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How to Communicate Positively When Mending a Troubled Marriage

by Kristen Moutria
If being right is more important to you than restoring your relationship, you may need to learn the importance of positive communication.

If being right is more important to you than restoring your relationship, you may need to learn the importance of positive communication.

As you and your spouse are attempting to mend your troubled marriage, you may possess a certain hostile mentality that makes giving him the benefit of the doubt difficult to do. Instead of seeing your husband as someone you love and want to build a loving relationship with, you perceive him as an enemy or even someone you are in competition with. Stepping back and making the effort to communicate positively while working through your issues can help speed up the process of restoring a healthy marriage.

Let go of your need to be right. "Dr. Phil" McGraw suggests on his TV show's website that stopping the ego-driven power struggle will help restore your relationship and get your priorities in order. Instead of trying to be correct, weigh what is more important to you: a fulfilling marriage or the superficial satisfaction that comes with winning an argument. Focusing on your partner's feelings and the desire to become close to her is a more positive way to communicate as you mend your marriage.

Make the decision to be vulnerable as you communicate. Your pride may be stopping you from being open with your spouse, which can lead to negative communication or no communication at all. Clinical psychologist Juli Slattery says on Focus on the Family's website that intimacy requires vulnerability and that both individuals must "meet each other at the deepest point of their need." Instead of shutting yourself off emotionally, make the effort to open up to your partner so that both of your desires can be met.

Do not try to fix your spouse. In a WebMD article, Elayne Savage, a relationship coach, emphasizes the importance of looking at your spouse as a person and not as a "fixer-upper" that you are attempting to mold into the person you would like him to be. This can lead to resentment from your spouse, as he acknowledges that you are not accepting him for who he is but simply trying to change him.

Integrate trust into your relationship. The National Healthy Marriage Resource Center reports that trust is the cornerstone to an individual's ability to be involved in a healthy and rewarding relationship. If you or your spouse are struggling with trust issues, this may be the fundamental cause of your broken marriage. Try to find out what is at the root of your distrust, and work on fixing whatever it is that is keeping you from completely trusting your spouse.

Tip

  • Be patient with your spouse as you learn to communicate positively. You are likely accustomed to an unhealthy communication style in your marriage, as it is troubled. Forgive your spouse as you work through your issues. This will allow you to mend your marriage without harboring bitterness or resentment.

Resources

  • Project: Happily Ever After; Alisa Bowman

About the Author

Kristen Moutria has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Evangel University. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in education from the University of Nebraska.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images