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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Last year, I was trying to help a reader with an issue related to communication. 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 communication expert was exponentially more helpful.
So, that’s where the idea of the Engaged Marriage How-To Workshop series was born. I host a workshop 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 personal questions during the event and usually have bonus materials (like books) to maximize the help they receive.
We’ve completed five of these How-To Workshops on various topics so far, and the results and feedback have been tremendous!
Our most popular How-To Workshop was one on communication called How To Communicate Your Way to a Better Marriage (Talking Optional), and we’ve made it even better with new bonuses and more convenient ways to use the training (video, audio and full text transcript).
I was joined for this workshop 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 communication workshop is 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), you should definitely check out this workshop.
And there’s no better time than right now during our big sale.
Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.