Many couples run their marriage like a business. They discuss the bills, the kids, and the day to day operations of the house. They may struggle to keep things in check or they may operate like a well-oiled machine. Either way, they may like quality communication with one another.
How often do you and your spouse discuss your feelings? When is the last time you talked about your hopes and dreams? Are you comfortable sharing about your childhood, bad memories, hurt feelings, and embarrassments? Quality communication involves more than just discussing the day to day operations.
Even in great relationships, there are often some things that are never discussed. One person may hold back telling their spouse something from the past due to fear of being judged. Another person may not want to discuss a mistake they made out of fear of how it may make them look. Quality communication doesn’t mean you have to divulge everything to your spouse all the time but it does require you to be open to vulnerability.
What Happens When Couples Don’t Open Up
Sometimes people don’t want to talk about deeper emotional issues due to their fear of being riduculed or rejected. Other times, people can’t bring themselves to admit something to themselves, let alone reveal it to their spouse. But being in an emotionally connected marriage requires that you are willing to share thoughts, feelings, beliefs, hopes and dreams that may be buried quite deep.
When couples aren’t able to enjoy quality conversation with one another, they miss out on having a deeper emotional connection. This deeper emotional connection is one of the major differences that separates a marriage from other relationships (besides physical intimacy). Many couples who lack this often report feeling satisfied with their marriage but also report that their marriage seems to be lacking something.
Human beings benefit from having a deep emotional connection with one another. When a couple lacks this emotional connection, sometimes one or both partners seek it elsewhere. This can result in an emotional affair if the person tries to obtain an emotional connection with someone outside the marriage.
Some Tips On Better Communication With Your Spouse
If you are not used to enjoying regular quality conversations with your spouse, it can feel awkward at first. It can seem difficult to change the subject from who is going to do the dishes to how you are feeling sad about something. Here are some tips to help get you started and to make sure you on track with forming and maintaining a deeper emotional connection through quality conversation:
- Set aside time each day to connect with one another. Make sure you spend at least 15 minutes per day talking about something other than your daily activities.
- Give your partner your undivided attention. Put down your book, shut off the television, put your phone away, and avoid all other distractions. Listening to your spouse is one of the most important parts of communication.
- If you aren’t sure how to start the conversation, start with a question. Ask your spouse a few questions about how he or she feels about something. If it feels particularly difficult, start with something that is not directly related to you, such as a political issue or something you watched on the news.
- Identify some feelings and share with your partner about things that makes you feel happy, sad, angry, and embarrassed.
- Create opportunities to have longer more meaningful conversations. Date nights, dinners, or vacations can offer you extended periods of time to talk. Hire a babysitter if you have children and make sure you have plenty of time to engage in adult conversation that doesn’t involve talking about day to day household operations.
Quality conversations can help you to develop a deeper sense of appreciation for your spouse. Many people seem to lose interest in their partner as a person after being together for years. They may find their spouse to be boring, predictable, and think they already know everything there is to know about them. This type of thinking can lead to lack of quality conversation, which causes breaks down the emotional connection.
Staying connected to your partner despite the busy demands of life is a challenge. It takes time, energy and commitment. However, the payoffs are enormous. Developing a deeper emotional connection can improve not just the quality of your marriage, but also the quality of your life.