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How to Communicate with Your Spouse & End the Roller Coaster Ride

If you constantly clash and don’t understand each other, it’s time to learn how to communicate  with your spouse. Communication is the key to harmony!

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 in two different languages. Do you know why? Because you do. If you wonder how to communicate with your spouse, communication might not be your problem.

You see, everyone has a specific way to communicate. Some people find it easy to talk about their emotions openly, while others prefer to use actions instead. It’s about understanding your partner’s needs and wants, but you’re not a mind reader either. You both need to be able to talk things through without feeling awkward and without hiding any details from one another. For sure, trust plays a huge part in that, but feeling comfortable with one another is key – no matter what life throws at you. [Read: A guide on effective communication in a relationship]

Why is communication is important?

You might wonder why that question is worth asking. Surely it’s obvious? But, you’ll be amazed at how many people just don’t understand the point of communication or what it is.

For instance, when you listen, do you actually listen or do you just hear the words? Do you hear the words the person is saying or your interpretation of them? If you want to learn how to communicate with your spouse properly and in an effective way, you have to learn how to listen. That means being able to read body language, avoid interrupting, and really take on board the words they’re saying and their actual meaning. Your interpretation of them may not be what they actually mean. [Read: Lack of communication in a relationship & why it signals the end]

Of course, on the flip-side, you need to be comfortable with being totally honest with your partner. You need to learn how to put your feelings into words and be as vulnerable as you’re able to be. Avoid sugarcoating things or assuming that they know what you mean. They’re not a mind-reader!

Communication in a relationship is important because it’s so easy to misunderstand one another. If you want clarity, you need to be able to ask for it. Then, your partner needs to be honest in their answer. Without that, confusion reigns, and when that happens, arguments, misunderstandings, and chaos ensues. [Read: How to communicate in a relationship – 16 steps to a better love]

How to communicate with your spouse in 9 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. [Read: 9 ways to get your man to start communicating with you]

1. Stop the negativity

We 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. [Read: Steps to become more emotionally available for lasting love]

2. Focus on facts and try not to focus on emotions

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. Avoid pointing the finger of accusation

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. We just mentioned focusing on facts and not emotions, but in this situation, explaining how something makes you feel is the exception.

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. It will be without the chase-follow pattern, or the inevitable tears. [Read: 14 steps to a more loving relationship]

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. 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. [Read: Lack of communication in relationships – How to fix this issue]

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. [Read: How to stop negative thoughts from dragging you down]

6. Avoid 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 we 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. [Read: 25 best relationship topics to talk about if you want to be happy]

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. [Read: 10 ways to be a better listener in your relationship]

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. [Read: How to talk to anyone – Master the art of a real conversationalist]

9. Stop expecting your partner to be a mind-reader

Your partner can’t read your mind, as much as you would like them to. They can’t be expected to know what you’re thinking or how to interpret your cold shoulder. If you want to know something, ask. If you’re annoyed about something, explain. On both sides, listen.

One of the biggest issues is expecting your partner to just somehow know what your problem is or why you’re upset. Unless you tell them, they have no idea. [Read: Healthy relationship boundaries – How to live your best love life]

Start speaking the same language

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.

[Read: 25 clues to know if therapy will help your relationship]

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.

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Julie_Keating
Julie Keating

A writer isn’t born, but created out of experiences. No lack of subject matter, my life reads more like fiction than anything that could have been imagined...

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