• New Year, Better Communication

    One of the questions I ask every new couple that comes to see me for the first time is this: What are your goals for your relationship?  Without fail, every couple answers that they would like to improve their communication with each other.  Most couples really just want to be able to talk like friends again, they want to be able to have a conversation without it crumbling into an argument; they want to be heard and understood.  It’s such a simple concept yet it often isn’t as easy as just talking.  So, let’s start this new year off with some pointers on how to better communicate with your partner.  I will offer up some guidance that I teach to all of my clients as well as some easy daily conversation starters to help you stay on track.  

    First, look for opportunities to Express appreciation to your partner.  Everyone likes to be appreciated! Even when the relationship is feeling tension, you can find SOMETHING to appreciate about each other.  Expressing that appreciation out loud to your partner will often soften feelings a bit and open the door for further conversation.  You do not have to go overboard with your appreciation but expressing genuine thankfulness for something as simple as unloading the dishwasher or helping the kids with their homework can really go a long way.  If your spouse expresses appreciation to you, resist the urge to read into it, just receive it and say “thank you”.  

    Next, Be curious. Look for opportunities to ask questions that would invite your spouse to share.  When your spouse does begin to share, genuinely listen and respond or ask follow-up questions.  People love to feel heard and understood and that is the goal of being curious.  Again, a word of warning here; resist the urge to question your spouse’s motivation for asking questions.  Simply view their curiosity as an attempt to better communicate with you.  

    Lastly, but by no means least, Be Intentional. Good communication does not happen by accident.  You will need to actively look for opportunities to enter into conversation with your spouse.  It would be very helpful to set aside undistracted time with your partner in order to really connect. You may also need to be willing to be interrupted if your spouse needs to communicate something to you.  If you are regularly looking for ways to connect, actively listening to your spouse when they speak as well as being thoughtful about what you say and how you say it, your communication WILL be improved.  Studies show that couples who regularly spend time together talking (even about mundane things) are much more satisfied in their marriage.  So, why not make better communication a goal for your marriage in 2024? 

     As promised, below is a list of a few conversation starters for you to use every day. 

    Daily Conversation Prompts:

    • What was the highlight of your day?

    • What are you grateful for lately?

    • What are some of your goals for this week or month?

    • How can I best support or be helpful to you this week?

    • What is concerning you lately?

    • What are some fun activities or foods that you would like for us to do or have this month?

    If you are struggling to make good communication with your spouse a reality give us a call at (904) 885-0215 or schedule a session by clicking the link provided below.