Accept your spouse for who they are. Men and women communicate differently, and accepting this is key. While it may not be easy to change how you think and feel, it is easy to change your perspective. Accept who they are and how they best communicate. That may require you to approach them differently to have a more effective conversation. As long as you are learning and progressing together, you are on the right track. The problems start when either partner is unwilling to change their approach. Relationships are compromise. Before speaking, think long and hard about how they would approach you with a similar conversation. Follow their lead and speak to them in ways they can relate to.
Feed each others love languages. If you haven’t read the 5 Love Languages book by Gary Chapman, now is the time to do so. This book breaks down the various ways people feel most loved. There are so many different ways, and most importantly, everyone is different. For many it is in gifts. For others it is all about physical touch and affection. Make sure you figure out each others love languages and then USE them. When you feel loved, it is much easier to increase quality communication.
Leave emotions at the door. This is easier said than done for both men and women, but sometimes you just need to get logical about things. Yes, emotions are at the key of most relationships, but there are many situations where you need to check your emotions at the door and listen to your spouse and their thoughts from a logical calm point of view.
What often works best, especially when emotions are already running high, is physical space. Take a walk. Take deep breaths. Give yourself a few minutes to relax, because so often, during this time, things naturally fall into perspective and the simple minutes of silence between you two can often be enough to solve the problem.
Leave the past behind you. Make an agreement that each conversation will be about the here and now. Leave past grievances where they are – in the past. While you may wish to proceed with caution, avoid the urge to bring up past indiscretions or arguments. Instead, focus on the good things and the current situation as it stands alone.
Put down your phone. This is one of the biggest issues in communicating with your spouse. We forget that to do so, we need to focus on them. Our phones, computers, televisions and tablets have become attached to our hips. When it is time to get serious with your spouse, give them your full attention. Meaning: put away electronics and focus exclusively on them!
Desiring better communication with your spouse is something we should all strive for. No matter how many years you have been together, there is always room to change and grow. It is important that you focus on each other and continue to learn how to reach each other in the best way possible.