Are you having a problem of communication in your relationship? Is this causing a major issue? Does it seem like one partner disrespects the other by not openly and effectively communicating with each other? Well, experts will tell you that communication or the lack of it is the chief cause of problems in relationships.
In the view of Elaine Fantle Shimberg, author of Blending Families, all relationship problems stem from poor communication. “You can’t communicate while you’re checking your BlackBerry, watching TV, or flipping through the sports section,” she says.
The good news is that this problem can be resolved if both of you agree to work on your communication issue.
Below are simple tips to introduce effective communication in your relationship so that you can begin enjoying your union and stop the fighting and bickering that has bogged you down for months.
•Learn to make an appointment with each other. Yes, give him a time when you would like to sit and discuss those annoying habits of his.
•Stop using the phone when one partner is trying to communicate.
•Go to a location where you can express yourselves without distraction from the children if you have any to “air your views”.
•Set up some rules to guide your dialogue; for instance, ‘no interruptions when one partner is speaking, no eye rolling, no sarcasm.”
•Check the phrases that you use, refrain from; “You always …” or “You never ….”
•Use body language to show you’re listening; focus on the speaker, nod your head.
•Please try not to appear bored, look at your watch, or pick at your nails.
•Nod so the other person knows you’re getting the message and rephrase if you need to. For instance, say, “What I hear you saying is that you feel as though you have more chores at home, even though we are both employed outside the home.” If you’re right, the other can confirm. If what the other person really meant was, “Hey, you’re a slob and you create more work for me by having to pick up after you,” he or she can say so, but in a nicer way.
•Learn not to talk over each other. Let her finish before you jump in.
•Leave notes for him/her on the refrigerator door about your plans for after work.
These simple but deliberate steps would help you to communicate with your spouse more effectively and stop any conflicts that might arise.
ν Dr. NJ