So, what’s the #1 thing most couples say is the key to a happy marriage?
And of course it’s become the cliche, go-to response from grandparents when the video camera comes around at every wedding reception for good reason. It’s true!
Good communication skills impact every single aspect of your relationship – from how you handle money to how you raise your kids to how you make your kids – there’s just no way around it.
So, I think we can all agree that communication is vital to a healthy and happy marriage.
5 Awesome Communication Tips from Veteran Couples
That said, when’s the last time you’ve given your own approach to communication with your spouse any thought?
If you’re like me, it’s been a while – like most important things, it’s entirely too easy to lose sight of in the face of other more “urgent” matters.
Well, I was thinking about it recently, so I reached out to the smartest group of people I know for some advice.
Here are 5 fantastic tips they shared when asked what advice they’d give to newlyweds:
1. Under-communicate criticism. Over-communicate praise.
2. Make your body language and your words match.
3. Always fight fair and remember you can’t take back hurtful words.
4. Use “I” statements, not “you” statements.
5. Don’t share your spouse’s faults with your family and friends. You will soon forgive, but they may not.
How great is that? These tips are 100% spot-on and I love them.
There’s just one problem.
Why Those Awesome Tips are Worthless
I love good marriage tips and posts with lists of Top 5 Ways to do stuff (like this one) as much as anyone.
They’re often inspirational and make us feel good when we read them. Heck, we may even remember one or two quips to pass along to a young couple.
The problem is wonderful tips like these rarely impact your marriage in any real way. You read them, nod and go back to doing the exact same thing in your life.
I’m not criticizing – I’m the king of the “nod and go.”
The truth is that it takes a little more effort to make a lasting and valuable improvement in your relationship. Here’s a few reasons why reading top tips doesn’t help much and what you can do instead.
- You Need to Invest
The reality is that you need to invest in training to make it stick. This can be in the form of focused time or money, preferably both.
There’s free information on every topic under the sun available on the Internet, but quick and free advice rarely makes a meaningful impact. It’s only when you’ve got some “skin in the game” that you take what you learn to heart and make it count.
- You Need to Take Action
I’d say this is the biggest problem most of us face when we learn something valuable, and it’s tied directly to the lack of investment we have in the advice. You can get the best marriage-boosting tips in the world, but it means nothing if you don’t act on it.
Those who take action on mediocre ideas will get infinitely more results than those that take no action on the best ideas. If you want to improve your marriage, do something (real) about it.
- You Need Some Real Support
This is the final area where people fail when it comes to learning and growing. The reality is that sometimes we need some personal attention from a trusted expert to see results, and it’s always really beneficial to be part of a community.
With a sense of community, we get inspired to take action and there’s a sense of accountability. Of course, the best accountability is a spouse who is walking alongside us in our journey to being the best husband or wife we can be.
Here’s What You Can Do Now to Make a Real Improvement In Your Marriage
I’m not going to go all Debbie Downer on you and leave you hanging here. I’m going to tell you what you can do to make a lasting impact for the better – and it’s pretty darn easy.
A few months back, I was trying to help a reader with an issue related to sexual intimacy. It was a pretty common question that I’ve seen many times.
I was starting to give her a similar answer that I’d given others in the past. As I was typing my necessarily limited email response, it hit me - this is awesome advice that’s not going to be useful at all.
She needed more than my short “tip-type” response could offer. She needed a full answer with practical action steps provided in a setting that required focus and investment on her part.
And frankly, she needed it from someone other than me. Well, I should say my perspective was good, but adding in the perspective of a true sex/intimacy expert was exponentially more helpful.
So, that’s where the idea of the Engaged Marriage How-To Workshop series was born. I host a live online event (with full recordings for those that can’t join live) accompanied by a guest expert on a very specific and highly important topic.
We present very practical, action-oriented info that benefits married couples. Plus, we answer their personal questions during the live session and usually have bonus materials (like books) to maximize the help they receive.
Our first How To Workshop was last month – I was joined by Alisa DiLorenzo and we helped over 100 couples improve their sex lives in a workshop called “How to Have More Sex and Better Intimacy in Your Marriage.” You can pick up that full recorded workshop here.
The response was more than I could have hoped for. Couples made REAL progress and enjoyed REAL results that will serve them well for years to come. Here’s a couple messages I received:
“It’s been three days since we watched the workshop, and both our sex life and our intimacy throughout the day is the best I can remember. I know time will tell, but this weekend has been a real gift to us – thank you!!” – Jonathon
“I loved the format, and the content was informative, encouraging, and motivating. You did a great job balancing a Christian view on sex without coming across as too “churchy” for my non-Christian husband. We both got a LOT out of it, really practical and helpful!” – Jill
It was awesome, and I felt more fulfilled making a positive impact for our Engaged Marriage community than I have in years – probably ever.
OK, That Actually Turned Into a Story – Here’s What You Can Really Do
That first workshop rocked, and I’ve heard from dozens of couples who enjoyed it and wanted more. And I couldn’t be more excited to give you more.
Next Thursday, 11/21 we’re hosting our next online workshop on the topic of – you guessed it – Communication! Specifically, it’s called “How to Communicate Your Way to a Better Marriage (Talking Optional).”
I’ll be joined by my go-to resource when it comes to healthy and helpful communication, Dr. Corey Allan. Corey is a marriage and family therapist, and he’s also a father and a husband for over 20 years. He’s awesome.
This workshop will be practical, actionable and it will impact your marriage for the better. We actually guarantee as much.
So, if you’re ready to invest in your marriage and take solid action to be a better communicator with your spouse (and everyone else), we’d love to have you join us for this workshop. We’re offering it to you at a reduced price to encourage you to get signed up (if you wait and buy the recordings later, it’ll cost more).
Just click here to get all the details and reserve your seat. This event will very likely sell out, so please sign up the first chance you get.
If you have any questions, just leave a comment below. Thanks!