If the communication in your marriage has been somewhat lacking recently, you may be worried you're losing touch with your spouse. Good communication is vital in marriage as you walk through the ups and downs of life, but busy times can see couples putting their relationship on the backburner.
Before long, the compromises you accepted during a busy period can become the new norm and you may feel that you and spouse are drifting apart. Here are three ways you can improve on your communication and reconnect with each other:
Once a week have a date night without the distractions of work, kids, social media, and your never-ending to-do list. Turn your phone off and spend a couple of hours outside of the home talking and listening to each other. Your dates don't have to be expensive: try going for a walk, sitting in a coffee shop or visiting an ice-cream parlour.
Individuals continue to change, develop new interests and experience life in a unique way to their spouse, so a regular date night allows you stay current with your partner's life. If things are really bad, date nights may feel uncomfortable at first as you may not have much to say to each other, but commit to sticking with it and you may just rediscover the person you fell in love with.
Work on a Project Together
Does working on a project with your spouse sound like a sure-fire way to get into a heated argument? Well, that argument may get some issues out into the open that need to be addressed. Working on a project together also gives you the opportunity to experience the joy of achieving something together and forces you to work as a team.
Pick a project you're both interested in and agree when you will work on the project each week. Treat your time working on this project as an investment in your relationship, and treat each other with the same respect you would afford a co-worker as couples can become complacent in the way they interact.
So, listen to each other, be responsive, provide reflective and constructive feedback, respect the other person's opinions, and praise each other for a job well done. Once the project is complete, you should be able to continue treating each other the way you committed to during the project. You can immediately begin another project to help each other accomplish more goals.
Relationship counselling can be a useful and safe way to explore the reasons behind your communication issues, resolve conflict and restore trust. A counselling center such as Inner Dimensions can mediate and provide a supportive and confidential environment for you and your spouse to confront the issues that have created this communication barrier in your marriage.
They will work with you both to establish stress points in your marriage and help you to develop the tools required to move beyond current conflict and start communicating in a healthy way again. Between sessions, they may give you some homework to do. For example, they may ask you to spend time writing down what you love about your spouse and what frustrates you about them, which would then be discussed during the next session.
Committing to improving your communication may take you outside of your comfort zone at first, but it's a positive step that will improve your marriage and help you rediscover your best friend.