Good communication skills are essential for a long and happy marriage. Also, it is easier if both people are interested in being better as a couple.

The first step toward healthy communication is to know what to expect in marriage. After the ceremony, you might soon realize that your spouse can't read your mind and isn't going to change much. This means that it's time to start communicating.

Here are some skills that will help you develop good, healthy communication skills and to help strengthen your marriage.

1. Get rid of distractions

When starting a conversation, it is important that you give your undivided attention to the other person and truly demonstrate the necessity of communication in your marriage. Turn off all distractions such as the TV, computer and cell phones.

Learn to listen. The world shows us that a person's good communication skills come from being a good speaker. In reality, a person with good communication skills is the one who listens more than he speaks. Listening is more than just being away from distractions, it's actually paying attention to what the other person is saying.

2. Consider the feelings of the other person

A characteristic of a good friendship is the ability to put ourselves in the other's shoes. This characteristic is first and foremost in a successful marriage. Every day we get to know our spouses better. Originally, we come from different families so we have different experiences, values and expectations which is what defines us. Instead of getting mad when your spouse doesn't understand what you mean or understand your desires right away, try to understand where he or she is coming from, and consider his or her pre-marriage experiences.

3. Be patient with difficult subjects

Some conversations might be a little difficult to talk about. Lots of times you are going to have to talk about difficult subjects like infertility, your in-laws, money, death or friends. With these subjects and others like them, it's important to have patience and empathy. In these conversations, start subtly and peacefully. When these conversations become heated and the love is not present, the most important thing to do is avoid a fight. Take a break from the conversation and start again when you are both calm.

4. Find a solution together

In order for marriage to work, we need to be flexible. There is a lot that we can give and receive and sacrifice in order to achieve a mutual agreement. After the conversation, you both need to agree to keep up your end of the deal, but on top of that, you need to want to do your part. Be true and faithful to your agreement or there will be other discussions on the same subject.

5. Find the time to communicate

We all have a very busy daily schedule. New couples usually study and work and others have children and other activities. Understanding and patience are essential for this to work. It's important that every day we set aside 15 minutes to:

  • Look into the eyes of the other person

  • Talk about each other's day

  • Remember your goals

  • Evaluate how you can work on your goals

These actions help to prevent your synergy and unity from failing.

6. Take advantage of your time together

In marriage, your success in communication happens when you feel comfortable being together. This includes you feeling able to be who you are, relaxing, enjoying the moment together, going on dates naturally for the pleasure to be with each other, and keeping alive the fire that you built by falling in love. In the end, we were born to be happy.

Translated and adapted by Taylor Richardson from the original article, "Como Melhorar a Comunicação no Casamento" by Chris Ayres.

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