Marriage is a beautiful thing. Somehow, in this crazy world, two people find each other and love each other and want to commit to spending the rest of their lives together! Marriage is inspiring and wonderful. But it is also heartbreaking when you feel it start to go wrong. Marriage is worth fighting for. As The Marriage Builder puts it, “There is no relationship more important than your marriage – and nothing in the world that can make your life happier or more challenging.” I believe in marriage and as someone who has been married for 14 years, I can tell you that your marriage may not always be perfect. I can also tell you that communication is one of the most important factors in a marriage and that better communication leads to a happier marriage. You can improve your communication in marriage and build a stronger and happier marriage.
Improving Your Marriage
Whether you already have a fantastic marriage that you just want to keep strong or if you know that you have problem areas and you need help addressing them, it is always good to keep learning and growing together. Inspiration can come from looking at successful marriage tips, reading books on marriage such as The Five Love Languages, or even just scheduling time for date nights.
Prioritize Your Marriage
Never say you are too busy, or you can’t find overlapping time. You have to have priorities and making your marriage last should be a number 1 priority because it affects your wellbeing and that of your family in ways that are so enormous it is hard to fathom until you experience a crack in your relationship. It is always easier to keep something up through maintenance than to fix something that has broken. Make it impossible to come up with any excuses for not to improving communication in your marriage!
Assess Your Marriage
Try to objectively assess the strengths and challenges in your marriage and identify a few areas to work on. Talk with your spouse about your desire to improve communication and share together what you think is working well and what needs improvement. Prioritize together and focus on one or two Marriage Success Factors you both want to improve. Look for tools and resources to help you both see new points of views and learn new things. There are books, blogs, podcasts, find what works for you. Avoid placing blame and work toward improving together.
Create A Marriage Action Plan
When you have assessed your marriage and chosen one or two marriage success factors to focus on together, come up with a list of specific actions you can take to work on improvement. You can use these behavioral steps & daily practices to cultivate new, healthier and happier patterns together in the areas you feel you most need to improve will go a long way towards keeping your marriage growing. Sometimes even just remembering your priorities is an important part of the process and can help increase feeling of empathy, respect, and romance.
You may need to schedule time for focused dialogue with your spouse on certain topics. Stay accountable together to ensure you make progress to improve communication in your marriage and build together a stronger, more fulfilling marital relationship. Any positive movement from one party can facilitate positive movement from the other.
Nurture Your Marriage
Marriage is a wonderful thing that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Marriage needs nurturing and you have to work ways to strengthen your marriage.
I have been in the position myself where my marriage needed improvement and where we struggled on how to achieve that. Keep working at it with a counselor if you need to because marriage takes effort. That is normal. Everything worth anything takes effort.
How To Improve Communication In Your Marriage
1. Be a Good Listener
Being a good listener is one of the most important things we can to improve communication in marriage. When your spouse is talking about their day, something that interests them, or something they’re concerned about, be a focused listener. Pay attention to their tone of voice and body language as well as their words; it will provide a deeper insight into how they’re really feeling. Ask appropriate questions to let them know you’re listening and you care. Repeat back what you are hearing them say. Feeling like they’re heard will make them feel like they matter to you. And, it will make them a better listener when it’s your turn to share.
2. Leave Love Notes
Leaving a note of encouragement or inspiration for your spouse will let them know you’re thinking of them. It can be as simple as “Have a great day!” “Good luck with your presentation today!” “I’m looking forward to our date night on Friday!” or “I enjoyed our quiet time together last night, thank you for listening to me.” Imagine how good it would make you feel to get a note like this from your sweetie. Writing your own love note may just encourage them to do the same. Part of improving communication in marriage has to do with expressing appreciation and gratitude for our partner and not taking them for granted. Love notes are a great way to do this.
3. Put Down the Phone
Are you often distracted with social media, emails, and text messages while your spouse is talking to you? Make a decision to always put down the phone and pay attention to your spouse when they’re trying to communicate. Let them know that they are more important to you than anything else that’s going on around you. And keeping the phone down will create more communication opportunities; you’ll be more likely to talk to each other when you don’t have the phone in your hands. Create device-free times in your house; times of the day when phones or other devices are not allowed. This goes for the television as well. Even as background noise, the TV can be a distraction from communication. This one small tip will improve communication in marriage so much!
4. Be an Active Listener
Let your spouse know that you’re paying attention by making eye contact when they’re speaking to you. This lets them know they’re heard. You can also use touch, reflective feedback, and body language to show them you’re listening. Smiles, head tilts, nods, and raised eyebrows are all signs of active listening and allow you to communicate your attention without interrupting what they’re saying.
5. Avoid Single Word Responses
Often times we use grunts and simple one-word answers to respond to what people are saying when we’re only partially listening. Show your spouse that you’re really paying attention by responding with a full sentence reply. If they’re asking you to do something, repeat back what they asked in your own words so they know you heard and understood their request. Using full sentences to respond or ask questions shows that you’re really listening. This is an important part of improving communication in marriage. Don’t just respond with words and logic. Make sure to communicate your feelings and needs.
Successful Marriage Quotes
Here are a few successful marriage quotes to help motivate you in your quest to improve your marriage.
“We’ve got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it’s going to get on by itself. You’ve got to keep watering it. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it.” -John Lennon
“I’m not telling you it is going to be easy- I am telling you it is going to be worth it.” – Art Williams
It is OK if you have marriage issues. Most people do. When I asked my grandmother (who was married for over 60 years) for marriage advice, she told me, “Sometimes, it’s work.” Well, it didn’t sound that romantic at the time but it does ring true to me now. Sometimes marriage will take work, but so does anything worth having!
I hope you keep working to improve communication in marriage because that is really the foundation for a happy, satisfying marriage with love and romance. What do you think the secrets successful marriage are? What are your favorite successful marriage quotes?