Let’s talk about what true communication means in an intimate relationship:
Communication is simply the act of transferring information from one place, person or group to another. Which means there must be:
A sender = the message = the receiver
The transmission of the message from the sender to the receiver can be affected by many things like emotions, background, tone, medium or even mood.
Communication can take place as spoken/verbal using words or non-verbal using body language (our body language is always communicating whether we mean it or not), gestures, facial expressions, actions or written using letters, emails, chats, social media, books or visualizations using pictures, logos, graphs etc.
“Communication is the mortar that holds a relationship together,” says relationship expert Dr. Amy Bellows. “If it breaks down, the relationship will crumble. When spouses no longer communicate, a marriage nurtures no one. It is no longer a marriage.”
What engine is to car is what Communication is to marriage.
Let’s take a look at the basic elements of Communication
If you must effectively communicate with your spouse, then you must capture the following:
SLUR is an acronym for Speak, Listen, Understand and Respond. There is no effective communication without these four elements.
Learn to SPEAK in love, at the right time.
Learn how to LISTEN attentively. Don’t interrupt your spouse when he/she is speaking. Listen also to what’s not said. Pay attention to your spouse’s body language too.
Let’s talk a bit more about listening because this seems to be where we have lots of issues:
One of the most important communication skills is listening. Deep, positive relationships can only be developed by listening to each other.
Listening to respond is the standard way that most people communicate. What that means is that instead of really paying attention to what the other person is saying, you are already thinking about what you want to say in response.
Of course it’s great to have a well-thought-out reply, but if you’re thinking about what you want to say instead of hearing what the other person is saying, you aren’t really listening and communicating well.
Learn how to UNDERSTAND your spouse properly by using the principle of mirroring. Say something like this: “So, what I hear you saying is …” or, “Are you saying …?” Then, in your own words, tell your spouse what you understand to have been said. Then, the most important part of mirroring comes. You must allow your spouse to either affirm or correct what you’ve said.
Learn to RESPOND rightly. When Speaking, Listening and Understanding are in place, the Response element is usually not the problem.
The way you react falls in one of four response types:
Let’s say your spouse comes home excited about his/her power-point presentation at work:
- Nurturing (active constructive) “That is great! I’m so happy for you! Tell me more about it!”
- Cold (passive constructive) “Oh, that is good”
- Ignorant (passive destructive) “Sorry I don’t have time to listen to you right now”
- Hurtful (active destructive) “That’s surprising, you’re usually pretty bad at delivering presentations”
Communication issues (common mistakes couples make when communicating):
- Yelling at your partner
- Not listening to understand each other
- Blaming Each Other
- Degrading your Partner
- Thinking About your Point of View Only
- Judging what the other person is saying
- Being insensitive to your spouse’s complaint or feelings
- Reactive communication – everyone is talking and no one is listening
- Some people believe the more they repeat their complaints, the more their spouses will listen and act – wrong
- Harsh communication (tone and expressions) – this is non-productive, it stirs up strive.
- Being dishonest – even as little as saying you’re okay when you’re not
- Silent communication – the silent treatment never works, it just escalates things
- Dealing with conflict in public – this shows dis-honor to your spouse
- Assumptions – assuming your spouse did something and dwelling on it instead of asking him/her
- Abusive communication – calling names etc. I call it fighting dirty – it never works
The consequences (name 3 with stories) – what bad communication leads to
Let’s discuss how bad communication can affect your relationship/marriage
· You don’t look to each other for support and companionship
This might not sound like a big problem, but it really is. When you’re married you should be the first person that each of you turns to for support, for help, for companionship and respect. When that is lacking then you may turn to somebody else out of necessity, and this doesn’t often end well – it always leads to bigger issues.
- Lack of communication in marriage leads to lack of intimacy which can lead to divorce sometimes when there is nothing left to share, to talk about between two partners.
Everyone goes through rough times, but if you are aware of this and you make good communication a priority in your marriage then you will stay connected and ensure that you don’t head down the wrong path by losing each other. Effects of lack of communication in marriage can be devastating to your relationship. It is important to identify and rectify all your communication problems in relationship/marriage before things fall apart between you and your partner.
- Your work, home, and sex life will all suffer when you do not share your thoughts and feelings with your partner. This makes it all the more important to learn to communicate with your spouse, even when the subject matter is awkward or uncomfortable.
· Lack of good communication can also lead to money problems
Money can be a touchy subject for most people. This topic may feel a little awkward to broach, especially if you are in the process of merging your finances or haven’t told your partner about any debts you owe. Whether you’re sharing a bank account or keeping your finances separate, it is still important to talk about your monthly expenses. Couples who do not talk about money matters may overspend, feel held back by not being the breadwinner, and end up in deeper debts than when they were single. It is important for couples to discuss budgeting and to be open about their debts and expenses.
· You become emotionally distant
The less you communicate with your spouse, the more emotionally distant you will become. Talking is how you connect. When there is a lack of communication in marriage, love also starts to fade.
One study on the behavior of couples, conducted over 40 years, found that the most common communication problems revolve around partner’s refusing to communicate (silent treatment), partner criticism, defensive communication, and overall contempt when trying to talk to one another – and these are called the 4 divorce predictors – not to worry I already shared about it and how you can avoid it in the Online Course.
· Results in wrong assumptions
When couples are not open with one another it can be easy for them to start making assumptions. If you aren’t letting your spouse know you’ll be late at the office or are heading out with your friends after work instead of coming home they may assume you are doing something you shouldn’t be.
If you are not communicating with your spouse, all sorts of assumptions can be made in the relationship. If you’re too tired and turn down sex one evening, your partner may assume you are bored of them and feel neglected. If you are bottling up personal problems, your spouse may think they are the source of your anxiety.
· Your sex life suffers
There are many sexual problems that arise when there is a lack of communication in marriage. For example, a lack of orgasm may result in frustration between married partners and can cause hostility and disappointment. Likewise, one person may desire sex but feels incapable of making the first move. This can be frustrating for both spouses. Couples need to have open and honest conversations about their intimate life and preferences. Sexual frequency, fantasies, needs, and turn-ons are all important conversations couple’s need to have in order to create an equally satisfying sexual relationship.
· You seek others to fill the void
It is no surprise that a lack of communication in marriage is one of the leading causes of divorce. Couples who don’t talk to one another are nothing more than roommates. Drawing away from your spouse in thought or action can be extremely damaging.
Feeling a lack of validation or that your partner does not hear you or care for your needs can be discouraging. This lack of respect and love can create insecurities, which might cause one spouse to seek someone outside of the marriage to fill what they feel their marriage is lacking.
A lack of communication in marriage can spell disaster for the relationship. Talking with your spouse is how you express your joy, sorrow, wants, needs, and how you resolve a conflict.
This information is integral to a healthy marriage. Work hard to be open with your spouse. Doing so will raise your relationship satisfaction and bring you closer together.
How I helped my clients work through their communication issues and the advices I gave them that worked:
There’s just so much at stake when we don’t deliberately invest in having a good flow of communication in our relationships/marriage.
· Stay Calm While Discussion:
While discussing some important points just stay calm and control your anger. Remember better communication will lead to better relationships and marriage. This point plays an important role if you want to fix your communication in a marriage.
In this way, you will have effective communication and can also understand each other’s point of view. When you are angry you cannot even present the true facts. You should better know how to communicate with your spouse.
· Avoid Reading Other’s Mind:
Avoid reading the mind of your partner and also stop assuming the things from your own. It’s very weird when anyone claims “I know what you are thinking right now”
· Use Word “We” instead of “You”:
While having some important discussions, do not use the word “You” but use “we”. In this way, you can have effective communication.
· Listen to Others Without Being Defensive:
Most of us listen to defend ourselves that is causing serious troubles in marriages. You should understand that anyone could be wrong at any point. It should not be you that is going to decide who at the right path.
For effective communication in a marriage, you should admit your fault and mistakes. If you are always defensive in your communication it cannot happen.
Lack of communication in marriages is also caused when you are not willing to understand the feelings and points of your partner.
· Have Frequent Discussions:
Most of the couples talk less and that problem is known as “Lack of communication in marriage”. Have communication frequently on a daily basis. Discuss your daily problems and their possible solutions. This is the key to effective communication in a marriage.
· Express the Positive Feelings:
For a better and effective communication in a marriage, always express the positive feeling with your spouse. Try to admire your partner and most of the problems would be solved. But remember just try to share positive feelings and sentiments.
In this way, your partner will be comfortable with you and you can enjoy effective communication in the marriage too.
Don’t forget to sign up for the Effective Communication Online Course Effective Communication Online Course
-EMEM OHIMAI AYO-