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listening, validating the other person, using soft words, expressing appreciation, affirmation, physical affection, compliments, etc.) as there are negative (i.e.raising one’s voice, stating a complaint, or expressing one’s anger).It is vital to take into consideration how your spouse chooses to communicate; if waiting to have the conversation is appropriate and is what your partner needs, then by all means wait!If there is something about the way your spouse communicates that is incompatible with your methods, take time when you are engaged in No one likes to work on their level of patience!While marriage does not change the ability to communicate with the person you love, it can incorporate additional stresses.Instead of being carefree in a budding, romantic relationship, you find yourselves drudging through the mundane day-to-day chores.

It was as if you were the same person – like you could read each other’s minds.

My husband and I recently participated in a University study that focused on strengthening marriages. So, what was one of the most helpful lessons to strengthening our marriage that we learned from participating in this study?

A little something called a “Love Map.”Marriage researcher John Gottman calls a “love map” a “mental notebook where you write down unique traits of your spouse and things about him or her you want to remember.” Things such as: important dates, dreams, goals, fears, likes, dislikes, favorite things, etc. Or did you ever try to spoil your spouse by buying him or her a treat only to find out that they’ve mentioned before that it wasn’t their favorite? ” We laughed so hard about this because that pretzel crust was nasty but he was so sincere in his efforts! Don’t get me wrong– he totally deserved props for trying and he received them but it was time to refresh his love map for both our sake! Love maps must be constantly updated, it’s not good enough to have an accurate one of your spouse from when you first got married or started dating. If you keep your love map of your spouse up to date, you’ll be able to better weather difficult and stressful times because you’ll know what your spouse needs and they’ll know what you need. Did your marriage improve or did it get a little rocky there for a bit? My husband and I started playing this game in the car.

Tips for improving the quality of communication in your relationship: Was this helpful to you?

For 20 years, First Things First has provided relationship tools and education to couples and families in our community.

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