If you feel like you both speak a different language, it is probably not a lack of communication but knowing how to communicate with your spouse.
Do you remember when you first got together and would spend countless hours talking about anything from the weather to the best memories of your life? Then, you got married. All of a sudden, it feels like you started talking two different languages. You know why? Because you do. If you wonder how to communicate with your spouse, communication might not be your problem.
How to communicate with your spouse in 8 different ways
Communication is exchanging or imparting news or information. Sometimes it isn’t that you don’t understand one another, it is you ceased to listen. Guys and girls communicate in many different ways.
Most women speak on an emotional level, while guys are more analytical. Learning to be on the same wavelength might mean you decide what to communicate to each other and stop reading too much into words or adding your own interpretation.
#1 Stop the negativity. I know that you feel it, we all can. When your relationship starts to hit a lull, it enters into negative territory. When that happens, most of what you say and hear sounds more negative than positive. That is the operative word—sounds.
A downward spiral is difficult to stop because it changes the perception of what your partner says and what you hear. If all you hear is criticism, you distance yourself and pull away.
A self-fulfilling prophecy, the more negative you perceive, the more negative your response, and the more negative they hear. That starts a whole chain of yuck. Try to listen and say things in a more positive tone. What you find, you can open up the lines of communication pretty rapidly.
#2 Try to take out the emotion. Since there is a superior difference between a cool and rational conversation and an emotionally charged one, when you communicate with your spouse, try to take the emotions you feel out of the equation.
If you find your forms of communication are going from zero to PISSED in two minutes, it is because you allow emotion to guide you. If you have something to discuss, do it calmly and rationally. Not in the heat of the moment when upset or overwhelmed.
#3 Don’t accuse. One of the things that shuts down communication immediately is if you start to make accusations about what the other person does. Use non-confrontational language so they won’t be guarded right off the bat. And, instead of saying what they did wrong, try to explain how you feel in practical terms.
There is a good likelihood they have no idea they even did anything wrong or hurt your feelings. So, if you simply make a statement about how you feel without all the accusations that they knew what they did, the result will be much more productive and without the chase-follow pattern, or the inevitable tears.
#4 Choose the right time. If you are like most men, when you come home from work, you don’t want to talk about anything, like anything. You probably just want to sit in silence. If you are like most women, the minute you greet your husband at the end of the day, you want to chit chat about all that happened and talk things through.
Or, you save things until just before bed when your spouse is tired and just wants to go to sleep. Instead of anyone sleeping, you are in and out of bed and fighting until four am. One key ingredient in learning how to communicate with your spouse is timing.
Choose a time to talk when they are capable, attentive, and have the emotional capacity to listen to what you have to say. Don’t confront them at the door with a list of “things” and don’t wait until it is time for bed to discuss important things that might get heated.
#5 Choose your battles carefully. If you find you can’t seem to say anything that doesn’t push a button or end up in a fight, you are in the midst of a cycle. Constantly voicing all of your emotions, all the things your partner does wrong, or all the things going wrong in your life and relationship turns everything to the dark side.
For the next month try not to bring up negative things unless absolutely essential. Learning to pick your battles and when to keep your mouth closed are two very critical things to reopen loving lines of communication.
Sometimes it isn’t a matter of them not hearing or listening to you; it is a matter of you saying too much. That causes them to shut you out and shut your conversation down.
#6 Stop using “trigger” words. After being with a spouse for a while, you begin to find magical “trigger” words. If you say you don’t know what I mean, then you aren’t honest with yourself.
We all have those “go to” words and phrases that we have in our arsenal to pull out to hurt or anger one another. Trigger words or phrases do nothing but ensure your communication won’t go any better next time and won’t get you any farther this time.
#7 Listen only to what is being said. In relationships, we often have a backpack of things that we carry with us. Those experiences from our past sometimes creeps into future arguments and taint the way that we hear things.
If we only listen to exactly what is said, instead of inserting our own expectations and intentions, communication is much easier. If you listen to the words and don’t ascribe meaning to them, you would be surprised at how easy communicating is.
When he says, “Did you lose weight?” take it as “Did you lose weight?” instead of “You were fat before.” When in a relationship, it is easy to throw our own insecurities into a conversation and inject intentions where there are none.
#8 Questions need answers and answers need to be accepted. One of the biggest complaints husbands have is that their wives have a seemingly endless trail of questions to ask. One of the biggest complaints wives have is they never get any answers. The truth is that both are right.
Men, if you want the questions to stop, just answer them. Women, if your husband gives you an answer, accept him at his word and stop digging for more. Until you both take steps to stop the endless question-avoidance game, you will never be capable of communicating.
When married, sometimes it feels like you speak two different languages. The truth is poor communication usually has nothing to do with the words that come from your mouth, but more about the way they are interpreted by the recipient.
If you want to know how to communicate with your spouse, and learn to talk more productively without it always becoming an argument, wipe the slate clean and begin again. Approach each conversation as if it was your first without any baggage. Listen to the words actually said instead of putting your spin on it, and if someone asks you a question, answer it. If someone answers your question, accept it and move on.
If you try to play by these rules for how to communicate with your spouse, you will find you actually communicate a whole lot better than you thought.