Communication is important in any relationship, but especially important when it comes to marriage. Together we form a life-long partnership that is unlike any other we will experience.
Every marriage has its own nuances and complexities and navigating these can be challenging. All marriages go through their ups and downs, but the key to long-term success is communication – how couples discuss their issues are essential to a fulfilling marriage, and a lack of communication or miscommunication can easily lead to a breakdown in a marriage.
Open and honest communication shows that we trust each other implicitly as we open ourselves up to being vulnerable.
We often tend to think of communication in verbal terms, but communication encompasses all aspects of a successful marriage. How you show your love, and whether or not you act in a trustworthy and honest manner, all fall under that all-important cornerstone of any marriage – communication!
Successful communication comes in many forms
There are many different ways we communicate within a marriage, some couples are so in sync that they can convey their feelings or thoughts through a simple gesture or expression. Verbal communication is how we express our emotions, thoughts, and desires through our words.
Many of us find it easy to communicate positive things but the battle in the face of potential conflict but this is when effective communication is most important. When we are unhappy with something and don’t address it immediately, we are inadvertently keeping our dissatisfaction hidden which can lead to feelings of frustration and resentment. And these issues won’t go away on their own.
We all have an inherent need to be heard and the quality of our listening plays an important role in communication. We need to ensure that we aren’t thinking of how to respond while we listen or just waiting for our spouse to finish so that we can talk. Really listen!! . James 1:19-20 says, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
Understanding our partner’s needs is crucial to a successful marriage and this can only occur through effective communication. Showing our love is important but everyone enjoys hearing those magic words, “I love you.”
Non-verbal communication plays an equally important role. Our body language communicates also our thoughts and feelings and if our verbal and non-verbal communication are not aligned, we can come across as insincere. It’s not always easy to control our body language but we can become more aware, especially when it comes to the basics like crossing our arms or legs which can indicate that we are not open to what is being said.
Non-verbal communication can also indicate if we are actually listening and making eye contact is one way of showing that we are engaged.
Physical acts also form part of how we communicate and that old adage, “actions speak louder than words” is very true. Physical acts need not be extreme, it’s often simple acts that create the biggest impact. Simple and thoughtful acts communicate that we are thinking about each other and that the other person is important to us. It can be something as simple as making our spouse a cup of coffee in the morning, taking out the trash, or making their favorite meal.
Is communication really that important?
Effective communication is more about the quality of our communication than quantity. There is no need to have deep meaningful conversations on a daily basis, it is more about expressing our feelings, valuing our partner, and addressing issues as and when they arise.
When we communicate openly and honestly, we give our spouse an opportunity to gain important insights in terms of our perceptions, our views, and how we think. It helps us get to know each other on a deeper level. Miscommunication can happen easily but when we have built a foundation of open and honest communication, these can be cleared up easily.
Open communication also builds trust and respect and these are two very important attributes of any marriage. When we show our honesty and vulnerability through open communication we are showing that we trust and respect our spouse. Trust is built by being vulnerable and honest and respect is always gained as a result.
Communicating effectively also saves time as we no longer waste time wondering what has upset the other. It also prevents small issues from developing into large ones. When we keep our frustrations hidden, they have a tendency to grow and this often lands with us getting upset over something completely unrelated like leaving the cap off the toothpaste.
Couples who have mastered the art of communication are more likely to grow as individuals and as a couple, than those who haven’t. Communication strengthens our relationship and the more we get to know someone and share ideas, the closer we will grow together.
We often think of only going to a marriage therapist when communication has already broken down but a marriage therapist is perfectly positioned to help us learn and improve our communication skills, thereby laying down that firm foundation.
No marriage is perfect and disagreements are bound to occur and most times it is over small things. Conflict in a marriage is unique and complex as we generally know our spouses very well, especially what triggers them, how they react in different situations, and most importantly how to calm them down.
Couples often have challenges with communication when it comes to contentious issues like finances, parenting, and intimacy to name a few. And at times we may even feel we are having the same argument over and over again.
When communication is not working in a marriage, counseling is the perfect choice to resolve conflicts and improve communication. Marriage counseling provides a safe space where we can communicate our personal challenges or concerns. Your counselor does not only act as a mediator but also will help you express yourself and listen more effectively.
We are all capable of learning new behaviors, we just have to be willing to put in the time. Often arguments continue because of our egos and our pride. Fortunately, communication skills can be learned. Remember implementing changes and improvements always takes time, so along with communication, we may need to practice a little bit of patience along the way.
As a relationship expert and a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist, Jousline Savra meets with couples who are in a committed relationship, either married or engaged, focusing on improving their marriage or preparing for a lifetime of an authentic loving marriage. Jousline walks you through the steps of diagnosing the health of your relationship and then provides you with ways to improve in areas in which you may be struggling. Give her a call in Rosell, GA today.