Studies on the things that result in successful marriages have shown that healthy and happy couples portray a ration of 5:1 positive to negative behavior in their relationship.
This implies that there are usually five times positive interactions between happily married couples, that is; using soft words, listening, validating the other spouses words, affirmation, expressing appreciation, compliments, physical affections, etc. as there are negative interactions like expressing anger, stating a complaint or raising one’s voice.
How To Improve the Quality of Communication In a Relationship
Always have the desire to spend time together. The average couple usually spends less than half an hour in a week talking to each other. Leave alone the technology and try to spend a minimum of thirty minutes in a day checking on one another.
Use more of the “I” statements and less of the “you” statements. This minimizes the chances of your partner feeling as if they will need to defend themselves. For instance, “I would be glad if you acknowledged frequently the amount of effort I put into taking care of you and our kids.”
Always be specific. When something comes up, always be specific. Broad generalizations such as, “You always do this every time!” will be of no good to your relationship.
Stop the Mindreading It can be very frustrating for your spouse to try and act as if they already know what was in your mind.
Always Express the Negative Feelings Appropriately. There are many instances when you will feel disappointed, disapproved, resented or bitter. Such feelings must be communicated properly so that there can be a change. However, the manner in which you express such thoughts is vital. “I’m disappointed that you have to work late at night today,” is completely different from, “You do not seem to care about the kids or me. If you cared, you wouldn’t work until late every night.”
Listen and Do No Be Defensive For any marriage to be successful, spouses need to listen to each other’s complaints without trying to get defensive. This, however, could be more difficult than learning how to express your negative feelings appropriately.
Freely express your positive feelings. A majority of people will be quick to express their negative feelings as opposed to the positive feelings. Affirming your spouse is crucial for the health of any marriage. Positive feelings like warmth, approval, respect, admiration, affection, and appreciation expressed to your partner are similar to making small deposits in a love account. There should always be five positive deposits for a single negative feeling If the compliments are more than the complaints, your spouse shall obviously listen to your grievances. And when your complaints are more than the compliments, all criticism will land on deaf ears.