One of the big problems that many couples face is a breakdown in the relationship due to poor communication. Both parties fail to meet each other's needs and listen to one another, so the relationship suffers. With the high divorce rate in the United States, it is easy to see the outcome of communication issues in relationships. Here are some tips for communicating more effectively with your partner and making the relationship stronger:
Express your needs: Instead of complaining about how your significant other is not meeting your needs, express yourself using "I" statements. This trick is effective in mediating arguments and enlisting your partner's cooperation. Instead of saying, "You never listen to me," try saying something like, "I feel like I'm not being heard and I just need to talk to you."
Don't hold a grudge: In the heat of a discussion, it's easy to fall into the trap of opening up old wounds. Don't digress and bring up ways that your partner has hurt you in the past. Instead, stay focused on the current discussion.
Set aside a time for talk: So many arguments become blown out of proportion due to their spontaneity. Creating a mutually convenient time to discuss something serious allows both parties to think their arguments over and avoid saying something they will later regret.
Get along: There is no point in trying to prove that you are right about something. Being right does not solve anything and there is no victory in your "I told you so" moment. When both people try to prove themselves right over the other, nobody wins.
Take responsibility: Blaming your partner may feel like the right thing to do, but it only makes the problem worse. Take responsibility for your own actions and accept that you cannot force your partner to change.
Keep cool: If the argument gets heated, walk away before your say something you will apologize for afterward. You may be angry now, but it's not worth damning the relationship due to a single ill-advised burst of temper.
Stop trying to control everything: Neither spouse should wear the figurative pants in the relationship - both should be equal.
Respect each other: So often people think they know their partner so well that they forget to think about their partner's feelings. Instead, treat your partner's thoughts and feelings like you would for those of your boss. How they feel about you should be your number one priority, and they deserve that level of respect. By understanding where your spouse is coming from, and vice versa, you can communicate more effectively as a team.