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How to Prepare for Marriage: How Are Your Communication Skills? Pt7

Communication is a fundamental and intricate part of any relationship. Your romantic relationship is not any different.

I beg to ask the question, if communication is so important to the success of your relationship then why do so many people struggle to communicate with their partner’s? We know that our first teacher(s) come from within the household, so why then, do so many people lack this skill set? I believe this has more to do with the fact that more than half of the population was not taught this skill within their home life.

According to a Your Tango Survey, 65% of divorces happen due to communication problems. Some of the communication problems stem from blaming, nagging and lack of validation of feelings and opinions.

With this staggering number leading to divorced couples, I’m further convinced that many people were not specifically taught how to communicate. Many of us believe speaking to one another is the only way to communicate. This is not the case at all. Did you know that most of your communication is non verbal through body language? Research shows that 70 to 93 percent of our communication is nonverbal via body language. If this is true then we word fair better by learning and being able to interpret our partners body movements.

Next, focus on your message. Specifically, the delivery of your message. How are you delivering your message? Are you confrontational? Or are you direct and to the point. I totally believe you can say any and everything you want to say. It is all about your delivery.

Next thing. Can you ask for and be able to take your partner’s feedback? Can you ask for their feedback and be ready for them when they are not in agreement with what you were speaking about? Listen, you are not going to know everything. Your two eyes are still going to miss something. You can look at your project, you can look at your writing, you can look at everything over and over and over again. That fresh set of eyes is what is going to help you look at it in a way you can take something from it, positively. Do not worry about what your partner says about it. They actually are helping you. But if you are the person who always takes everything personal, you are not going to get anywhere. Be open to their feedback, whether you like it or not.

Next, do you usually understand your partner’s point of view whether you agree with it or not? Also, how often are you offering your support? Are they the person that is always offering their support and you are never the person that offers your support? How often are you acting as if he is your mind reader? Do not set yourself up for failure. It does not work that way. Your partner is not a mind reader. You have to communicate. How do you know your partner will love you the way that you need to be loved when you have never shared your needs with them?

Most of us have had multiple relationships or have been in multiple “situationships”, as I call them. So, in order to build this relationship and to prepare yourself for marriage right now, you have to learn to verbalize what you need and want and how he can love you. You are the only one that can do that. Expressing disappointments to all of your friends and family, does not help your relationship. It only builds up resentment. Work on your communication skills. It is that important.

Speaking of communication, is your relationship one sided in the amount you both speak? Are you the talker in the relationship? What do I mean by this? Do you just talk, talk, talk and hardly come up for air? Do you find your partner is zoning out? Are you constantly asking him, “Are you listening?” Because you just talk, talk, talk, you are not letting your partner get a word in edgewise. How often are you listening?

The people that communicate the best are the best listeners, the people that talk, talk, talk, those people are usually trying to cover up some type of insecurity. Most of our communication is in the form of nonverbal communication. Have you taken the time to notice how your partner’s body language is towards you? Is he leaning into what you are saying or away from you. Is he asking follow up questions? Is his body pointed in your direction? Is his arms folded or open down to his side? Does he fiddle with his cell phone or other device? How often are you listening as opposed to talking?

Next, examine your mindset. What is your mindset behind the relationship? What is your mindset before you go into a conversation with your partner? Are you already thinking that it is going to be negative and you are not going to get anything accomplished? Or are you thinking the conversation is going to be positive and no matter what you are going to be positive.

Moving on, how often do you and are you ready to talk things through before they get really big? Are you the person who makes a lot of little snide remarks? Why not nip that in the bud and be an adult? Yes. A conversation like this can be scary but it will make the two of you much more connected and better understand one another. Be a grown up and go talk about the things that he said or did that hurt your feelings. Do not allow the resentment to build. This is a driver of distance between you two. Here is the thing, whenever you get to the root of the ‘why,’ your partner will be more conscious of it and he will be better about doing better for the sake of peace in your relationship. If he is willing to take responsibility for the things he says to make you happy this is a great sign he loves you and does not want to lose you.

Finally, when you are communicating and about to have a serious talk, make sure the timing is good for both of you, not just yourself. No, that is not the way healthy relationships work. You can do it but usually the other person is in their own world, thinking about all of the crap they are thinking about. So, if your partner is in an irritated state or just off to themselves, that is not a good time to talk. Hold your tongue about what is bothering you and try to figure out what is going on with him. If he is ready to share it with you, then maybe you can bring this up after you figure out what is going on with him. If he is not ready to talk, this is not the time to have a deep conversation because you are going to end up getting irritated due to him not being ready to talk. Do not make it personal and get mad at another issue. Allow your partner the space to clear his head so he can fully focus on you and your worries.

Life is relatively short. Live it without conflict, however when it does occur communicate about it as soon as you can. Do not allow things to be drawn out. Do not allow the distance to be a regular occurrence in your relationship.

By the way, if you want more ways to connected on a deeper level with the guy you are dating, check out my book Understanding Your Spouse Deeper https://amzn.to/3gkrWuY

All the best,

Marshaun Olaniyan

Relationship Strategist

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