The Importance of Communication in Marriages

Building a strong and lasting marriage takes work. Some people think the expression "love will keep us together" is all two people need for a lasting marriage. While a foundation of love is important, do not underestimate the importance of communication in keeping a marriage healthy. Here are some of the communication techniques and behaviors that express love and strengthen marriage.

Accept that your love is a foundation of trust and honesty. This foundation gives both of you the security to be able to be yourself in front of each other. Knowing that the other person loves you despite your shortcomings makes it easier to admit when you have made a mistake, because you know that the love will still be there. Letting the other person help you or just listen when you talk about your feelings or problems strengthens communication and trust.

Take time to be together
Make time to just talk together, giving each other your full attention. Some couples talk while doing dishes. It doesn't matter if you're on a date or not, as long as you can talk and listen to each other. Whether you're at home or out, make your communication productive. Talk about things that matter, your feelings, and share what you do when you're away from each other. Listening is equally essential. Some couples who are parents limit the time talking about the kids to allow for time to talk about other things. Acknowledging that you are a couple and not just parents helps each of you relate to each other as adults too. Making time for talking to each other is essential for a healthy marriage.

Fight constructively
This means avoid the pitfalls of negative communication techniques such as: blame, grudges, judgment, criticizing, and manipulation. Avoid letting a mistake be an excuse to place blame. Instead, try to reflect back to the other person the essence of their argument, and ask if that is what the person is saying. Giving yourself a chance to see the disagreement from the other side encourages communication rather than arguing. Seek constructive solutions to the problem. It strengthens a relationship when couples work together to find a solution to a conflict.

Choose kindness
Being honest is important, but tempering honesty with kindness is essential. Communication problems in relationships happen when people are honest but disregard the hurt that can be caused by their words. Bluntly giving an honest opinion that the other person won't like is not good communication. Find a way to express your viewpoint without putting the other person down. Before you speak, think of how you would like the message to be relayed to you. Express appreciation for the positives, using phrases such as "thank you," "I love you" and "I appreciate the way you…" liberally.

Love, trust, honesty and kindness are keys to good communication. In marriage, the importance of communication is paramount to the strength and longevity of the relationship.

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