Looking to improve your couples communication and build a deeper connection with your partner? Read our comprehensive guide below.
in this guide, you will find out the importance of effective communication, and how to communicate better with your significant other.
Remember when everything seemed to flow so nicely and how, at the beginning of your relationship, it all seemed perfect?
Fast forward a year or two after the wedding and the rose-tinted glasses through which you viewed your relationship are now very clear. You start to notice that everything is not as amazing as you hoped it would be. Perhaps what used to be passionate talks whilst laying atop your partner’s chest are now monosyllabic answers.
Maybe your “cute” couple spats have turned into full-blown arguments over the most ridiculous of things. Whatever your situation, you are not alone.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S Census Bureau (as cited in this article), since 1990, 24 couples in every 1000 – aged between 25 to 39 years – call it quits.
Why do so many give up on an institution so revered?
According to Marriage.com, the top 4 causes of divorce are:
- Disagreements over money (which is why we encourage couples to work on improving their financial intimacy)
- Poor communication and
- Constant arguing
Here’s the thing – communication (or the lack of it) plays a very big role in all of the above.
Thus in this guide, you will find out the importance of effective communication, and how to communicate better with your significant other.
Communication lines already are broken? Not to worry. You will also find out how to repair them.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: Importance of Communication in Relationships
- Top Reasons Couples Argue
- Chapter 2: Healthy Communication Skills
- Chapter 3: How to Fix Communication in a Relationship – Effective Communication Techniques
- Chapter 4: Communication Resources for Couples
- Chapter 5: Entrepreneur Couples Share Their Tips on Communication in Relationships
- Chapter 6: Putting The Art of Couples Communication Into Practise
Chapter 1: Importance of Communication in Relationships
Healthy Communication in Relationships – What Does it Look Like?
Healthy communication in your relationship requires both of you to take part. It involves you taking a particular and genuine interest in what your partner is saying and responding in kind. You should also clearly bare your feelings, for a better connection. This lets him know what exactly is going on with you, fostering a deeper connection and better relationship. This relationship, however, is not a static entity. It goes through its ups and downs as it progresses through the various stages. What stages are these? Let’s take a look.
The 6 Stages of a Relationship
According to life and business strategist Tony Robbins, there are 6 clearly defined stages of a relationship. Stage 1: Love and Passion This is the stage when the only thing on your mind is your partner. The chemistry between you is just right and you are invested in the success of your partner. All your actions are geared towards losing yourself in them and helping them achieve. Stage 2: Not Enough Passion You still love each other, but you feel a gaping hole deep within you. It’s something that you wish your partner could fill, but can’t. Stage 3: A Relationship of Convenience As the relationship progresses, the romantic aspect of it has totally dissipated in the third stage. This is a relationship with not much love, not much passion. However, you cannot bring yourself to part ways because you have other connections preventing you from doing so. You stay together for the kids (if you have kids) or because it would be too much of a hassle to disentangle yourself from the shared financial obligations and burdens. “You and your partner may live together, and you may be comfortable, but there is no deep emotional involvement. There may be friction between you, as neither of you feels very loved or wanted, or possibly you have each found ways to meet the majority of your needs outside of the relationship. If the great majority of your attention, focus, and interest is on work, hobbies, family (other than your partner), friends, etc., you are probably in Position Three. What’s difficult about this position is that you may feel your partner is a good person—not good enough to get excited about, not bad enough to leave. “ Stage 4: Planning Your Escape In stage four, you are getting little happiness from the relationship. In fact, you sometimes catch yourself thinking about how great life would be if you were not with your current partner. If you find yourself thinking about this, it is highly likely you’ve considered planning an exit strategy. Stage 5: You Are In A Relationship But Don’t Want To Be In One In the fifth stage, you’re yearning to connect with someone. Despite what you might have gone through with your previous partner, you are still hopeful of finding the right person to complete you. Stage 6: You Are Not In A Relationship And Don’t Want To Be in One At this stage, you have given up on relationships. You have no desire whatsoever to let someone get close to you. You have had a bad experience and do not want to have a repeat of the same. Which stage do you feel you are currently in? Write it down. Awareness is the first step for any positive change.
The 6 Human Needs in Relationship
In Tony Robbins & Cloé Madanes’ Ultimate Relationship Program, they state the following:
“With all the variety of people in the world, everybody shares the 6 Human Needs, although everybody has different ways of meeting these needs. Success in your relationship hinges on your ability to discover which needs your partner values and what has to happen to meet those needs. If you can learn that, you will find the “secret button” that drives your partner crazy (in a good way).”
Let’s take a look at what the 6 Human Needs are, shall we? Here’s Tony Robbins explaining each of the 6 human needs:
Here’s a breakdown of the 6 human needs.
1. Certainty This is the need to be sure that you are going to be comfortable in your relationship i.e. have pleasure devoid of pain. However, for some people, especially those who crave spontaneity, this assurance that everything will be fine can become monotonous and boring. 2. Variety This is the need to have some uncertainty and variety to “spice things up” and keep things in the relationship more interesting. You desire variety and challenges which will exercise your emotional and physical range. 3. Significance It feels good knowing that you are important, special, needed and wanted. 4. Love/Connection This is the need, or yearning, for a deep connection with another human being and a sense of true belonging. 5. Growth It’s been said that “when we stop growing, we die”. This is the need to continually grow in all facets of life – spiritual, emotional and intellectual. 6. Contribution This is the desire to go beyond one’s own needs and give to others. As Tony Robbins says, “Everything in the universe contributes beyond itself or it is eliminated”. Whether it’s time, money or energy (or all three), this contribution makes everything worthwhile and makes you feel like a complete person. Which of these 6 human needs do you feel motivates you first and second? What about your partner? Problems arise when we are not fulfilling each other’s primary and secondary needs within our relationship. Now that you know the stages and human needs in a relationship, hopefully, you’ve identified where your relationship and preferences (as well as your partners) fits in the scheme of things. Let’s take a look at the things that are most likely to make one or both of you flip out. Everything in the universe contributes beyond itself or it is eliminated. [email protected] Click To Tweet
Top Reasons Couples Argue
There are plenty of reasons why couples argue, ranging from disagreements about in-laws, quality time spent together or jealousy. However, there are three top reasons that are bound to send any relationship into disarray. Let’s take a look at those. 1. Sex At some point, there’s typically a disconnect when it comes to this form of intimacy. Your partner might not be as open-minded as you are in the bedroom, or vice versa. You might also not be getting the satisfaction you feel you deserve. 2. Money Couples also argue because of money. Your spending habits might not mirror your partner’s. This disparity often causes huge arguments that can even end the relationship. Related: The Art of Financial Intimacy: How to Manage Your Money as an Entrepreneur Couple 3. Children Another big topic that brings a rift between couples is kids. Specifically, the choice of parenting style. You might be strict in your parenting but your partner is more accommodating. If the kids gravitate towards the more lenient parent, the more strict parent might feel tired of being the “bad guy”. This could then lead to disagreement and a feeling of being left out or unsupported. Fights can even start before the rugrats are born. For example, you might want to name your kid after your grandma, but your partner might prefer to use “North West” as a certain celebrity couple did (true story!). Even if you’re not parents yet you may have differing views on whether or not you both want kids, which religious or cultural system to teach them, or how you want them to be educated. These are all conversations you’ll need to address ASAP.
Chapter 2: Healthy Communication Skills
In order to communicate effectively in any relationship, you will inevitably need to skip over a few hurdles together.
6 Barriers to Effective Communication in Marriage
1. Poor listening skills You might be great at putting your point across but all this counts for nothing if you cannot listen. Watch comedian Ronny Chieng doing a hilarious take of what can happen when one person argues for the sake of being right, rather than working towards being on the same team with their partner. So why do we have poor listening skills after we’re married? It might be that one partner has Spousal Selective Hearing (SSL)! SSL-what? Watch this funny skit to get a better idea. Whilst the skit above is just making fun of a common situation for couples, a recent study suggests that “middle-aged couples are able to tune out each other’s voices selectively so that they can pay more attention to other people”. The good news? That same study goes on to suggest that “the ability to ignore your partner declines with age as older people find it harder to listen to one voice at the expense of another”. In the following short video, you’ll see a couple arguing. Pay attention to the different modes of communication. While the individual words might mean one thing, you have to have a deeper connection to register the entirely different meaning that your partner is trying to convey. How do you develop that connection? Through active listening and clarification! Now if you’re of the belief that just because someone is your significant other, and they’ve spent a whole bunch of time getting to know you, that they should now automatically be able to “get you” i.e. read your mind, then it’s time to lay that myth to bed. As life coach Kira Sabin shared on her Huffington Post article Men Can’t Read Minds, Get Over It:
“As a life coach, I have seen this trend lately where we believe someone loves us more if they can figure out what we are thinking at all times. That they know instantly when we are happy, upset, frustrated, excited, disappointed, etc., and more importantly, they understand why we are feeling those emotions. Because they just “get us”. What? Who told you that crap? If you know who did, take away their wine for a week and send them to bed without their supper! Reality check. People do not show their love by randomly guessing correctly what is going on in that very, very complicated place we call our brain. They show love by asking questions, listening, supporting and learning about who we are.”
By listening properly, you are able to discern the message your partner is sending through. This then improves the quality of the message you are sending through as well. People do not show their love by randomly guessing correctly what is going on in that very, very complicated place we call our brain. [email protected] Click To Tweet 2. Feelings and emotions Another barrier to effective communication is involving feelings and emotions. When you are emotional when communicating, the message can get muddled. Your partner might also not receive your message because he is clouded by emotion. 3. Environment Environmental barriers also affect whether or not your message hits home. If there is too much ambient noise, your partner won’t hear you. If he is distracted, your message won’t come through either. 4. Bad Timing Bad timing also hampers the effectiveness of your communication. You might decide to talk very early in the morning when it is too early for your partner to be alert enough to grasp your message. 5. Perception Perception plays a key role in the way you communicate. Every person perceives a message slightly different from the person delivering said message. For example, he might make a move to initiative some sexual intimacy in the bedroom but you verbalize that you’re tired after a long day, which is actually true. However, he might take this the wrong way and interpret this as you shunning him or not finding him attractive enough. 6. Differences in Meaning I attended a seminar once where, sitting inside of a group of 10 people, we were instructed to write down the first word that came to mind when we heard the word “love”. We were then instructed to go around the circle and each share what word we had written down. We repeated this word association game with the word “sex”. The fascinating thing was that both times there were no two people who had the same word written down. It was a good demonstration of how as humans we are meaning-making machines, and that we each derive different meanings of things based upon our own unique perspectives, experiences, and models of the world. Despite these barriers, there are some tips that you can employ so that you improve the communication between you and your partner.
Relationship Communication Tips
Listening takes up a very important role when it comes to effective communication. Even if your partner says something that can easily set you off, resist from interrupting and let them get their point across. It is also good to consider it as just a difference of opinion and not about you being right and them being wrong. Jennifer J. Uhrlass, an expert in couples’ communication, recommends finding a time when both you and your partner are calm so that you can have a talk that bears fruit. For such a talk you need to be conversant with the 5 levels of communication.
5 levels of communication
(Image Source: scottjeffrey.com) 1. Verbal Level of Communication The most obvious of these levels is verbal communication. It encompasses the numerous words you use when speaking and how you interpret them. Different people interpret words differently depending on the combinations used and the connection between the people who are speaking. 2. Physical Level of Communication The second level is the physical communication. This entails the visual cues that you use when you are talking. For example, many people gesticulate a lot to drive their points home. Others either make direct eye contact or totally avoid it. All these cues add or remove value from the message being put across. 3. Auditory Level of Communication The tone and volume of your voice influence what your partner picks out from your message. For example, take an instance where you are offering advice when your partner has made a mistake. Delivering this advice in a loud and harsh tone is bound to hurt them. Not only does this sting in the moment but it can also lead to other issues in the relationship if not addressed. 4. Emotional Level of Communication Emotions control a lot of the messages you put out. If you are emotional when you are speaking, your partner easily picks up on it. This can easily warp the message, making the recipient interpret it differently from what you intended. 5. Energetic Level of Communication Have you ever listened to public speakers who have that “X-factor”? They can keep a whole crowd captivated but you just can’t tell how they are doing it. This X-factor is a combination of numerous subtle energies and consciousness that draws in the person who is listening. Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was one such orator. Here’s his famous “I Have A Dream” speech. Taking all these factors together, you can improve the communication between you and your partner. The communication with your partner can also greatly improve when you are both familiar with which stage of love you are in, as well as each other’s primary love languages.
The 2 Stages of Love
Dr. Gary Chapman, the author of The 5 Love Languages and Things I Wish I’d Known Before Marriage, shared in an interview with Oprah that there are actually 2 stages of love. As Dr. Chapman explains, there is the blissful start of the relationship that seems magical. We commonly refer to it as the “honeymoon” phase, and this can typically last 1-2 years after the wedding. Unfortunately, however, there’s a phase 2 where you both come down to reality and start noticing things about your partner that you were oblivious to in phase 1. In other words, the honeymoon is over. This stage of love gives a particularly rude awakening to many couples. Related Podcast: Love languages: Is Your Spouse’s Love Tank Full?
The 5 Love Languages – Are you and your partner speaking the same language?
Everyone has their own preferred love language i.e. way of receiving love. Dr. Gary Chapman, who has helped hundreds of couples work through their marriage issues, explains more about this love language phenomenon in this short video here: As Chapman explains, each individual has a preferred love language. It’s how they prefer to receive love. The five love languages are:
- Physical touch,
- Quality time,
- Acts of service,
- Words of affirmation, and
Just by knowing what each of the 5 love languages is, you’ll probably have a strong sense of which is your primary love language already. To be sure, as it’s possible that your primary love language can change (mine did), you can take the free Love Languages Test online. It’s a fun and insightful exercise to take the test with your partner, and guess each other’s answers to each question as you’re going through it. Some prefer to do the test individually and then share results with each other. Do whatever works best for you and your partner. (image source: Shelby Bruno @ Hercampus.com)
Chapter 3: How to Fix Communication in a Relationship – Effective Communication Techniques
According to Gal Szekely and Liron Cohen, a married couple who are both psychotherapists and co-founders of The Couples Center, to be able to communicate effectively you need to master two important relationship skills.
1. Identifying how you feel and why and be able to express it.
There are many feelings including anger, sadness, joy, and fear. Your feelings form in response to events or behaviors that act as triggers. You, therefore need to know why you are feeling the way you are. If you believe your partner has done something to wrong you, examine it deeply. It might be something trivial that you were just overly sensitive to. When you know what you are feeling and why you can then express it. For example, you might be feeling sad whenever your partner comes home and he heads straight for the TV. Open up to her and tell her that you feel sad because you feel you are not appreciated. This openness will change her approach to you, making for more honest communication between you.
2. Listening Non-defensively
The second most important relationship skill is listening to your partner in a non-defensive manner. Let him or her explain their actions. Listen attentively and let them finish what they have to say. Much as it might not make sense to you, try to understand their point of view. For instance, your husband might be settling in front of the TV before talking to you because he has had a long day and the TV calms him down. He might not want to speak out of turn to you because his mind is still working over what happened during the day. Empathize with him and show him that you understand. This will make your relationship stronger. As you are interacting with your partner, you can easily recognize when he is becoming defensive. This shows that the conversation is taking a wrong turn and you should right it. In this short video, Dr. Zakel goes through Gibb’s Supportive and Defensive Climate behaviors that should help you identify defensive communication. You can then change tack and offer support instead.
10 steps to effective couples communication
Here are 10 steps that can lead to effective communication as a couple. 1. Take personal responsibility The only person you can really change is yourself. So work on your skills, become a better listener, and continually practice expressing yourself and your feelings. 2. Choose a comfortable environment Before you start talking, make sure you are both comfortable. Use a neutral location if you are going to discuss a particularly difficult subject. 3. Remove distractions Get rid of all distractions (yes, turn off that phone and social media!) and pay full attention to your partner. 4. Make eye contact Don’t be afraid to make eye contact with your partner. This shows you’re listening. 5. Use first-person sentences to express your beliefs and feelings Start off with “I”, taking some of the burdens of the conversation off of him. 6. Don’t interrupt your partner. Let them get their point across. This makes them feel safe to share and fosters an honest conversation. 7. Check-in Effective communication shouldn’t be a monologue. Check in with your partner, confirming what they are saying. Remove assumptions, and approach with curiosity. Continually seek clarification and understanding. 8. Treat your relationship as its own entity, different to other relationships Keep in mind that what might work for either when communicating with others outside of your relationship might not be good for the relationship as a whole. A good idea is to treat your relationship as its own unique entity when you’re communicating. You need to give your partner the respect that they deserve, and the kind of respect that is only reserved for the most important person in your world. 9. Be collaborative Pose your solutions to specific problems as suggestions, and not as commands or ultimatums. This helps you arrive at a suitable solution to your common problem together. 10. Be willing to listen (especially when you might not like what you hear) Finally, make sure you’re really getting the message that your partner is sending across. Be willing to listen without judgment, and then repeat what you’ve heard in your own words to verify that you’ve got the essence of what’s being shared. You may get it wrong sometimes and that’s ok. This is an ongoing practice, and over time you’ll better understand each other. Understanding Each of Your Love Languages (and How to Use Them To Communicate With Each Other) When your relationship comes off the euphoria of the first stage of love, chances are that you’ll have problems in your communication. To solve this and keep the relationship going, you need to know each other’s preferred communication style. These are the things that make you feel loved and valued in a relationship. When your partner does them, you still feel loved even without that bliss of young love. This clip shows Dr. Gary Chapman advising a couple on love languages and their role in salvaging the duo’s ten-year-old marriage. Problems arise when one partner uses their own preferred love language to communicate love with their partner, and that’s not actually a match for the other person’s primary love language. For example, let’s assume that you took the test and discovered that physical touch is your primary love language. So you might naturally want to hold hands, or hug your spouse – showing public displays of affections. Now if your partner’s primary love language is actually acts of service, all those physical actions won’t register with them as you showing love. What they’d prefer is that you buying groceries for them, cooking dinner, or cleaning the dishes. See how being unaware of yours and your partner’s preferred love language can lead to major communication issues, and one or both people feeling unloved? (Image Source: aspirace.com) Related: 50+ Date Ideas That Fit Your Love Language
Communicating About Tough Issues
When it’s time to have #realtalk i.e. discuss tough or vulnerable issues with your partner, consider the following strategies from the Communication Skills for Healthy Relationships guide: 1. Speak up sooner rather than later. You should talk about any issues as soon as possible so that you can nip them in the bud. 2. Speak in private. Since tough issues are usually sensitive, you should talk in private space where you won’t be overheard or interrupted. 3. Initiate the conversation You may need to be the one to start the conversation. Whilst this can be uncomfortable to do, raising the issue shows that you consider it important enough to talk about. Consider saying something such as “I’d like to get your input on something that I think will help us work together more effectively,” or “I need your help with something. Can we talk about it (soon)?” 4. Think about what you want to say ahead of time Be specific about what the issue is and give concrete examples of things you have observed and the impact they have had on your relationship. If you feel uncomfortable discussing an issue, you may want to practice what you would like to say ahead of time or even role play the conversation with a trusted friend, family member or advisor. 5. Consider your partner’s perspective Getting to know what your partner thinks about the issue gives you their perspective. This also makes them less defensive, which will lead to a more fruitful conversation. 6. Open up and talk about your feelings Let your partner know how the issue at hand makes you feel. 7. Tailor the message Different people need different information, and interpret things differently. In most cases, keeping explanations short and straightforward is a good way to go. 8. Be encouraging, supportive and positive. Don’t try to avoid topics because you are uncomfortable, unsure of the answer or don’t have time to discuss them. Embrace tough conversations, even if you know they are going to make you squirm in your seat. Listen to and be supportive of your partner and get through the issues together. 9. Be honest and patient. Honesty and patience are good virtues for dealing with tough issues. The latter is even more so when the discussion turns hostile. 10. Be prepared for a negative response Remember that the issue may be difficult for the other person to deal with. You cannot control the other person’s reactions, but you can anticipate them, and be emotionally ready. 11. Take a step back If the conversation escalates to being hostile, take a break. Stop and resume the conversation when you are both calm. Communicating on a Deeper Level These tough issues are easier solved when you can communicate at a deeper level. This deeper connection comes from fulfilling each other’s basic human needs. These needs include security, variety, growth, love, and significance. For example, the couple in this video was having a hard time connecting because they were not fulfilling each other’s basic human needs.
Couples Communication Exercises
To improve your communication, you can do a number of couples communication exercises. Below are a few to get you started.
Develop and agree on communication principles
When I was doing my Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner training, we were taught the central and guiding philosophies (or beliefs) of NLP (also referred to as the “NLP Presuppositions). A couple of the NLP presuppositions are as follows:
- A person is not his or her behavior – Don’t assume that how a person behaves is an indication of who they are. Instead, look at the behavior as something that has been learned, and if it’s been learned then it can also be unlearnt. Have you been able to change any of your own behaviors before?
- Behind every behavior lies a positive intention – In most cases, we desire something positive to come from a specific behavior. A common example is someone who smokes because they desire the respect and attention they get from others who also smoke. Can you guess which of the 6 human needs they are trying to fulfill? If you guessed love/connection, then you are correct!
- The meaning of the message is the response that follows – You have to measure your communication by checking that what you have communicated has been received by the other person as intended. If you explain something one way (that you believe is perfectly easy to understand), and the other person doesn’t get it then how you communicated it might be the problem. So you can take responsibility for altering the method of communication and finding a better way to get the message across.
Whilst these principles are not claimed to be true or universal, I do feel that they do help in mastering communication and better understanding each other. An additional principle we use often in our relationship is:
- Fight the problem – not each other! It’s easy to blame each other or say things in the heat of the moment like “you never understand me!”, but that rarely leads to effective communication and the desired result. Instead, take a deep breath and approach the challenge from the perspective of two people on the same team working through a common problem together.
What principles do you and your partner have in place for communication? It’s always worthwhile co-creating and re-visiting them together often.
Active Listening Exercises
There are active listening exercises that place emphasis on hearing out your partner. This involves fighting the urge to interrupt – trying to win instead of coming to a resolution. Active listening also entails keeping track of the visual cues and mannerisms that are non-spoken. They contain about half the message as the spoken words themselves.
Communicate Feelings Using “I” Statements
You can practice conveying your feelings by using statements beginning in “I”. The key is to express what feeling is coming up, and what specific behavior is causing you to feel that way. Structure: “I feel [X] when [Y]”, Where X is a feeling, and Y is a specific behavior. Try these with your partner: “I feel lonely when… “ “I feel disrespected when… “ “I feel disconnected when… “ When you or your partner communicate this way, you help each other identify specific behaviors that undesirable and you can then focus on replacing it with a more desirable behavior. To take this further, you can then suggest an alternative behavior. This exercise takes the accusatory factor out of the statement, letting you take responsibility for your own feelings. Want to print these exercises out so you can do them at home? We’ve put together 10 Exercises for Better Couples Communication in a downloadable and printable PDF. Click here or on the image below to download them now.
Chapter 4: Communication Resources for Couples
You needn’t go through the struggle to achieve good communication alone. There are a number of resources that can set you on your way to improving your relationship.
5 Love Languages Test
As mentioned previously, this is a great tool for identifying yours and your partner’s love languages. Take the free test now.
Couples Communication Books
Here are the recommended books for better couples communication.
- “The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts” By Gary D Chapman
- “Couple Skills: Making Your Relationship Work” By Matthew McKay PhD and Patrick Fanning
- “Deal Breakers: When to Work On a Relationship and When to Walk Away” By Dr. Bethany Marshall
- “The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships” By John Gottman
- “When the Past Is Present: Healing the Emotional Wounds that Sabotage our Relationships” By David Richo
- “Relationships: The Ultimate Guide to Better Relationships! – Communication in Relationships to Handle Dysfunctional Relationships And Create Lasting Relationships” By Mia Conrad
- “I Love You But I Don’t Trust You: The Complete Guide to Restoring Trust in Your Relationship” By Mira Kirshenbaum
- “Love, Sex and Staying Warm: Creating a Vital Relationship” By Neil Rosenthal
- “Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship” By Mira Kirshenbaum
- “47 Little Love Boosters For a Happy Marriage: Connect and Instantly Deepen Your Bond No Matter How Busy You Are” By Marko Petkovic
Couples Communication Workbook
When you feel your relationship slipping through your fingers, you need to work on it. You can use our 10 Exercises for Better Couples Communication workbook to guide you. Download our Couples Communication Workbook now.
“Communicate early, and communicate often”
“For the best communication, know each other’s daily rhythms. For example, my wife liked to have deep conversations at night when we were in bed. But when I get into bed, I fall asleep REALLY fast. Not good for those kinds of conversations ?. But now we are fully aware of our rhythms. So we have the deeper life conversations earlier in the day. We also use “drive time” when dropping the kids off at school to discuss our daily schedules to make sure we’re on the same page. So above all, it’s knowing the best times to have certain conversations and being fully aware of each other’s rhythms..”
“Understanding that genuine and authentic communication is the oxygen between two people. Without it, your relationship will surely suffocate and slowly wither away!”
Chapter 6: Putting The Art of Couples Communication Into Practise
Whenever a relationship hits the rocks, poor communication is more often than not a culprit. There are plenty of barriers to effective communication. You, therefore, need to develop healthy communication skills so that you can save your relationship from plummeting to the bottom. To master communication techniques, you have to keep in mind two relationship skills – being in tune with your feelings and listening to your partner. It’s a good idea to understand your love languages, as well as theirs. This will enable you to connect deeper with your partner and be able to talk about tough issues more easily. It can take some time, however. You need to work on your communication skills by doing exercises like active listening and communicating feelings. You can also use our 10 Exercises for Better Couples Communication workbook to guide you. Download our Couples Communication Workbook now.