Communication Tips for Couples in Recovery
If you have found yourself in a troubled relationship, there is an excellent chance you grew up with parents who argued and fought often. Your household was most likely filled with the sounds of angry voices raised in an attempt to be heard or to drown out the other person.
This means you had no role models for how to treat your partner or what effective communication looks or sounds like. And so, you find yourself flailing, hoping things will get better with your partner but not knowing what you can do.
Hands down, the key to a healthy relationship is good and respectful communication. If you are currently working toward mending your relationship, here are some communication tips that will help the two of you grow closer:
Give Each Other Your FULL Attention
We live in the age of technology, which means most of us to have our heads buried in our phones or tablets 24/7. This hinders good communication.
When speaking with one another, give your full attention to what the other person is saying. Turn the TV off, put the phone down, and make eye contact.
There are those relationships that suffer because one person has been unfaithful. But often, a broken relationship is the result of two broken people. Take responsibility for your part in the trouble. Admit to your mistakes and commit to trying harder.
It’s not easy to hear someone say negative things about your behavior but resist the urge to cut off your partner when they say something you don’t like or agree with.
Don’t Raise Your Voice.
Yelling and shouting are not a form of effective communication. Do your best to refrain from raising your voice at all. It may sound too simplistic, but it does help to stop and take a slow, deep breath when you feel your anger rising.
Listening is a skill you will have to develop over time, but why not start now? Many people are bad listeners. When your partner is talking, you should hear every word they say, not thinking about how you will respond.
If you follow these communication tips, you’ll have a much better chance of reconnecting with your partner and making things work. And if you’d like to find a therapist to guide you in your recovery, please contact me. I would be happy to talk with you about how I may be able to help.