Communication in Marriage:
What do you believe about it?

Everyone knows communication in marriage is important. But consider this question.

All those who remember promising on the day they got married "to speak and listen generously and frequently with their spouse as long as they both shall live" please raise your hand.

Anyone?

Didn't think so.

All kinds of other wonderful promises were made that day except the promise that makes all the other promises possible.

How can you keep any of your promises to one another if you don't plan to talk about them?

What is required for effective communication in marriages?

Without effective communication skills and regular conversations about important topics that affect every marriage, few marriages are equipped to handle the disagreements and disappointments that inevitably show up.

Why does this happen? Why don’t couples promise to get good at communication in marriage when they tie the knot? If they did, fifty per cent of marriages that end up in divorce could be saved.

The most common reasons are the beliefs couples hold about their marriage. These beliefs are language actions which control a lot of what is permitted or not permitted in the marriage and, therefore, what is possible or not possible for it.

If couples are unaware of these beliefs, or unwilling to discuss them, they set themselves up for conflict when events occur that go against what they believe.

Beliefs that influence effective communication in marriage

Many couples believe their desire to make the marriage work is all they need to deal with differences of opinion. While it may be true that they love each other deeply, their strong love doesn’t mean they also have strong communication skills. The ability to discuss difficult issues requires skills.

Second, couples often believe they are much better at speaking and listening to each other than they really are. It is only later, when they find themselves attending marriage counseling, that they discover how much work they need to put into learning how to do it effectively. Listening is not the same as hearing.

Third, many couples assume there is no need to talk about important issues like finances or children or household responsibilities until a crisis occurs. They wait until they are in debt or pregnant or frustrated about having to pick up after everyone else before deciding to have a serious conversation about money management, children, and the division of labor in the home.

Fourth, couples hold expectations and opinions about one another without checking to see if their assumptions are accurate or realistic. I expect you to know what my needs are without ever telling you specifically what I want.

You assume I know what annoys you even though you have never told me directly what it is. Sometimes you hint, sometimes you get sarcastic. But you never come right out and tell me what annoys you or what behavior you would like me to change.

Finally, couples believe they don’t know what to say or how to talk about important or sensitive issues in their marriage. Past efforts have resulted in failure and they have decided not to try again. Some also believe they are unable to learn the necessary communication skills that would help them have such important discussions.

Communication problems are part of all relationships. They happen in families, in the workplace, and in business as much as they do in marriages. One way to deal with these problems is to develop strong communication skills.

Another way is to use the power of language to challenge and change many of the beliefs couples hang onto that work against their marriage

So how is communication in your marriage going?

  • Do you think you need to improve your speaking or listening skills?
  • Do you talk regularly about important topics that affect your marriage?
  • Do you ask directly for what you need, or do you assume the other person knows what that is because he or she is mind reader?

Effective Communication Coaching offers you tools to improve your ability to talk about important concerns in your marriage.

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