5 Communication Keys for Marital Success

Good communication can be the difference between a healthy marriage and a dying one. When a couple can communicate well with each other they can avoid a lot of problems because they talked about things well enough beforehand so that an issue never aros
e. And when an issue does arise, couples who know how to communicate with each other can keep issues from turning into problems because they can communicate through it without it turning into a big argument.

But good communication in marriage isn’t always about addressing problems. In fact, if that’s the only time you really try to communicate with your spouse, you’re not communicating right. In order to have a successful, healthy and vibrant relationship, couples need to communicate about a lot of positive things, too. And these positive communication skills help to build depth and connection in your relationship a lot more than just talking about problems. So to help you communicate better and build more connection in your marriage. Here are five communication keys to help you have marital success.

5 Communication Keys for Relationship Success


Key 1: Talk About More Than Just Day-to-Day Tasks. When you think of communicating, you probably think about making sure you both know when parent teacher conference is, or making sure you both know where you’re going this weekend. But communication is more than just talking about day-to-day tasks.

When you communicate, you should also be communicating your affection, trust and love for your partner. If all you talk about is the day-to-day tasks, you’re indirectly telling your partner that you don’t have love or trust or affection for them – because you’re not talking to them about that. So instead of just talking to them about calendaring.

Key 2:  Laugh With Each Other. Research shows that laughing has a lot of health benefits. And in addition to health benefits, it has a lot of relationship benefits as well. When you laugh with your partner you share a piece of yourself. You show your partner something that you uniquely enjoy.  And by laughing out loud you invite your partner to share it with you.  And when you laugh together, it creates a special moment between you two of connection and fun.

Key 3: Say Five Positive Things for Every one Negative Thing. Marriage research Guru John Gottman has done all sorts of research into what makes a happy marriage. One of the things he discovered in his research is that couples who report being happy in their marriage say five positive things to every one negative thing. He also found out that couples who divorce say one negative things to every 0.8 positive things.

It makes sense, right? If a couple is happy they’re going to say positive things to each other. So instead of always talking about things that need fixing or about things you wish your partner wouldn’t do. Be sure to also talk to them about things you like, things you appreciate, and things you enjoy about them. Don’t just assume that they already know these things. Make it a point to tell them about it and you’ll see your relationship begin to really take off.

Key 4: Talk About Each Other, Not Just The Kids. Children are a big part of any marriage. Because they can’t take care of themselves, the parents have to do a lot of it for them. This means that a lot of the talking you do with your spouse revolves around the children. But if all you’re talking about is the kids, then you’re neglecting each other as spouses.

As a person, you’re more than just a parent. You have unique interests, hobbies, wants, etc. And so does your spouse. If you’re talking to your spouse mostly about parental things then you’re treating them like a parent and not as a unique individual with unique interests and hobbies. To foster a deep love and affection, you need to connect with your spouse in all their unique ways. (Here’s a great exercise from Dr. John Gottman to help you start some great, connecting conversations).

Key 5: First Seek to Understand Then to be Understood. Everybody wants to be understood. They want to know that their opinion matters and that they are being respected enough to have their opinion validated. But always trying to be understood doesn’t feel very inviting to your spouse. In fact, in can feel bossy and demanding.

Your spouse isn’t your workmate, so the same communication rules don’t apply. Instead of always trying to be understood, try to understand them first. When your spouse feels the validation that comes from trying to be genuinely understood, they’re more likely to talk with you about deeper and more important things. And when you can openly talk about deeper and more important things, then your relationship will grow in deeper ways, too.

Communication is Key in Relationships

Communication is key to any relationship. But not all communication is helpful. These five keys will help you talk about the important things in your relationship and will also help you to create more love and affection. And by creating more love and affection you’ll not only be communicating better, but you’ll be arguing less.

6 Responses to 5 Communication Keys for Marital Success

  1. This is a great post…it's clear that communication is key to a successful relationship, but *how* to communicate effectively is an acquired skill. Tip #5 seems like the most important, because real communication is more about talking…and even more than listening–it's about understanding. That means after listening you can repeat what your partner said to you in your own words. You also need to confirm what you "heard" to be an accurate account of what they were trying to say. It's really hard to do, but so important! Great post with excellent advice.

  2. These are good reminders. I think I need to remind myself of all of them – it is hard not to focus on the day to day and the annoyances! But yet, our relationships are sacred. We need to feed them. Thanks for this post!

  3. To have a happy, successful marriage it takes a lot of work and more communication than anyone who has never been married can comprehend. But you're spot on…it's not enough to say the words, you have to say them respectfully and mindfully! Great advice!

  4. Sometimes the simplest and most obvious things are the ones that are most important. Effective communication is one of these things. Great tips and people do need to be reminded because it's essential.

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