Good communication is the key to having a peaceful marital relationship. In order to effectively communicate you must be equipped with the necessary skills to make communication more effective. Here are some tips you can use to improve the level of communication in your relationship, especially during those times when there is an argument.

Use "Reflecting" To Really Listen

The middle of a heated argument is one of the most self-centered spaces that a couple can get into. In this situation, you are both pushing your point of view. However, this is exactly the time when you need to pause and listen closely to what the other person is saying. You can start by using a technique known as reflecting. Reflecting involves repeating or rephrasing the last thing your partner says in your own words. This should not be overdone and if your partner feels that you are mocking them by doing this simply explain that you are trying to process what they have said in a way that you can understand.

Look out For Nonverbal Clues

In relationships, a lot of talking may be done when there is conflict, but there are also a lot of non-verbal clues that get thrown in. Knowing how to read these clues will help you to realize when communication has started breaking down.

  1. Folded arms can mean that your partner is going on the defensive and is shutting you out.
  2. A lack of eye contact may signal that your partner has disconnected from the conversation or is too shy to talk about something.
  3. Turning away from you while talking may be a sign that your partner is uninterested in the discussion.

You should also be aware of the signals you are sending to your partner, since they may just be responding to your own cues.

Stay On Topic

There are times when an argument about one thing may result in other past unresolved grievances being brought up. Past grievances should be discussed at another time. Bringing up old hurts will only cause the present argument to become more heated. Only when you have resolved the present conflict should you set a time to calmly discuss your feelings about old hurts, while being careful not to accuse and throw aspersions at your partner.

Keeping the lines of communication open even during times of conflict is the best way to ensure that arguments do not destroy your marriage. If you need a relationship counselor, contact Sharon O'Connell, MA.