10 Positive Communication Tips for Couples
August 15, 2013

We all want to feel appreciated, acknowledged, and accepted in our relationship. As couples, we can sometimes get off track in our communication, and make our partners feel just the opposite. Here are some tips to keep in mind while communicating with your partner.

1) Show empathy and compassion towards your partner.
2) Be willing to acknowledge your own faults.
3) Focus on being interested, not interesting.
4) Eliminate distracters (TV, phone, computer, iPad, work, etc).
5) Ask questions that allow your partner to elaborate and explain their point of view.
6) From time to time, reflect or paraphrase in your own words what you heard your partner say. We tend to put our own interpretation on what our partner is saying, and this may not be accurate. Checking in can be helpful in eliminating misunderstandings.
7) Tune in with all your attention. Establish good eye contact and give non-verbal cues that you are listening. Nonverbal communication conveys 90% of your message.
8) Infuse difficult conversations with loving statements, recognizing that most disagreements are not always resolved, but can be managed.
9) Know when to connect with your partner on sensitive issues. Ask yourself, “Will it help or hurt to bring this up right now?” For example, is your partner tired or already irritable? You may want to give it some time and revisit the topic later or change the location of your discussion.
10) Be humble. A heartfelt apology without excuses has a powerful effect. When you humble yourself, your mate feels honored.

*Here are some good resources on couples communication to check out:

The Seven Principals for Making Marriage Work—Dr. John Gottman and Nan Silver
The Relationship Cure—Dr. John Gottman
10 Lessons to Transform your Marriage—Dr. John Gottman & Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman
The Five Love Languages—Dr. Gary Chapman

www.heartrelationships.com– extensive couples website offering quizzes and articles on various topics.

By Michelle Rolley, MS, LCPC
Outpatient Therapist

Recommended reading for Parents
June 3, 2016

Imagine your home …
• as a place where time moves a little slower
• becoming less cluttered and more visually relaxing
• with space, and time, for childhood – and with time for one another every day
• as a place where play and exploration are allowed, and honored
• having more ease as you begin to limit distractions and to say no to the stress of too much, too fast, too soon
• as a sense of calm and security take hold
• becoming a place where those we love know it, by virtue of our attention, protection, and appreciation

Excerpt from:
Simplicity Parenting, Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids; by Kim John Payne, M.Ed. with Lisa M. Ross

Submitted by Wilma McLaughlin, a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with Agape Counseling in our Bloomington office. Wilma works with children, parents, couples and single adults with a focus of improving relationships and personal understanding. Ms. McLaughlin received her Master Degree in Human Development Counseling from the University of Illinois in Springfield and is trained in EMDR, Theraplay, CBT, the Feeling State Addiction Protocol and holds a Multidisciplinary Certificate in Child and Adolescent Mental Health from the University of Illinois.