How to Improve Communication in a Relationship

Clear communication is vital for any healthy relationship. The most frequent concern that I hear as a marriage counselor is that couples are struggling with communication. One or both of them is not feeling heard or understood. Frustration and resentment builds. Poor communication can be taxing on any relationship.

Below are some tips for keeping your lines of communication open and working well:

  • NEVER compare (especially to your mother/father, past girl/boyfriends),
  • Describe what you see, hear or feel, DO NOT throw blame at your partner,
  • Be specific, avoid “never” and “always,” DO NOT globalize,
  • Listen to your partner, DO NOT assume you know or mind read,
  • Listen to your partner, DO NOT plan what you are going to say,
  • Be open minded, there may be several right ways, DO NOT condemn,
  • Listen to understand your partner, DO NOT focus only on what you want to hear,
  • Make eye contact and pay attention to your partner, DO NOT zone out,
  • Let your partner finish speaking, DO NOT interrupt with “that reminds me of,”
  • Allow your partner to row his/her own boat, DO NOT give advice unless asked,
  • Say what you mean and mean what you say, DO NOT leave partner open to misunderstandings,
  • Be considerate, DO NOT simply disagree to disagree or say I do not like your way because it is not my way,
  • Be authentic, say what you mean, DO NOT agree just to keep the peace,
  • Stick to the issue, DO NOT dump a huge pile of past issues on your partner,
  • Speak for yourself, DO NOT speak for your partner,
  • It’s Okay to make mistakes, choose happiness and harmony over being “right.”

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2 Responses to How to Improve Communication in a Relationship

  1. Dseed June 3, 2016 at 4:10 pm


  2. Ibk June 4, 2016 at 5:06 am

    Quite true. Although I’d say listening is another important factor. Most of the time we just want to be heard and understood but we don’t like to listen and understand our spouses.


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