Posted by: Dr. Justin D'Arienzo, Psy.D., ABPP
Effective Methods of Communication for Couples
Effective Methods of Communication for Couples was written by future Industrial Organizational Psychologist, Brandon Araujo, for the D’Arienzo Psychological Group in September 2014. D’Arienzo Psychological Group is a Jacksonville, Florida based Clinical, Forensic, and Industrial Psychology Practice. One of our specialties is couples counseling and marital therapy, and we have multiple types of mental health therapists to assist you on your journey to relationship recovery or marital enhancement.
All couples need to learn effective methods of communication. Relationship quality has a major influence on life satisfaction (Ruvolo, 1998). There is evidence that suggests that communication can drastically impact the quality of a relationship (Ledermann & Macho, 2009). This means that the communication in an individual’s relationship may have a significant impact on that individual’s overall life satisfaction. Also, researchers have suggested that couples who learn effective communication skills tend to have higher quality relationships (Halford, Nicholson, & Sanders, 2007).
One method of communication that has been found to be very effective is the use of metaphors, especially for those who have a difficult time expressing their thoughts (Collins, 2012). The following statement explains an example of this metaphorical communication: Mrs. E didn’t know how to tell Mr. E that she had become bored with their relationship so she said “love should be like an adventure.” By saying this she reveals to Mr. E that she wants a more exciting relationship. Using this form of communication can help each spouse understand each other’s feelings better.
Another effective method of communicating with your spouse is by change “you” statements into I statements; for example, instead of saying “you never want to go out anymore,” try saying “I think it would be nice if we went out sometime.” Doing this avoids directing negative emotions towards your spouse, which will help avoid destructive arguments. This is extremely important because past research has shown that couples that argue more than 20% of their time spent with each other will not last.
Collins, B. (2012). Metaphorical communication in working with couples. Psychodynamic Practice: Individuals, Groups And Organisations, 18(3), 339-344. doi:10.1080/14753634.2012.694222
Halford, K., Nicholson, J., & Sanders, M. (2007). Couple Communication in Stepfamilies. Family Process, 46(4), 471-483. doi:10.1111/j.1545- 5300.2007.00226.x
Ledermann, T., & Macho, S. (2009). Mediation in dyadic data at the level of the dyads: A Structural Equation Modeling approach. Journal of Family Psychology, 23, 661–670.
Ruvolo, A. P. (1998). Marital well-being and general happiness of new- lywed couples: Relationships across time. Journal of Social and Per- sonal Relationships, 15, 470–489. doi:10.1177/0265407598154002
Call D’Arienzo Psychological Group today at 904-379-8094 if your relationship is in trouble. Effective relationship counseling and marital therapy is available in Jacksonville, Florida. Learn to better communicate with your partner by learning to better love your partner. We can help you.