It’s no secret that communication is essential to any relationship. But when you’re a married couple, it’s even more important. After all, you’re not just dating anymore – you’ve committed to sharing your life with someone.
And in order to make that work, you need to be able to communicate effectively.
Of course, communicating effectively doesn’t just mean being able to talk to each other. It also means being able to listen, to understand, and to respect each other’s points of view.
It’s not always easy, but it’s definitely worth it.
A healthy marriage involves good communication, but the reality is, we aren’t always taught how to communicate effectively, especially in a relationship.
This is where communication problems arise, we end up in a spiral of poor communication and our once happy marriage starts to turn into an occasionally happy marriage (or worse).
What Does Communication Mean In A Marriage?
When it comes to communication in a marriage, we often think about deep and meaningful conversations, sharing our inner thoughts, and being emotionally vulnerable.
Which are all amazing things that can happen in a marriage, but communication in marriage is so much more than this.
When we talk about communication in marriage, we’re talking about so much more than just words.
Communication comes from everything we do, the way we speak, the words we say (and how we say them), our ability to be a good listener, our body language, and even our facial expressions, as well as our physical connection and emotional connection with our spouse.
It sounds simple enough, but in practice, it can be much harder.
We all come from different backgrounds and have different ways of communicating.
And when you’re married, there’s a lot more at stake than just hurt feelings or frustrations about your partner not listening – you’re also dealing with day-to-day life issues like finances, parenting, and family dynamics.
That’s why communication is so important in marriage.
It’s the foundation that everything else is built on.
Without it, you’ll have a hard time dealing with conflict, making decisions, and even just enjoying your time together.
6 Types Of Communication In A Marriage
There are different types of communication, but here are six of the most important ones in marriage:
1 – Verbal Communication
This is the kind of communication that most people think about when they hear the word “communication.” It’s the act of speaking to each other and sharing information.
But it’s so much more than just saying words.
It also includes things like your tone of voice, the words you choose, and how you say them.
All of these things can communicate different messages, even if the words themselves are the same.
For example, let’s say you ask your spouse how their day was.
They could simply answer with “good” or “fine.” But if they say it in a flat, uninterested tone, you might get the feeling that they don’t really want to talk about their day.
On the other hand, if they sound happy and enthusiastic, you’ll probably want to hear more about what happened.
2 – Nonverbal Communication
This is the kind of communication that doesn’t involve words. It includes things like body language, eye contact, and facial expressions.
And it can be just as important (if not more important) than what you actually say.
Experts have found that around 55% of communication is nonverbal, 38% is vocal, and only 7% is made up of the actual words we speak.
For example, let’s say you’re trying to have a serious conversation with your spouse about something that’s bothering you.
But instead of looking at you and really listening, they’re looking around the room, tapping their foot, and crossing their arms.
It’s likely that they’re not really interested in what you have to say and that they’re not going to be very open to hearing you out.
In turn, you’re likely to feel frustrated, like you’re not being listened to, and like you’re not a priority to your partner, all because of their nonverbal communication.
3 – Emotional Communication
This is the kind of communication that involves sharing your feelings with each other.
It’s about being vulnerable and opening up, which can be scary but is also an important part of a healthy relationship.
When you’re emotionally open with your partner, it allows them to understand you better and vice versa. It also deepens the emotional connection between you and creates trust.
4 – Visual Communication
This is the kind of communication that involves using visual cues to communicate.
It can be things like eye contact, body language, and facial expressions (which we already talked about), but it also includes things like hand gestures and even the way you dress.
For example, let’s say you’re getting ready for a date night with your spouse.
You might take extra time to pick out the perfect outfit, do your hair and makeup, and make sure you look your best.
Why? Because you want to look good for your partner.
You’re using visual communication to send the message that you care about them and that you want them to feel attracted to you.
And it’s likely that they’ll appreciate the effort you made and will return the favor.
5 – Auditory Communication
This is the kind of communication that involves using sound to communicate. It can be things like the tone of your voice, the volume of your voice, and even the words you choose to use.
For example, let’s say you’re trying to have a serious conversation with your spouse about something that’s bothering you.
But instead of speaking in a calm, rational way, you’re yelling and screaming.
It’s likely that they’re not going to be very receptive to what you have to say and that the conversation isn’t going to go well.
On the other hand, if you speak in a soft, gentle voice, they’re more likely to listen to you and be open to what you have to say.
6 – Physical Communication
This is the kind of communication that involves touch. It can be things like holding hands, cuddling, kissing, and physical intimacy.
And it’s an important way to show affection, love, and connection, particularly if you or your partner has physical touch as one of their love languages
Physical touch releases oxytocin, the “cuddle hormone” that helps to reduce stress and anxiety and makes us feel happy and connected.
That’s why it’s so important in marriage – it can help to reduce conflict and make you feel closer to your partner.
Why Is Communication Important Between Couples?
Communication is important in marriage because it allows you to connect with your partner on a deeper level. It also allows you to understand them better and to resolve conflict in a healthy way.
When you’re able to communicate effectively, it can make your relationship stronger, closer, and more intimate.
And that’s why it’s so important to make communication a priority in your marriage.
Communication is the basis of every interaction we have as a couple, good communication is an important factor in marital satisfaction.
In a study I conducted that involved over 1000 women, many understood the importance of communication in their relationships, but were not satisfied with the level of communication they had.
This low level of satisfaction correlated with the 46.2% of women who had stated they had considered leaving their marriage at some point.
What Is A Lack Of Communication In A Marriage?
A lack of communication in a marriage can be a major problem because it can lead to misunderstandings, resentment, and even divorce.
When you don’t communicate with your partner, it’s easy to start assuming things about them. And when those assumptions are wrong, it can lead to all sorts of problems.
For example, let’s say you assume that your partner is mad at you because they didn’t text you back right away.
But the truth is, they were just busy and didn’t have a chance to respond. Now you’re angry at them for something that isn’t even true.
Or let’s say you say to your partner that you’re okay with him going out drinking with your friends every weekend.
But the truth is, they’re actually feeling left out and neglected. Now you’re in for a big argument when you get home.
It’s important to communicate with your partner so that you can avoid these kinds of misunderstandings. Otherwise, they can lead to resentment, anger, and even divorce.
Marital communication can be difficult, especially if it’s not something that has been a priority or been focused on before.
And while we may think sending a few text messages throughout the day counts as communication, we know that our words and what we say only play a small role in our overall communication with our partner.
Can Lack Of Communication Ruin A Marriage?
A lack of communication can absolutely ruin a marriage. If you and your partner are not communicating, it’s likely that there are other problems in the relationship as well.
For example, if you’re not communicating, you’re probably not spending much time together.
And if you’re not spending time together, you’re likely to grow apart and eventually feel distant and separate from each other.
It’s also likely that you’re not communicating about important things like your finances, your plans for the future, or your expectations for the relationship.
And when you don’t communicate about these things, it can lead to problems down the road.
In order to make a marriage work, you need to understand each other on different levels, and through different phases, and be able to have open and honest conversations.
So if you’re not communicating with your partner, it’s important to start doing so as soon as possible. Otherwise, there’s a good chance you’ll find that your relationship is in trouble.
Can A Marriage Survive Without Communication?
A marriage can technically survive without communication, but it’s not going to be a happy or healthy one.
Couples who don’t communicate often find that they grow apart and eventually feel like they’re living separate lives. They may still be together, but they’re not really connected or in sync with each other.
It’s also likely that couples who don’t communicate will have a lot of unresolved issues. And over time, these issues can build up and cause a lot of resentment and bitterness.
Without understanding each other on a deeper level, and without lines of communication being open, it can be difficult to navigate things like conflict resolution and this can lead to arguments going unresolved, being brought up again and again, and creating more conflict within a relationship.
So while a marriage can technically survive without communication, it’s not going to be a happy or healthy one. If you want your marriage to thrive, you need to make communication a priority.
Furthermore, happy couples who focus on resolving communication issues and improving the quality of their communication are often able to establish a deeper emotional connection.
It’s a common mistake that couples make when they find their physical intimacy and physical touch moments start to decrease, they overlook the importance of communication and emotional connection in creating these intimate moments.
How Do You Fix Lack Of Communication In A Marriage?
If you’re not communicating with your partner, it’s important to start doing so as soon as possible. You need to make it a priority in your relationship.
It’s also important to be honest about the state of your communication. If you’re not communicating, chances are there are other problems in the relationship as well.
You need to be honest with your partner about what’s going on and why you’re not communicating. You also need to be willing to listen to your partner and really hear what they’re saying.
Better communication can be difficult to achieve on your own, so going to marriage counseling and speaking to a professional can help you to develop effective communication skills.
It’s important to remember though, you both need to put in as much work as each other and give improving your communication the proper attention it needs.
You cannot control your partner’s behavior, you cannot make them communicate in ways you want them to.
But, you can be open and available to their communication style, and you are in control of your own communication and reactions.
And remember to try and have fun with each other.
Sometimes working on issues in your marriage can be really heavy, which is why it’s important to take time together to just have fun.
Laugh, tell jokes, go for a walk, go and do something fun that you both love or try new things together. This can lighten a mood and make communication easier in the future.
How To Improve Communication In Marriage
If you’re not happy with the level of communication in your marriage, there are things you can do to improve it.
Here are some things you can start today to help you improve communication in your marriage:
1 – Make Time For Each Other
One of the best ways to improve communication is to make time for each other.
This can be difficult if you have busy schedules, but it’s important to make time to just be together and talk.
It is also important to create time for your partner if they tell you they want to talk to you about something.
This shows that you value them and their feelings are important to you.
2 – Be Honest With Each Other
One of the most important things in any relationship is honesty. You need to be honest with your partner about your thoughts, feelings, and needs.
Honesty will help to improve communication because it allows you to really understand each other.
This can be difficult if you’ve had trust issues in previous relationships so you may find that speaking to a marriage counselor can help you navigate these issues and help you to create a more open and honest communication style.
3 – Communicate Your Feelings
Communicating your feelings is important in any relationship, but it’s especially important in marriage.
Marriage is a partnership and you need to be able to express your needs and wants to your partner. If you’re feeling something, say it.
It is also important to create a safe space around being able to share your feelings, and know that your feelings are valid.
Just because you may not understand each other’s feelings, doesn’t mean they are wrong.
4 – Avoid Assumptions
One of the quickest ways to cause communication problems is by making assumptions. If you assume you know what your partner is thinking or feeling, you’re likely to be wrong.
Avoiding assumptions will help improve communication because it stops misunderstandings before they even happen.
If you’re unsure about something, ask. It’s better to ask and clarify than to make an assumption and be wrong.
5 – Don’t Go To Bed Angry
This is a common piece of advice, but there is a big caveat to this that I strongly believe is overlooked.
The general advice is if you have an argument or disagreement, try and resolve it before going to bed. This way you can start the next day fresh and with a clean slate.
While in theory, this is good advice, it doesn’t take into consideration everyone’s communication style, and can force you to feel like you need to ‘give in’ on a disagreement in order to resolve it before bed.
Instead, call a truce, say you’re going to put the discussion aside for now, and pick it up at a later time (and be sure to do so).
6 – Make Time To Talk About Fun Things
It’s easy to get bogged down in the mundane day-to-day tasks of married life and forget to talk about the fun things.
Make time to talk about the things you enjoy, the things that make you laugh, your favorite memories together.
Talking about positive things will help improve communication because it will remind you both of the good times you’ve shared and help to create new positive experiences.
7 – Talk About Your Expectations Around Communication
This is an important conversation to have because everyone has different communication needs and styles.
By talking about your expectations around communication, you can start to understand each other’s needs better.
Maybe your partner likes to talk about their day as soon as they get home, but you need some time to relax first.
By having this conversation, you can come to an agreement about how and when you will communicate with each other.
8 – Listen To Each Other
Really listening to each other is one of the best ways to improve communication. When your partner is talking, really listen to what they’re saying.
This means putting away any distractions, making eye contact, and not interrupting.
Practicing active listening, especially when you’re having difficult conversations, can go a long way to being able to communicate more effectively and better understanding the issue you’re discussing.
It can be difficult to really listen, especially when you’re having an emotional conversation, but it’s worth the effort.
9 – Find Ways To Show Gratitude
One of the best ways to improve communication is to find ways to show gratitude for each other.
This can be something as simple as saying ‘thank you’ for doing the dishes, or taking the time to write a heartfelt letter expressing your gratitude for everything your partner does for you.
Showing gratitude will help improve communication because it will make your partner feel appreciated and valued.
One of the common reasons couples feel resentment is because they don’t feel valued.
Taking time to show gratitude and show how much of an important person your partner is can help foster healthy communication in your day-to-day life.
10 – Respect Each Other’s Boundaries And Give Space When Needed
Everyone has different boundaries around communication, and it’s important to respect each other’s boundaries. If your partner needs some time to themselves, respect that.
Giving each other space when needed will help improve communication because it will show that you’re willing to give each other the time and space to process things in their own way.
Creating a mutual understanding of what each other needs, and being able to communicate your needs at any time, are skills that help lead to a successful marriage.
11 – Seek Help If You Need It
There are times when communication problems can become too much to handle on your own. If this is the case, seek professional help from a marriage counselor or therapist.
They will be able to help you work through any communication issues you’re having.
Communication is an important part of any relationship, but it’s especially important in marriage.
By following these tips, you can start to improve communication in your marriage and create a stronger, more connected relationship.