another. As a result, couples who practice showing generosity toward each other tend to have happier marriages and communicate better long-term.
- Empathy — The best way to describe empathy in couple communication is when we say things like, “You’re not alone.” Or, “I know what it’s like, and I am very sorry you are in this situation.” Empathy is the ability to “feel” with people. Brene Brown says there are four characteristics to empathy: taking another person’s perspective. Plus avoiding judgment, recognizing emotion in other people, and communicating that. This can be through conversation or simply being there for them (without saying anything) in their time of need.
- Work Talk/Heart Talk — We’ve written at length about work talk vs. heart talk. Work talk and heart talk are the two languages we as couples speak. Each is important to ensure great communication in a marriage, but therein lies the rub: which talk does your spouse need and want in that given moment? Knowing the difference and responding accordingly can help you and your spouse avoid a ton of miscommunication.
You can get your hands on two short videos Mike put together to see work talk and heart talk in action by clicking here.
All we are saying here is that communicating positively with your spouse is a bigger piece to the happy marriage quest than you might think. It is directly tied into everything else we do, and without it, our bond is weakened. Effective communication takes time and lots of practice and both spouses must want to be better at it. We hope this blog post helps as you continue on your journey together.
Our heart is devoted to caring about people and marriages!
Our heart is devoted to caring about people. We want to ensure you have the tools to communicate better in your marriage. The best way we know how to do that is by spreading the word to more people and let them know that we are here.
Did we leave anything out? What are some keys to communication that have worked for your marriage? How have you learned to keep your conversations positive and relationship-focused? Please send us a quick email and help us keep this conversation going. mike@MikeandSusanDawson.com.