Maintaining a healthy relationship isn't easy, but a couple that communicates well may have more chance of having a relationship that is happy and long-lasting. Good communication is a big piece of the foundation for a successful relationship. Taking steps to improve communication never hurts, no matter how long you have been together.
Let It All Hang Out
According to Helpguide, it is important to have honest communication in a relationship. Many people have a habit of not discussing problems until they reach a boiling point. Then, they often explode on the other person, who had no idea that anything was wrong. Never be reluctant to discuss an important problem with your partner, whether it is a concern of your own or one that affects both of you. Problems can't be fixed when they aren't discussed in the first place.
Two Ears to Listen
Listening enhances your communication. According to the Mind Tools article "Active Listening," this act helps you learn the other person's perspective on concerns and disagreements, as well as to accounts of daily life events, shows that you care. It can be tempting to interrupt and interject, but avoid doing so, especially during serious conversations. Truly listening takes practice, but the results can be well worth it.
Change Up the Topic
After couples have been together for a while, their discussion topics may become limited. For example, after having children or changing jobs, the conversations may all be about that subject and little else. Continue to talk about world events, family, friends, movies, television, music or other interests. Keeping topics fresh can prevent everyday conversation from going stale.
Just speaking your mind isn't good enough: being sure to express yourself clearly is much more effective. Be specific when you explain how you feel, what you need and what you believe both you and your partner can do to make a situation better. According to Helpguide, expressing yourself clearly can help avoid confusion. Not explaining thoroughly will not only cause problems with the situation at hand, but it can also result in miscommunication, and possibly more problems, in the future.
The Right Questions
In addition to expressing yourself and listening, asking questions is also vital. A successful conversation is one in which both people are fully engaged with one another, and it is not one-sided. When you ask questions that don't involve asking for something, you let your partner know you are interested in what he has to say.
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- business couple talking image by Pavel Losevsky from Fotolia.com