One of the main reasons that marriages struggle is because of poor communication. Misunderstandings can lead to resentment, and from there, things that could once have been cleared up can often create even bigger problems. A marriage without communication habits can be painful for both parties, and until that is remedied, little can be done for the marriage. To make it worse, many people try to fix it by speaking only about their problems, which often makes both people angrier and more unwilling to communicate. Instead, the secret to better communication starts by rekindling connection. Here are some tips:
Turn Toward one Another
One of the secrets of good marriages is that those who work well know how to listen to one another about little things. Even if it isn't your interest, supporting the interest and whimsical observations of your spouse makes them feel heard and important. It can be a discussion about the makeup of your husband's fantasy football team, or your wife's wish list of must-have items. It doesn't matter what it is, only that you support your spouse's excitement, and want them to open up and talk more.
Reconnect over the Good
If things are quiet between the two of you, try reconnecting by talking about what you used to. Bring back shared jokes, discuss your favorite memories of things you did together. Talk about gratefulness, and share the things about your spouse that make you feel lucky. This can bring the relationship back to the early stages, when you both felt lucky to be around one another. By making a conscious effort to remember the good and to focus on what is right about your relationship and your attraction for one another, you can actually create a closeness between one other that can make some of your current problems become trifles.
Connect with Shared Dreams
Sharing where you have been is just one part of this equation. Knowing where you are going is another important piece. Dream with your spouse, share goals for your future, and discuss how you can get there together. Create both short to medium-term goals that you can celebrate the success of, as well as long-term to lifetime goals that you can work slowly toward, and celebrate in achieving steps in the future. This can be a retirement plan to travel around the world, a plan to quit a job and start a new business venture, or a shared goal in raising children to be successful in something that they love. Whatever the goal, if it belongs to both of you and you have reason to dream out loud together, then it will help you to become closer. Before you know it, the dreams will take precedence over the problems of your relationship.