Are difficult conversations causing tension in your relationship? Do you want to strengthen your communication skills and build a deeper connection with your spouse? Continue to read as I share with you the Art of Communication to Build a Strong Marriage.
Listen in as I have a captivating conversation with communication expert, Ann Visser, who shares her personal story of communication challenges in her own marriage. Her insights will leave you craving more and eager to transform your own relationship through effective communication.
Communication is the foundation of any successful relationship, and this is particularly true in marriage. However, many couples struggle with effective communication, leading to misunderstandings, conflicts, and emotional distance.
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Listen to the episode:
[00:01:57] Meet Ann Visser
[00:05:36] Neglected communication and conflict led to distance.
[00:11:58] Create healthy conflict, and communicate to build trust.
[00:19:38] Three C’s: Check emotions, communicate, and curiosity.
[00:23:51] Patience and communication are key to relationship success.
[00:41:13] Daily and yearly habits maintain a marriage.
[00:44:48] Avoid relationship mind games
[00:49:02] Marital system changes are needed for child discipline
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Connect with Ann Visser on Instagram, Facebook, and her blog
- You can subscribe to my podcast.
- Connect with Anne on Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube
- Join a FREE Christian women’s community
- For Better Forever:
- How to Avoid Falling for a Jerk: Everything, Relationships
- John Maxwell
Master the Art of Communication to Build a Strong Marriage
Ann Visser is a certified John Maxwell coach, speaker, and trainer with over 20 years of experience in equipping individuals and organizations to communicate effectively. She is also the co-founder of For Better Forever, which focuses on communication and leadership skills for couples. Ann has worked with young people, teaching them how to avoid falling for a jerk and find good people to be with for a lifetime. She has also travelled to Paraguay to teach values-based leadership skills to students and supported inmates in a local jail and a recovery home for addicts to change from the inside out.
In this podcast episode, we focus on Ann’s insights on communication in marriage, particularly the challenges that couples face and how to overcome them.
Common Communication Challenges in Marriage
One of the most common challenges that couples face in communication is avoiding conflict. Many couples believe that avoiding conflict is the key to a happy marriage, but this is a misconception. Avoiding conflict creates emotional distance and can lead to resentment and frustration. Ann shares her personal experience of how avoiding conflict created a distance in her marriage:
“We also avoided conflict. And this, these two things, not communicating and avoiding conflict, created an emotional space at a distance in our marriage. It kind of snuck up on us. It didn’t happen right away. It kind of snuck up on us. And so all of a sudden we kind of like, it was like, I woke up one day and was like, wait a minute, I don’t know who you are anymore.”
Another challenge that couples face in communication is not knowing how to communicate effectively about their feelings and needs. Many couples assume that their partner should know what they want or need without having to say it explicitly. However, this assumption often leads to misunderstandings and unmet expectations. Ann shares her experience of feeling alone and like a single mom raising her kids when her husband was busy with farming:
“I often felt alone, like I was a single mom raising these kids when he had his very busy seasons.”
This feeling of loneliness and unmet needs can create emotional distance and resentment in a marriage.
Additionally, couples often struggle with vulnerability and trust. They may fear being judged or rejected by their partner, leading them to withhold information or feelings. Ann explains that trust can fluctuate, and it’s essential to create a safe space for vulnerability:
“Trust is something that kind of moves. It’s a bit on, it’s on a slider. And so you hurt me a little bit today, and my trust kind of falls, or I’m reminded of something way back when, and my trust plummets. Because I’m not sure I can trust you. So I’m not going to be vulnerable with you.”
2 simple Tips for Overcoming Communication Challenges in Marriage
To overcome communication challenges in marriage, couples need to learn how to communicate effectively and openly about their feelings and needs.
This requires vulnerability and honesty, which can be difficult for some couples. However, getting help is the bravest and best thing a couple can do for their marriage:
“We’re going to get the help that we need in order to get well. And I tell my people, it’s the bravest and best thing you can do in the world is to get help. And I think we all need it at some point.”
Getting help can come in many forms, such as counselling, coaching, or attending workshops or retreats. The important thing is to recognize that communication is a skill that can be learned and improved with practice and guidance.
1. Be an Active & Empathetic Listener
One effective way to improve communication in marriage is to learn how to listen actively and empathetically.
Active listening means paying attention to what your partner is saying without interrupting or judging them.
Empathetic listening means trying to understand your partner’s perspective and feelings without necessarily agreeing with them.
The importance of listening in communication:
“Listening is the most important thing in communication. And we need to listen with our hearts and our ears. We need to be present and focused on what our partner is saying, rather than thinking about our response or what we want to say next.”
2. Learn to express your feelings
Another way to improve communication in marriage is to learn how to express your feelings and needs in a clear and respectful way. This means using “I” statements instead of “you” statements and avoiding blame or criticism. Ann emphasizes the importance of expressing yourself honestly:
“It’s important to express your feelings and needs in a clear and respectful way. This means using “I” statements instead of “you” statements and avoiding blame or criticism. For example, instead of saying ‘You never listen to me,’ say ‘I feel unheard when we talk.’”
It’s so important to be self-aware and have emotional regulation in communication. When emotions run high, it can be challenging to communicate effectively. Ann shares her personal experience of learning how to regulate her emotions:
“I have learned how to regulate my emotions. So when I’m feeling upset or angry, I can take a step back, take a deep breath, and respond in a calm and respectful way. This has been a game-changer for our marriage.”
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How to Create a Healthy Communication Environment
In addition to learning communication skills, couples need to create a healthy communication environment in their marriage.
1. Establish Routines that promote good communication
This means establishing routines and habits that promote open and honest communication. Ann and her husband have developed daily, weekly, and yearly habits that help them stay connected:
“We have rhythms and routines that help us stay connected. For example, we have a daily prayer time and coffee together in the morning, and we have a weekly date night where we go out and do something fun together. We also take an annual marriage retreat to reflect on our relationship and set goals for the future.”
2. Set Boundaries in your communication
Creating a healthy communication environment also involves setting boundaries and respecting each other’s needs and preferences. Ann emphasizes the importance of boundaries in communication:
“Boundaries are important in communication. It’s important to know your limits and to communicate them to your partner. For example, if you need some alone time to recharge, it’s okay to say that and to ask your partner to respect that.”
Strengthen Your Connection Through Effective Communication
Effective communication is essential for a healthy and fulfilling marriage. When couples learn how to communicate openly and honestly, they can build trust and intimacy, resolve conflicts, and strengthen their connection.
However, when communication breaks down, it can lead to emotional distance, resentment, and even divorce.
By learning how to listen actively, express themselves clearly, regulate their emotions, and create a healthy communication environment, couples can overcome the common challenges of communication in marriage and build a strong and lasting relationship.
Communication is the foundation of any successful marriage. However, many couples struggle with effective communication, leading to misunderstandings, conflicts, and emotional distance.
By learning how to communicate openly and honestly, couples can build trust and intimacy, resolve conflicts, and strengthen their connection.
By creating a healthy communication environment, couples can establish routines and habits that promote open and honest communication, set boundaries, and respect each other’s needs and preferences.
The future outlook for communication in marriage is promising, as more couples recognize the importance of effective communication and seek help to improve their skills.
In the comments below, share your tips on communicating with your spouse.