Good, open communication is vital for a healthy marriage, but modern life is busy and packed with commitments. It's easy for couples to sacrifice spending time investing in their relationship in order to stay on top of other obligations, but without healthy communication, it can be difficult for couples to make it through the inevitable tough times. If you're concerned you and your spouse have been drifting apart, give these three suggestions for improving communication a try:
Date Your Spouse
Remember back when you and your spouse were dating? You were getting to know each other, asking each other questions and really listening to the answers. Having a weekly date night with your spouse without the distractions of work, the kids, your phone and social media can help you reconnect and get to know what's going on in each other's life again. Dating your spouse gives you a dedicated time slot to share your current dreams and struggles with each other and talk about any problems you've been having. It may feel a little awkward the first few times you do it, but stick with it and you'll find yourself getting excited about this quality time together.
Complete A Project Together
You might be tackling life together as a team, but daily tasks, such as managing household finances or getting the kids off to school, can become monotonous. Completing a fun project together that you both have an interest in is a great way to improve communication. No project can successfully be achieved without strong communication and teamwork, and focusing on a project together can help you develop new ways of communicating that can be continued after the project is completed. If you're worried about bickering, set some ground rules to ensure you communicate with each other in a healthy way whenever you're working on your joint project. For example, you may want to agree that feedback will be constructive and you'll find something to praise each other about after every session spent on the project. It may be helpful to think about how you would treat a colleague at work and afford each other the same respect.
See A Marriage Counsellor
Attending counselling as a couple allows you to explore what's at the root of the communication issues in your marriage in a safe, neutral space. You'll be provided with the opportunity to examine weak areas in your marriage that have damaged your once healthy way of communicating with each other. The counsellor will support you and provide mediation as you work on improving and strengthening the key components of healthy communication, such as trust and conflict management, and resolving issues and past hurts that have negatively impacted your marriage. It's typical to attend counselling once a week initially, but as you progress and start prioritising healthy communication again, the frequency of the sessions will decrease. Booking an appointment with a counsellor may seem daunting, but getting professional support is a positive step for your relationship.
Investing the time and energy required to improve the communication in your marriage is unlikely to be easy or without personal sacrifice, but being proactive and committing to improving your marriage will bring worthwhile rewards and strengthen the bond you have with your spouse.Share
21 June 2016
I am getting married this year to a great guy. I really want this to work out and one of the things that worry me is that I don't want the issues from my family to affect our relationship. My parents had a really traumatic relationship as my father is a heavy drinker and was often unfaithful. I often have trouble trusting my partner and I know that the reason is due to my family background and not anything that he has done. I've been going to counselling to work through my issues and I hope that you will join me on my journey.