Despite what many people believe, good communication is not what keeps couples together. Love is.
If there is love, communication normally isn’t a problem. Why? Because both partners are listening to their loved one. They are careful to not say hurtful things and if they do they apologize or try to make up. They talk about good things and bad things, big things and small things. They care about each other’s feelings. They respect each other. They want their spouse to be happy and they want to live happily with their spouse.
While almost everyone may need to improve their communication skills, this typically shouldn’t be the primary focus when there is trouble in a relationship.
Imagine this scenario: Sally and John are fighting. They’ve been at each other’s throats for months it seems. Sally can’t do anything that pleases John and John is sick and tired of all the fighting, the trouble, the bad feelings, and all the other negativity that comes from constant fighting. He feels if Sally would change, things would be more peaceful around the house and Sally thinks most of the fault lies with John and his demands.
This couple doesn’t need communication skills training. They are getting the point across pretty clear: they are sick and tired of each other and their marriage. There isn’t much ambiguity.
What they need is to somehow regain the lost love or connection that they had before.
So, what can they do?
1. Make a commitment to change. Part of this is doing what needs to be done to change their relationship and part of it is to stop doing what is hurting their relationship.
Change is never easy. And, sometimes when feelings are bad in a marriage, one spouse stubbornly waits for the other spouse to change instead of making the commitment to change themselves first.
2. John needs to consider his demanding nature and do everything he can to stop being the boss. Learning and using the 10 T’s and avoiding the 4 C’s can help with this. If he starts avoiding those hurtful behaviors and replaces them with loving behaviors, he may be surprised just how quickly Sally is willing to change.
3. Sally needs to look at herself and see if any of John’s criticisms are valid. If they are, she needs to commit to change. She may consider looking into how to Become Mrs. Right again and make sure she isn’t guilty of hurtful behavior herself. She also needs to learn and use the 10 T’s regularly to show John how much she loves him. As she does and as John feels the love, he may decide to stop being so demanding.
4. They need to find a way to recreate the spark. Put aside negativity, even for an hour and go for a walk. Or do something that they used to enjoy together. Or have sex. All of these and many more are part of falling in love again. Love is a verb. It’s something we do and we say—not just something we feel.
In other words, they need to stop doing the things that are hurting each other and start doing the things that will help them to build their love while they are improving themselves.
Of course, it’s never easy to turn a marriage around but it can be simple.
While there is a lot more John and Sally need to do, starting with these simple steps may help.
One of the reasons we created the Revive Your Marriage 30-Day Challenge is to provide simple things that couples like John and Sally can do every day. And as they make these simple changes on a daily basis while also continuing to do previous day’s assignments, they can have a totally new feeling of love and happiness within 30 days.
With that new feeling of love and happiness strengthening their marital relationship foundation, they then can work on communication or other skills.
If you’d like to try to have this kind of 30-day transformation in your own marriage, join today. Don’t suffer in a bad marriage any longer. Get started now to try to make things better.