Effective Couples Communication 101

Relationship Help Communication Quick Tip

The ABCs of being an Effective Speaker

It’s all in the details: The more detail you give your spouse/partner about how to meet your needs/requests, the better.  Let him/her know the specific behaviors and actions to take—you can even ask him/her, “How can I help you with this?” (This = what you need from him/her). Even if you clearly articulate your needs, you increase the chance of success when you support your partner in following through on your request. Couples who communicate in this way are more likely to meet each other’s needs on a more consistent basis.

The ABCs of being an Effective Listener

When you ask your partner how you can help him/her meet your needs, you send the message that the two of you are in this relationship together—a message of teamwork and togetherness—rather than two people with competing needs. Essentially, you create a win-win situation where you are more likely to get your needs met, while your spouse/partner ends up feeling supported by you in the process. Even if s/he doesn’t take you up on your offer of help, you still send a powerful message of “We’re in this together.”

Remember, couples communication strategies need to be practiced over and over again until they become habitual. Reading about communication skills that seem like a good idea is meaningless until they are repeatedly put into action!

Marriage/Relationship Help Resource

I’ve created a comprehensive communication guide for couples. For more information, click good communication skills.

Wishing you and your relationship all the best,

Dr. Rich Nicastro

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