We speak a lot about communication. And there's good reason. It's one of the biggest culprits in relationship woes. It's also something you can control and work on throughout marriage. While there are lots of ways to improve your communication, these 5 do's and don'ts will help you get started on the right foot towards a happy marriage:
1) Do Be Thankful: It goes without saying, that when someone does something nice for you, you offer some form of gratitude. But when you live with someone, often the lines of what's considered "nice" is blurred. Once you get married, you may come to expect certain things from each other and not think to say thank you. You do the shopping and laundry; he does the cooking and dishes. It's the household game plan. Even so, acknowledging someone else and offering thanks goes a long way to show how much you appreciate each other and all that you do.
2) Do Compliment: When we talk about compliments, we tend to think about appearances. "I love your new haircut" or "You look amazing in that dress." And while those types of compliments are good to give and receive, there are many more that go beyond looks. Compliments on listening skills, generosity, honesty or other good character traits are also important. It's important to note that the more your compliment in these areas, the more likely you'll see the repeated behavior. So if your husband isn't the best listener, for example, and one day he really tries hard and hears what you're saying, you need to compliment him on that if you want him to improve those skills. An example might be, " I love when we can sit down and talk like this. I feel like you really listened and understand me; and that makes me feel more connected with you."
3) Do Be Open & Honest: Marriage comes with ups and downs. There will be times when one of you says or does something the other doesn't like. People aren't mind readers. So if it's something that is bothering you or on your mind a lot, let him know. Take a moment to collect your thoughts and think through what you want to say. Speaking in terms of how it made you feel works best. "I felt bad when you decided to go see XYZ movie with the guys before you asked if I'd like to see it. I was actually looking forward to watching it with you."
4) Do Not Kid About Sensitive Issues: Humor is a good, healthy aspect of any relationship. But taking jabs at your partner on issues that are sensitive for him is a no-no. Whether it's his weight or receding hairline, it's no fun to be laughed at, even if it's "just a joke." No one wants to be that person, least of all, your spouse. Always think before you speak and put yourself in his shoes.
5) Do Not Nag: It's true now that you're married, you have some shared responsibilities. You need the money to pay the rent, the light bulb in the kitchen replaced, and the tire in your car to be changed. And although these are all things your husband has agreed to take care of, don't inundate him with requests the minute he walks in the door. Block off a time when you can discuss your to-do list, but save when you come home from work to hear about each other's day. It's important to unwind from work and not be bogged down with more work to do.
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