Poor communication is one of the main stressors in intimate relationships. Sometimes the simplest of messages can be misunderstood. This usually causes hurt and resentment and in some cases leads to never ending arguments.
Couples counseling (also known as marriage therapy or relationship counseling) focuses on teaching you the skills of good communication.
Discover below the five communication lessons you can learn in relationship counseling.
Five Communication Tips That Can Transform Your Marriage
Although there are many communication concepts you could explore, these are the five skills that will improve your relationship immediately:
1. First-Response Principle
Remember, the conflict is not caused by the person who initiates the discussion, but by the person who is responding.
The responder is the one who initially has the power as to whether a fight erupts. It’s the responders reactions that will determine the direction the conversation will take.
2. Listen First, Before Trying to Make Your Own Case
It is human nature to want to be heard and understood in all our interactions.
Don’t forget that you and your partner are both in this together. When you focus on putting your relationship first and understanding your partner, you can shift into a positive direction that encourages open communication.
Listen with an open heart and mind. You don’t have to agree with everything your partner is saying in order to make them feel understood.
3. Respond with Relief and Repair
When your partner is upset and tells you about it, make your first response one that will relieve their distress.
If they feel injured by something you did or said, repair that right away. A simple “I’m sorry!” goes a long way.
The quicker you relieve your partner’s negative feelings and repair the hurt, the less chance of escalating into a fight and of banking another negative memory.
4. Stay Calm
Losing your temper is the quickest way to derail any discussion and turn it into something really ugly.
If things start to go in that direction, take a break, do something playful instead, and revisit the subject another time.
It’s better to stay calm and have several short discussions about a topic, than to lose your temper and try to talk it out anyway.
Be mindful of your own inner dialogue to be sure you are not amplifying negative emotions within yourself.
5. Do Not Criticize
When communicating, make sure you avoid criticism, put-downs, eye rolling, insults or negative body language.
All of these behaviors are threatening, and will put your partner on the defensive. In turn, this will inhibit understanding, and create hurt feelings along with anger.
Communication is the Key to Understanding
Many couples have problems with communication. And poor communication skills have been the downfall of many a relationship.
Of all the skills you’ll learn from a therapist, these five communication lessons you can learn in relationship counseling are some of the of the most essential.
Practice these five communication principles in your day-to-day interactions and you will learn more about yourself and your partner, fostering the kind of intimacy and understanding that is the key to a lifetime of happiness and security.
Couples Counseling in Denver, CO
For more than twenty years, I have been helping couples in and near Denver, CO learn better communication, and enjoy deeper intimacy, satisfaction, and security in their relationships.
I can help you, too. If you want to find out more about how couples counseling can help you and your partner communicate effectively, call to schedule a consultation today.
Your initial consultation is free, and you will be one step closer to becoming the happiest couple you know.