How to communicate with your spouse is a must-have for couples. Poor communication breeds mistrust. There are three principles that will improve talking with your spouse.
1) Non-verbal communication is important. Non-verbal communication is our posture, eye gazing, facial reactions, and tone of voice. It’s how we feel towards each other – our affect. In every interaction we are reading each other. We have this amazing network of nerves in our body called the Vagus nerve. It connects different parts of the organs and brain as well as facial muscles. When we talk with each other our bodies are reading all this information at the same time. This is where our gut instinct can tell us that something is off between what is said and what is felt.
2) Give and receive. This is not attack and defend. Good communication is when you both can give and receive from each other. Any feelings of defensiveness or knee-jerk reactions block communication. If you expect your partner to receive your feedback or opinion you need to be able to receive theirs as well. Think of the “information” piece here as something personal about your feelings – rather than “information” about how you perceive your spouse has failed in some way. Another way to give to each other is to validate each other’s feelings. This is not pacifying the other person. Validation is where you value what the other person feels. Validation is something to give and receive, not demand or take.
3) Be close. Verbal communication is great but you need to be physically close. When you are physically present with each other you can see the reactions, feelings, and the mood in each other’s body. Being close helps you to be physically close, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and romantically. Text, email, and electronic means is limited. Marriage is important, it deserves attention and closeness.
Talking with each other is really a gift to offer. But it does take consistency and intentionality to improve it.
What is one way you can offer communication to your spouse tonight?