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Lack of communication can lead to misunderstandings, emotional distance, feelings of contempt, etc. When you are open and honest with your spouse, speak up respectfully when you feel hurt, and are excited to listen about what your partner has to say, there is usually  little room for misunderstandings that can lead to negative feelings in a relationship.

Tips for Healthy Communication and Couples Healing

Love doesn’t just happen. It takes two people prioritizing each other, being brave and having difficult conversations, asking the right questions, truly listening and making someone feel seen and heard. It’s a choice to make daily. However, oftentimes our own stuff gets in the way and prevents us from truly listening to our loved ones.  We tend to think about our own perspectives, think about how we are going to respond, why we are right and they are wrong, how we can convince them, etc., instead of tuning in to understand our partner. So we aren’t even present! We also tend to assume so much. Here are some tips that may help in the process of listening with the agenda to understand:
  1. Move the focus from yourself and your perspective. Oftentimes in an argument or discussion, we want to say our piece and explain why we think we are right. It is important to remember that your partner may have a completely different perspective than you, and that different perspective can explain why they may disagree with you. 
  2. Pause your own agenda for a bit. Forget about what your goal was going into this discussion for a moment, and take a minute to truly listen. What is it that your spouse wants? How can you reach your goals together?
  3. Be genuinely interested in your partner’s perspective. Allowing your partner time to talk does not mean that you were truly listening. Ask questions about what they may be saying. Make sure you fully understand where they are coming from and why they have the opinion or perspective that they do. 
  4. Don’t assume anything. You probably think you have a good idea about why your partner has a certain perspective. Put aside your preconceived assumptions and let them explain why they have the opinion that they do.
  5. Hear the feelings underneath what your partner is sharing with you. Try to understand what feelings and emotions are present while they are speaking with you. Do your best to understand the entirety of what they are sharing

Couple and Relationship Therapy

Communication with your partner  is essential for a happy and healthy marriage. Be willing to listen intently and share openly. Having open communication with your spouse will keep your relationship happy and healthy as the years go on. If you think you may need assistance with achieving open communication and emotional safety in your relationship, please know that it is always okay to ask for help. Gottman Method couples therapy can provide you with excellent tools to keep your marriage healthy, open and loving. Reach out to a couples therapist in your area today to take the first step towards a healthy, happy relationship.