A good LDS marriage counselor will tell you that many marriages rise and fall by the level and type of communication spouses have with each other. Healthy, open communication between people in a relationship is a good indication that the relationship is healthy. If you are pretty sure that your marriage is okay in most other respects but that the right kind of communication between you and your spouse is lacking, then your problems may run deeper than you suspect. Here are some ways you can improve communication between you and your significant other and make your marriage more fulfilling:
▶ Set Aside Time To Talk
As time goes on in a marriage, it’s easy to slip into a routine that takes you from rushing past one another on the way out of the house in the morning to sitting on the couch in the evening focusing on television or the internet. Your spouse deserves your undivided attention as often as possible. Put down the remote or the iPad, put the kids to bed and talk. You don’t have to discuss anything earth-shattering, just the day’s events or work or something you saw in the news. Good communication is a skill that needs practice and often some fine-tuning.
▶ Talk About Your Feelings
It’s true that not everyone has the ability to open up and share their emotions; but if you’re in a relationship, you must make an effort to talk about how you’re feeling. Don’t wait until you’re with your LDS marriage counselor to share what you’re feeling. Showing your emotions to your spouse is another level of the intimacy that marriages are built on. Sharing your feelings doesn’t begin and end with “I love you;” it also means sharing feelings of anger, frustration and sadness so that these feelings – toward your spouse or others – don’t build up until they become explosive.
▶ Discuss Financial And Family Matters
Financial problems and disagreements about children, relatives and other matters are often the reason that couples separate. You must always be open about financial matters and not try to hide any financial mistakes or commitments you’ve made without your spouse’s knowledge. In addition, talking openly and honestly about issues with children and relatives will ensure that they don’t become festering wounds.
▶ Don’t Blame Your Spouse For Your Feelings
When talking to your husband or wife, be careful not to say, “You made me feel this way.” No one can make you feel a certain way; you choose how you’re going to feel and react to what someone else says or does. When you think you’re discussing a problem with your spouse but you blame them for any negative feelings you’re having, they can become angry and shut down.
An LDS marriage counselor can help you to keep the lines of communication open in your relationship. Call Insight Child & Family Counseling at (972) 426-9500 or visit www.j9n.83e.myftpupload.com to make an appointment.