The way a couple communicates will determine whether their marriage will last or not. There are 4 key indicators of healthy communication between partners – and conversely, 4 key indicators of unhealthy communication. The healthy communication obviously will lead to more successful marriages and the unhealthy communication necessarily will lead to unsuccessful marriages.
Here are 4 key indicators to look for:
- The couple frequently uses positive reinforcement, compliments and observations with each other, keeping criticism to a minimum (using it only as a condiment when absolutely essential.) This adds a certain sweet element to the relationship, a certain amount of comfort and validation that is critical to the success of the relationship.
- The couple shows deference and respect to each other, almost to the level they would show to their priest, boss or superior. Indeed it is not possible to be too respectful to your spouse. But it is possible to be so disrespectful towards your spouse that eventually they shut down and refuse to communicate with you. Respect is earned and it is two way. Respect has to be in every facet and context of the relationship. It should be easier than it seems to be for a lot of couples to exhibit respect for their partners.
- The couple who is able to empathize with their spouse will be able to build intimacy and rapport that are critical to the success of the relationship. On the other hand, if the couple cannot put themselves in each other’s shoes or if they cannot see things from the perspective of their spouse, or even mirror their spouse, they cannot have a successful relationship.
- Openness is a critical component of communication between a couple. They each have to be open to talk and to discuss issues and problems as they arise and to continue to hash things out till both feel satisfied by the outcome – whatever it may be.
Any of these elements when tipped in the wrong direction could cause your spouse to clam up and refuse to communicate with you.