Sometimes couples don’t ever really take stock of how much complaining they do to one another. It’s imperative to periodically review your communication style and strengths as well as your weaknesses. If much of your communication includes complaints, it is important to change this.
Complaining is necessary sometimes. However, if too much of your communication includes complaints, it is going to have a negative impact on your relationship. Complaining too much breaks down communication in general and slowly breaks down the relationship.
If your communication includes a lot of negative interactions, it leaves less time for positive interactions. When there’s less time for positive interactions, you aren’t able to connect with your spouse. This impacts your emotional intimacy.
Much of your communication needs to be positive. Try to make sure that at least 80% of your communication includes positive messages to your spouse. This can include telling your spouse what you appreciate, what went well in your day, stories about the children, or any other positive messages.
Reserve 20% or less of communication for complaints. Complaints can include things like asking your spouse to do something around the house, talking about what’s wrong with the car, or expressing your displeasure at your spouse for coming home late. Although it may be necessary to talk about these issues, there are important things to keep in mind when discussing them with your spouse.
Timing is important. Try not to bring up complaints when you don’t have time to properly solve the problem. For example, avoid calling your spouse at work simply to complain. And don’t bombard your spouse with complaints as soon as you greet one another. Instead, find an appropriate time that both of you can talk calmly. And surprise your spouse by calling her at work with positive news. Or greet him at the door with a hug and a smile instead of a complaint.
Focus on increasing the amount of positive communication you have. It can help improve the quality of your marriage. When your spouse shares complaints with you, try to react respectfully and be open to making changes. This can also help decrease the negative interactions in a marriage.