Consistent good communication is a hallmark of successful relationships, especially marriage. On the flip side, lack of communication is almost always one of the main factors in a deteriorating marriage or relationship.
If you are struggling with this issue, try going way back to the beginning — your beginning! Was a lack of communication a problem all along? Did a specific situation or particular point in time mark the beginning of the issue?
Many couples can trace the lack of communication back to the very beginning of their relationship. This pattern generally falls into two categories. First, they may feel that “love conquers all or should,” so they didn’t recognize the need to discuss important issues. Or they began a relationship and even entered into marriage feeling unable to voice their thoughts, feelings, preferences and beliefs. They just went along with their partners on everything.
In either case, the time usually comes when they recognize the desire to have and voice their own opinions, even when they disagree significantly with their spouse. Or they are no longer content to simply “go with the flow,” and find that major differences and disagreements occur when they attempt to assert themselves.
Whichever of these categories describes you and your spouse, recognizing the foundation of the problem is the first step in resolving it. The first step is to explain to your thoughts, feelings, etc. to your spouse or partner and to hear theirs in return. In some cases, you may reach agreements, but keep in mind you and your spouse may have to decide to “agree to disagree.”
For many other couples, however, good communication was part of their early relationship but has somehow deteriorated over time. Lack of time with each other due to family and work responsibilities often accounts for this. Sometimes, a person’s priorities shift. While the marriage was once the number-one focus, other factors put it in second-place, somehow not seeming as important as it was at the beginning.
In this instance, recommitting to the marriage as a priority can go a long way to reestablish stronger lines of communication. It is crucial to give the marriage and the spouse the time and attention they need and deserve.
Sometimes people simply lack good communication skills. Childhood and family dynamic plays a huge role in how well people communicate as adults. However, good communication skills can be learned. Even if you are nonassertive, or do not know how to communicate effectively, it is a skill which you can learn– by practice and experience.
What is good communication? When you and your spouse can talk with each other about all important and everyday subjects. When you can freely share what you think, feel, believe, want, like and dislike. When you can state your stand on important issues and listen to your spouse’s, with mutual respect even when there are matters of disagreement. That is good, effective communication.
Good communication comes from practice, experience, respect and the time which you are willing to put into it!