Communication is key in any relationship, but especially in a marriage. When couples are able to effectively communicate with each other, it can lead to a stronger and more fulfilling relationship. However, communication can be difficult at times, especially when there are hurt feelings or anger involved. Continue reading as we discuss three communication tools that can help improve your marriage.
1. The Tool for Right Timing
A conversation can be productive if the timing is properly considered. Timing is crucial in getting your spouse to truly hear you.
This applies to difficult conversations, discussions where you have something vital to share, or simply chats where you keep hoping they will express joy about something. Consider whether either of you is Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired, and if so, remember the phrase HALT and pick another time to talk.
2. Respond rather than React
You have the ability to put an end to an argument that has begun due to misunderstanding. The notion is that the person who responds determines the course of the argument, not the person who starts it. If you believe your partner has said or done something that has sparked an argument, you have the option of responding in a way that ends the argument.
Rather than reacting, behave in a manner that prevents the argument from continuing. “Hey, I feel like we’re about to get into an argument; let’s take a pause,” you can say. Alternatively, inquire, “What’s is really the meaning behind your words?” You can then address the underlying problem with empathy.
3. The STOP Tool
This tool is useful when the talk feels out of control. It helps you communicate better.
- STOP: If you are not comfortable with how the conversation is progressing, stop it.
- TIME OUT: To gain back peace, establish physical space by taking time out for a minimum of 30-60 minutes or longer.
- TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR OWN PART: During your time apart, consider how you can accept responsibility for your part in the issue or misunderstanding. Don’t confront your partner or argue your case.
- PEACE OFFERING: After the time out, return together with a peace offering: give your partner some positive affirmation or provide an assurance to change a certain behavior.