How to Communicate with Your Spouse
How can I make my marriage better than my parents’?
By Susan Heitler, PhD – author of The Power of Two: Secrets to a Strong & Loving Marriage and founder of Power of Two Online.
Where did you learn how to communicate with your spouse? Growing up you heard grownups talking and listening respectfully, or maybe growling at each other and fighting, or perhaps even avoiding each other and their issues.
Now, there’s a recording in your head of how your parents and the other grownups in your life interacted. That recording forms the foundation -- it’s the default setting -- for how you are likely to talk, fight, or withdraw from your spouse as a grown-up. How your spouse’s family talked—or didn’t talk—is the most likely source for your spouse’s default model for communication in marriage as well.
Take the Power of Two Relationship Quiz.Begin the Relationship Quiz
The first step to learning how to communicate with your spouse is to understand where your communication patterns come from.
You can start by closing your eyes for a moment and thinking of a recent difficult moment with your husband or wife. Then, allow yourself to recall a similar scene from your childhood. What comes to mind? You can ask your spouse to do the same. What childhood scenes does your spouse recall?
See any similarities between what you saw as a kid, and how you communicate now, as an adult?
Does learning these patterns as a kid mean you are doomed forever? Are you stuck with the hurtful or ineffective ways your family communicated? Fortunately, you can learn new skills for how to communicate with your spouse and you can change the way your marriage feels as a result.
Where can you turn to learn how to communicate in new ways?
Marriage education is a new field that teaches the skills for how to communicate with your spouse including how you say things tactfully, how to listen in a way that your partner feels heard, how to stay in a calm conversational zone instead escalating into angry outburst, how to prevent getting snippy, nasty, or sarcastic… and much more.
The Power of Two Online is a unique program funded by the Federal Department of Health and Human Services that teaches one of the most effective marriage education curriculums completely online with engaging interactive activities and with a personal coach that you can interact with by email. With Power of Two Online, you can learn how to communicate with your spouse, without having to give up a weekend or a series of weeknights to attend a marriage education workshop.
There’s one more advantage of Power of Two Online -- you can get started learning on your own. Your husband or wife can join you later, if they’re interested.
Join Power of Two Online now! Don’t get trapped by your parents’ bad habits. Learn new ways to communicate and build a stronger, more loving marriage.