People often say, "Communication is key in any relationship," and they're not wrong to say or believe this.
When two people decide to be together, they are making an unspoken agreement to care, listen and be there for each other when needed.
Often, being there for someone means communicating with him or her in a healthy way.
Your spouse should be important to you, so when it comes times to show him or her you care, you'll want to communicate effectively, which will involve more than you talking to him or her.
Many couples in successful relationships are in such a good state because both spouses have learned how to effectively communicate with one another.
A lot of the time when a relationship fails, it is due to the couple not properly communicating with each other or being disrespectful toward each other.
When your relationship is in trouble, one of the first things you will want to look at is how you and your spouse communicate, and whether or not there are things that need to be changed.
Should you identify an issue, you could take the necessary steps to correct it and improve your relationship.
Here are five effective ways to communicate with your spouse:
1. Listen carefully.
When one person is speaking, it is easy to want to interrupt him or her and comment with your own thoughts on the topic being discussed.
It's good you want to share your thoughts and are actually listening to what is being said, but it can come off as rude and make your spouse feel as if you don't understand what he or she is saying.
You could try active listening, which is when you acknowledge you have both heard and understand what your spouse is saying.
After your spouse is done speaking is the time to chime in with whatever you have to say.
Letting each other speak makes it easy for couples to communicate with each other, and it can improve a relationship because no one is being interrupted or made to feel like what he or she has to say isn't important.
2. Engage in small talk.
Not every conversation you have with your spouse needs to be deep and emotional.
It can be fun to talk about less important things like your favorite TV shows or the little details about your day.
Small talk isn't as silly as you think it is; it's a way to learn more about your spouse.
Sometimes when people have busy schedules, they may not be available to their spouses the way they want to be.
Those are the situations when it is especially important that you and spouse communicate, even if it is about random facts of your day.
3. Share small experiences.
As a couple, you are going to have a few boring, mundane moments in your relationship.
Instead of complaining about them, embrace them.
This is time you are getting to spend together as opposed to being apart, so you should enjoy them.
Things like taking walks, riding bikes and cooking can all be done together.
You don't need to go on expensive trips or fancy dinners.
You also don't want to forget to reminisce about these experiences during rough periods.
Couples like to be reminded they can have fun together, and it can be enjoyable for them to think back to a time when they were happy.
4. Ask questions.
When people are busy with their own lives, they may not be thinking about anyone else's feelings.
Surprisingly, a normal occurrence in a marriage is when one or both spouses forget to ask the other questions.
Inquiring about your partner's feelings, thoughts and opinions is always healthy and very important in any relationship.
Even if you think you know the answer to the question, you shouldn't assume that. You should still ask.
5. Don't talk about yourself too much.
When people have something big and important to happen to them, they immediately want to share the news with their spouses.
It is normal to be excited about things, but in the midst of that excitement, people tend to go on and on about themselves and fail to ask their spouses questions or listen to what they have to say.
Your spouse's life is just as important, so you have to remember to have a dialogue with him or her and not just talk about yourself.
You don't want your relationship to end because you and your spouse couldn't learn how to communicate with one another.
Relationship difficulties are going to happen from time to time, but the important thing is you work through them and learn how to deal should similar issues arise in the future.
Remember: Successful relationships are successful because spouses know how to communicate.
Your relationship can be successful and last if you and your spouse can learn to try different things to help with communication.