Communication Tips for Couples in Recovery
If you have found yourself in a troubled relationship, there is a very good chance you grew up with caregivers or 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 simply silence 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 really knowing what you can do.
The key to a healthy relationship, hands down, 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 has our head buried in our phone or tablet just about 24/7. This hinders good communication.
When you are speaking with one another, make sure to 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 oftentimes, a troubled relationship is the result of two people’s misguided actions. Take responsibility for your part, no matter how minute. Admit to your mistakes and commit to trying harder.
It’s not easy to hear someone say negative things about your behavior; resist the urge to cut your partner off when they are saying something you don’t like or agree with.
Don’t Raise Your Voice
Yelling and shouting is not a form of effective communication. Do your best to refrain from raising your voice at all. It may sound too simplistic, but it really does help to stop and take a slow, deep breath when you feel your anger rising.
When your partner is talking, you should be hearing every word they say, not thinking about how you are going to respond. Many people are bad listeners. Listening is a skill you will have to develop over time, but why not start now?
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 that can guide you in your recovery, please reach out to me. I would be happy to talk with you about how I may be able to help or provide you some trusted referrals.