Communication is vital to a long and healthy relationship between you and your partner. However, it can be a difficult skill to master. When couples enter counseling for marital problems, a top priority is usually developing better communication between them.
Nobody is perfect. When you remember this fact, you'll be ahead of the game even as you work to strengthen your communications. Nobody else thinks the way you do; that's why no matter how perfectly matched you and your partner are, you still need to maintain a healthy level of communication.
Try these strategies to communicate better with your partner:
1. Be honest. Honesty is always the best policy. This is because your relationship is built on trust. If you violate that trust, it'll damage the communication between the two of you. It's more difficult to express yourself when you feel like there isn't that basis of trust.
2. Listen well. Communication is a two way street and listening is half the equation. When you're good at listening, you become good at interpreting and understanding your partner's underlying feelings. When you understand your partner, you're less likely to get into petty arguments because you'll know where they're coming from in the first place.
3. Let your partner finish what they're saying. Whether you're in the middle of an argument, or your partner's just telling a story, be sure to hear them out. Listen to everything they have to say before you try to get some words in too.
This will tell your partner that they're important and what they have to say is worth listening to. If you jump in and interrupt, you'll send the opposite message.
4. Share your feelings. Learn how to express your feelings with regularity. If it helps, schedule some time every week to check in with each other emotionally. It keeps you connected to your partner and you'll both always know the status of the other person.
5. Make time for each other. It's also important for your communications to share special time together. Perhaps you have similar interests and can bond over certain activities. Maybe you can schedule a date night where you can grab dinner together on a regular basis.
Especially if your partner is going through a tough time, it's important to clear out space in your schedule to support them and reinforce how much they mean to you.
6. Avoid reacting in anger. When you disagree, as all couples do from time to time, learn how to express your opinions in a healthy way. Avoid name-calling and take time to cool down if you have to. This is especially important if you tend to say things you don't mean in the heat of an argument.
When you and your partner communicate well together, it strengthens your bonds of friendship and deepens your relationship. You connect on a deeper level and care about each other's thoughts, feelings, dreams, and goals.
Even though it may take some work to bring about this deeper communication, the benefits are well worth it. Give these strategies a try, incorporate them into your daily life, and enjoy a new closeness as you take on the world together!