When people are dating, they tend to talk a lot about themselves, their goals, their history, and their feelings. However, for many couples, years of marriage can cause communication to become more like a business deal. Conversations may become centered around schedules, household responsibilities, and financial decisions.
Lack of quality conversation can have a negative impact on a marriage. These quality conversations are one of the things that separates the relationship between spouses from other relationships. Being able to talk to your spouse about your feelings is important.
Quality conversation involves more than just sharing about how you spent your day or talking about what to have for dinner. It involves talking about feelings in addition to what you think. For example, quality conversation involves being able to say, “I felt really frustrated today when…” Instead of just offering the play-by-play of daily activities, include how you felt.
Talking about feelings does not come naturally to some people. It may take some practice to identify feelings throughout the day. Making mental or written notes of how you feel can be helpful until it starts to become more natural. Check in with yourself throughout the day to see if you can recognize what you are feeling. With practice, this gets easier and then it becomes more natural to be able to talk about your feelings.
If your partner isn’t forthcoming with feelings, ask, “How did you feel when…” to help your spouse start these conversations. You might notice your spouse reply with something like, “I thought…” and you can help them to further identify how they feel, not just what she thought.
Find time each week to have quality conversation. This might mean that you go for a walk to focus on being able to talk with one another. It might include activities such as gardening, fishing, hiking, or any other quiet activity that gives you the opportunity to talk. For other couples, quality time might involve sitting at the table or on the couch. Just make sure the television isn’t on or that there aren’t other distractions present. Provide each other with undivided attention.