Posts Tagged ‘communications’

Having a Serious Conversation with Your Spouse

October 30, 2010

Couple CommunicationsSuccessfully married couples attribute their marital success first and foremost to the fact that they have honed their communication skills over time. So, what are the lessons we have learned from those couples that communicate really well – that communicate effectively on just about every level. As we poured over our interview notes from thousands of couples, five important actions began to emerge.

1. Effective marital communication always begins with proper engagement in a proper context. Talking about serious matters cannot occur effectively when dealing with chaos, such as a blaring television, crying baby, etc.

2. Effective communications requires that proper etiquette is maintained. Lower your voices, speak in a calm manner, make eye contact, listen intently and seek clarification if you don’t understand. Refrain from blaming, accusing, calling names, making nasty remarks or getting defensive.

3. Discussions about serious issues must always begin with agreement about what the issues really are. Work to identify the issue, establish the parameters of the discussion, and agree to solve the problem together.

4. A fruitful conversation about important matters always begins with the brainstorming of ideas. It is important to get your respective ideas out on the table. Talk about the relative strengths and weaknesses of each. Agree on ideas worth exploring.

5. Never, we repeat, never be judgmental when debating issues with your mate. Instantly passing judgment on an idea is usually the death of open and honest debate between two people.

The thousands of successfully married couples we have interviewed over the years report to us that they never felt invalidated by their spouse, that they always felt their arguments were heard, and that their opinions always mattered. Learn the simple lessons of communication that these wonderful couples have taught us – and have now taught you!

Simple things matter in love and marriage. Love well.

By America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts
Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz
For more marriage advice visit their website Simple Things Matter

Five things you should NEVER say to your spouse

March 10, 2010

Five things you should never say to your spouseJust as important as saying the right thing to the one you love is to avoid saying statements that have the potential to destroy the foundation of the relationship. Saying just one wrong thing can negate an entire day of good statements and actions. Negative and hurtful statements can have the power to cut through the very fabric of the bond between two people in love.

Here are those five things you should NEVER say to your spouse:

1. It’s your fault! Sometimes, a financial decision goes bad, one of your children gets in trouble at school, or some household calamity occurs. And know this – things do go bad from time to time in any relationship. Decisions turn out wrong. Stuff happens! But the blame game never works! It alienates. It divides. It most certainly undermines trust and openness in your relationship.
2. I told you so! Trust us on this – these four words are rarely ever used in successful marriages. This kind of “comeuppance” has no place in a loving relationship. There is no need to remind your spouse that you were right about something and they were wrong. Talk about wasted criticism!
3. Saying “I am upset with you about this or that . . . .” in a public setting. Telling private secrets or criticizing your spouse in public or to someone else can do permanent damage to the trust in your relationship. True or not – it doesn’t matter. Keep private things private.
4. Why do you always . . . Focusing on your spouse’s weakness rather than building on their strengths will only increase their weakness and diminish their strength. This habit can send a relationship into a downward spiral if weaknesses are pointed out and commented upon. Success does breed success. Stick with the strengths and don’t focus on weakness.
5. Ask for your spouse’s opinion and then do the opposite. We have heard from many angry divorced or almost divorced couples that this is the greatest indicator of “disrespect.” If you ask where your spouse wants to go to dinner and he/she suggests a couple of places, then you select a different one, by your actions you said, “I do not respect your opinion and don’t care what you think!”

Since saying negative or hurtful things can be damaging to a loving relationship, it is wise to take extra caution before engaging your mouth when these negative thoughts come into your mind.

By America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts
Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz
For more marriage advice visit their website Simple Things Matter

Communication in marriage

January 31, 2010

Importance of communication by love and marriage expertsThe “heart of the matter” is this – successfully married couples report a high level of satisfaction with the way they communicate with each other, and they attribute their marital success first and foremost to the fact that they have honed their communication skills over time.

These couples report that they never felt invalidated by their spouse, that they always felt their arguments were heard, and that their opinions always mattered.  Learn the simple lessons of communication that these wonderful couples have taught us – and have now taught you!

Simple things matter in love and marriage.   Love well.

By America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts
Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz
For more marriage advice visit their website Simple Things Matter