How to be a better communicator in your marriage

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Strengthening marriage and family is important to Utahns.  Marriage is wonderful, but it's not always easy.  Communication is a big part of being able to work through marital issues.  Going to marriage therapy can help you learn how to be a better communicator.  There are things you might learn in couples therapy to help you enhance your communication and therefore your relationship.  This advice can help Utah couples at all stages of a marriage.

First, it is important to realize that disagreements are inevitable.  Young Utah couples might be shocked the first time they have a disagreement with their significant others, but it is bound to happen, you are two different people with two different perspectives.  Disagreements are normal, it's important to know how to work through them.  

When you do have a disagreement explain what's bothering you in a non-accusatory manner and refrain from using the phrase "you never" or "you always" when expressing your feelings.  For example saying "you never listen to me" is not a good idea, because there are probably at least a couple times that they have listened to you. So using the absolute term "never" makes them feel like you do not appreciate or notice the times that they do listen.

Another bit of advice from couples therapy that Utah couples can use to enhance their communication, is to express your gratitude.  When one person does something nice for the other, such as doing the laundry or the dishes, it is important to acknowledge what they have done and express your appreciation.  

Even saying thank you for the little things can go a long way in solidifying your relationship.  Let each other know how much you appreciate the things you do for each other.  Saying ‘thank you' lets them know you care and helps you realize all the things they do for you.

Another thing you might learn in marriage therapy is that when it comes to communication, sometimes it's ok to keep things to yourself.  Everything you think does not need to be said, especially when you're angry.  You should ask yourself if what you are going to say is going to help or hurt your relationship.  Whether it's a snide comment, an angry outburst, or even something you might mean as a joke, you should take a second to consider your spouse and how what you are about to say will affect your relationship.
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