Communication Tips for Marriages, Part 2/4: Listening
Communication is the key to a healthy marriage. The better you and your spouse communicate, the stronger your bond will become and the happier you’ll be.
Conversely, if you do not communicate effectively with each other, negative feelings can develop, which can cause married couples to grow apart.
Fortunately, it’s never too late to make positive changes that can improve your marriage. In case you missed it, check out last month’s blog about the importance of honesty. Another great way to improve communication in your marriage is:
Listen to Understand, Not to Respond
What leads to poor communication in a marriage more than anything else? Failing to listen!
When married people converse with one another, they’re often so concerned with having their thoughts and ideas heard that they fail to listen and understand what their spouse is saying; instead, they just wait for their turn to respond.
If one or both partners fall into this negative pattern of “rehearsal,” it can cause both people to begin feeling like the other is not listening to them, leading to resentment and marital strife.
When we talk to the people we love, we must hold back our own eagerness to be heard in order to make sure that we’re hearing them. If you don’t make the effort to listen to and understand what your partner is saying, how can you expect them to make such an effort on your behalf? For a healthy marriage, both partners must listen to understand, not listen to respond.
Listening to someone else talk when you have something that you really, really want to say is never easy. But doing so is necessary for an equal relationship, one where both partners feel heard and understood.
If you feel that you’re struggling to communicate in your marriage, get in touch with Dr. Glenn Pickering! With over 30 years of counseling experience, Dr. Glenn can provide you and your spouse with expert marriage counseling, both in-person and virtually.