Ten Steps to Clear Communication

Improve your relationship with your spouse with these 10 steps to clear and effective communication.

Think Twice

Don't think you can have a good relationship with your spouse without having good communication. Communication is the relationship.

Communicating effectively isn't so hard, if you break it down into pieces. Follow these 10 steps, and you'll be on the road to better communication with your spouse:

  1. Figure out what you want to say. Before you talk with your spouse about something, make sure you know what you want to tell him or her to minimize possible misunderstandings.

  2. Decide what you need from your spouse. You are more likely to get your needs met, whether it be a hug or an answer to a question, if you know what you want.

  3. Use good judgment in timing. Is your spouse sick or preparing for a big meeting at work? Consider your partner's state of mind when choosing a time to talk.

  4. Make eye contact. Your spouse will be more likely to listen and hear you if you are looking right at each other.

  5. Get your spouse's undivided attention. You will not be heard if your spouse is thinking about something else when you are trying to talk with him or her.

  6. Be a good listener. By being attentive to your spouse, you will have a more productive discussion.

  7. Think Twice

    Don't get into heated arguments with your spouse when you are talking on the telephone. Conflicts are much better resolved in person.

  8. Confirm that you were heard. Ask your spouse if he or she fully understands what you just said. Then, and only then, will your spouse be able to respond properly.

  9. After your spouse has told you something, rephrase what he or she has said. This will let your spouse know for sure that you've heard what he or she is saying.

  10. Schedule a better discussion time if necessary. Sometimes it's just not possible to get your spouse's attention at the exact moment that you want it.

  11. Remember that communication is a two-way street. If both of you follow these steps, you will both benefit and strengthen your relationship.

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