COMMUNICATION

Communicating with your spouse isn’t always easy; things get lost in translation or fights break out. Here are some tips on how to communicate better.

1. LISTEN WITHOUT INTERRUPTING.
This is tougher than you might think. Most people don’t have good listening skills and get triggered by one word that sets them off to talk about themselves. Rather than giving into the impulse to talk over your partner, count to five in your head until the urge passes and allow your spouse to finish talking.
2. USE “I” STATEMENTS.
Talk about how something makes you feel, rather than attacking your partner. That way, he/she doesn’t feel like he/she has to defend themselves right out of the gate, which can cause serious friction. By using “I” statements, you can avoid making the relationship’s problems all about your spouse if they’re not.
3. DON’T ATTACK YOUR PARTNER.
When you attack your partner, you set up a defensive mode of communicating, which starts to dig a deep hole that’s hard to get out of. We know it’s tempting, especially if you’re really angry, but try to avoid attack mode.
4. SAY WHAT YOU’RE THINKING.
It’s each person’s responsibility to communicate how they feels, and not our partner’s job to read our minds, guess what we’re thinking, or put words in our mouths. So rather than keep things inside in hopes your partner does a good job guessing, be open and honest.
5. PLAY FAIR.
Avoid shaming, blaming or always needing to be right. “These are huge obstacles to good communication and will guarantee resentment, anger and frustration in the relationship. Take turns talking, and if you don’t agree, ask questions and take a time-out if you have to, rather than getting angry and saying something you’ll regret.
6. SAY YOU ARE SORRY.
Say that you are sorry, not from a right or wrong place, but from the place where your relationship with your spouse is more important than your ego.

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