With the rate hovering around 50 percent, divorce is an unfortunately common part of American life. Still, going through the process can be emotionally draining and traumatic. Thankfully, there are preventative things that can help you avoid divorce. The following communication-focused tips can help you strengthen and divorce proof your marriage so that your union never becomes a statistic.
Talk Directly and Daily
Everyone knows “communication is key” when it comes to a marriage, but what does this really mean for your marriage? According to therapist-based research, issues with communication is the number one reason couples divorce (up to 65%). With this in mind, it makes sense that improving this one area could be the difference between a flourishing marriage and a marriage flop.
But what “communication issues” are depends on who you ask. According to the research:
- Most women (83%) felt their husbands didn’t validate their feelings or opinions.
- Wives (56%) also thought their husbands talked about themselves too much and rarely listened.
- Most men (70%) interviewed claim their wives nag and complain too much.
- Other men complained that their wives didn’t express appreciation or gratitude.
The bottom line of what this means to you: you should talk regularly, talk positively.
Talk Daily to Me
Many professionals suggest at least 30 minutes of meaningful conversation every day. One tip to remember: when engaged in conversation, make sure that you are actually listening.
Simple right? Surprisingly, not always. Far too often, we listen to respond and get our point across. Instead, we should work on embracing what our better half is really saying. To be a better listener, get rid of outside distractions and listen for the bigger picture. Don’t get hung up on every small detail or physical cues that bug or annoy you.
When its your turn to respond, try telling your spouse exactly what you want instead of nagging. This seems simple, but many couples fall into the trap of whining and nagging instead of directly expressing expectations. Want the trash taken out? Just ask instead of complaining that “he never does it without being told.”
Another tool to try is to offer affirmations and gratitude instead of complaints. Not sure what to say? Even simple statements like “thanks for working hard” and “I trust your judgement” can change your partner’s attitude and make him (or her) more likely to hear your requests. Just make sure what you say is genuine and sincere, not manipulative!
What Do We Discuss?
Nothing increases intimacy like communication. Whether it be emotional or physical, intimacy involves the sharing of things that are personal on a deep level.
But when couples are having communication issues, they often don’t know where to start. These 20 conversations can be a great starting point for married people trying to vamp up the intimacy. Get creative! As long as you’re trying, there’s no way to go wrong.
Seek Help if Necessary
Is your marriage already in trouble due to issues with communication or other problems? There are still ways to save your marriage and communicate effectively. If these tools fail, contact my office at (310) 879-5630 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I specialize in counseling individuals and couples with relationship issues.