One of my BIGGEST requests as a life coach is to help couples to improve their communication. Today I came across a blog post from Henry Cloud on that very topic. ENJOY.
7 Ways to Improve Your Communication in Marriage
by Henry Cloud
When we’re having communication problems with someone we care about, it can be frustrating, it can hurt, and it can have us feeling defensive. I’m going to tell you to give all of that up and try these tips instead.
Look your partner in the eyes and give all of your attention. Observe your tendency to get out of the connection.
Monitor your thought.
As your partner speaks, are you listening or thinking of your response? Are you evaluating what they are saying? Stop that and just allow what your partner is feeling to sink in.
Are you nodding or saying “hmm,” or something to let them know you are tracking? Let them know you are with them and truly listening.
Watch your defensiveness.
If you are feeling defensive, by all means, do not say anything. Count to twenty. If you need a timeout, take one and go away until you cool off. Do not defend yourself or counterattack.
Communicate back what you have heard: “So, Amy, you really feel alone and isolated, even when I am here. Wow.” Use the formula: content + feelings = being understood.
- “So, the way the kids act when I’m not here is just too much sometimes.”
- “Yeah, I see. When I have to work a lot, you begin to feel that you don’t matter to me as much as my job.”
- “So when I want sex and we haven’t really talked, you feel kind of used.”
- “That’s awful, I don’t want you to be in a place like that.”
Don’t try to fix it.
Avoid advice, explaining, or trying immediately to make the feelings go away. There will be a time for that. Connect first just through hearing.
Don’t make it about you.
Don’t answer with something about yourself. Listening is about the other person.
As I have said, reconnecting with each other involves your heart is known. And there is no way to be known if you are not listening to each other.
I want to help you communicate better in your marriage! Contact me today to schedule your (free) first session: 231-499-9069 or [email protected]