Problems in Your Marriage: Communication

Your marriage is not going to be perfect and there are going to be bumps along the way – afterall, all couples have disagreements.  Regardless of the situation, good communication based on love and respect can help you successfully navigate anything that comes your way. Couples sometimes feel that their marriage is in trouble because they argue. Arguing isn’t the problem as much as stepping in and making loving and productive attempts to solve the problem

Couples who engage in therapy try to look at negative communication patterns that can hurt their marriage. They then work towards creating and using productive strategies to solve problems. No matter what the issue, increasing the quality of your communication can lead to a better resolution of the negative dynamic in your relationship.

  1. Have a plan.  If you are having a serious problem in your relationship that needs to be addressed then really think about how you are going to talk to your partner.  Just don’t blurt out or start screaming at your partner.  Know what you want to say and even practice so you do not get sidetracked.  Do not fill your time with complaining  – simply state the problem and ask for what you want.
  2. Find a good time to sit down with your partner.  This might not be when she walks in the door from work or just as he is finishing the dinner dishes.  Make sure it is a few minutes of distraction free time.
  3. State your position and then allow the other person to respond…or not.  Your significant other might not have a response and may need time to process what you said and form their own opinion.
  4. If the discussion does continue, you need to really listen.  You may feel that your partner is wrong but that does not make you right.  They may have a very different view of the situation and you need to listen carefully to understand their position.
  5. Stop the conversation after a specific amount of time if you have not come to an agreement.  Sometimes one partner wants to keep going until a resolution has been found but the other partner may be tapped out.  Your problem may not be solved but frustration will compound the issues – better to let it rest for a bit. This is time to reconnect as a couple, not go away mad and frustrated. Make sure to make a commitment to revisit the problem at a later time.

Couples who are constantly fighting for long periods of time usually need help working through a process of stating problems, listening and then working towards a resolution.  Sometimes we become stuck in patterns of behavior that are destructive.  It is better to take a bit of time and work through a process with a couples therapist so your future disagreements do not turn into battles that hurt your relationship.

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