Question, I want you to think how many times you have heard “Communication is the biggest key to any relationship.” We all know it is important, but let’s face it – communicating with your spouse or partner can be difficult at times.
To go further there are “THOSE” crucial conversations that are especially tricky when you aren’t sure if it’s going to lead to a fight or argument of sorts. I know for me I always dread the finance conversation...early on it was almost a guaranteed “fight”, fortunately now after over a decade of marriage we’re down to a 50/50 (and at times 25/75) chance of it going south!!!
So whether you fall into the classically defined finances, sex, parenting arguments, or have your own “favorite” argument’s, here are 3 tips to help you communicate more effectively today with your spouse.
1: Show empathy and understanding
Your spouse wants to know they have someone in their corner that gets them. Heck! We all want that! Show your spouse that you care and that you understand what they are going through. We all can relate to each other, even if we haven’t walked in their exact path. Most of us have felt the pangs of disappointment, or the crushing weight of failure. Most of us know what it’s like to feel sad or be struck with frustration. You may not have experience with exactly what your spouse is going though, but you likely have experience with whatever the emotion is they are experiencing. Put yourself in the EMOTION of what they are feeling and empathize with what it could be like for them. Don’t try and solve their problem – just sit in whatever the emotion is that they are experiencing.
2: Don’t get defensive – be curious instead
When our spouse gives us feedback about something we might not agree with, avoid getting defensive or attacking them. Get curious about why they feel the way they do or how solving the problem their way makes sense to them. Create understanding for their side of the discussion. When they feel understood by you, they are more open to seeing things from a different perspective. If you argue with them about why their way is stupid or isn’t going to work or doesn’t make sense, the more closed they become.
3: Spend time together talking
Make intentional time for you to just talk. Plan a date night or a time etched out of your week to talk. Show genuine interest in your partner, their interests and hobbies. Talk about things other than the kids, or details of the week. Give direct eye contact to your partner, which does mean that you have to put down your phone, shut off the TV, close the book, put the kids down early. Another favorite of mine is to either go for a walk or a drive with just your partner; forcing yourselves to be alone. Do whatever it takes to make and spend quality time together.
Always remember to be respectful and kind to each other. It’s tough enough to communicate over the little things in life, when it comes to the difficult things, be sure to lift each other up and support each other. Remember you are in this together!
Sometimes all you need is a little push to get the conversation started, if you are looking for that little nudge perhaps we could give some help click the button below!