How often do you and your spouse talk? Communication in marriage is the key to keeping your relationship strong and healthy. But communicating effectively isn’t always as easy as it seems. A person’s upbringing and past experiences with romantic relationships will have a strong effect on how well they communicate as an adult. And sometimes blending two very different methods of communication can be difficult.
We’re looking at effective methods of communication in marriage through the art of archetypes. These models will serve as a basis of how to talk to your partner about any topic under the sun. With technology at your fingertips, archetypes to use as an example, and verbal and nonverbal cues to alert your partner that you need to talk, there is no excuse to stay quiet in your marriage. Here are 6 different structures and archetypes of how to communicate effectively with your spouse.
- The Lover Archetype
Communication in marriage is not always built through verbal communication. Take for example the Lover archetype. This model is focused on nonverbal human connections and the art of touch.
Touch is one of the most powerful senses. It holds the ability to put one at ease, arouse, and display love and connectedness.
A sports study by the University of Illinois showed the relation between physical touch bonding, morale, and cooperation. While tracking physical contact between played in NBA games, the research showed the more touch contact there was between teammates, the more successful the team was.
If touch can promote unity and connectedness between sports players, how much more can it do for a marriage?
Sex, of course, is another focus of the lover archetype. Being sexually intimate is one of the strongest ways that couples connect and communicate with one another.
Through sex and other physical contacts, such as hugging, kissing, hand-holding, and spooning, couples deepen their love for one another through the release of oxytocin. Oxytocin then promotes a sense of unity, trust, and communication.
- The Date Night Method
Many couples who have improved communication skills after marital crisis share on a weekly date night. During this day the couple will plan a fun outing, or “date”, in which they treat each other as they did when they were first together. Flirting, building sexual chemistry and anticipation, and generally having fun together.
One research study found that couples who regularly spend time together this way are 3.5 times more likely to title themselves “very happy” in their marriage.
This fun atmosphere makes way for some great communication opportunities. During date night couples can check-in with one another using positive language to talk about their marriage.
Consider the example of a husband who wishes his wife would spend less time on her phone. Using phrases like: “I love spending time with you without any distractions” is more beneficial than saying “Why do you have to be on your phone all the time? It’s really irritating.”
This compliment-style correction reinforces your love for your spouse, expresses your desire for a certain behavior in a positive light, and doesn’t feel like an attack to your partner.
- The Warrior Archetype
A warrior is someone who is courageous, strong, shows vigor, and may even be aggressive about success. When using the warrior as an archetype for communication in marriage, you will be inspired to speak up even when the topic at hand is difficult.
As a strong warrior, you aren’t afraid of communicating with your spouse about any topic because you know that your relationship is strong enough to overcome anything. This archetype of communication will deepen your connection to your spouse and instill positive feelings toward one another, even when life gets hard.
- The Business Meeting Method
Unlike the relaxed atmosphere of date night, the business meeting method gets straight down to, well, business! This weekly “marriage check-in” is an open forum in which each party can talk about their marriage.
In order for the marriage check-in to be successful, both parties must agree to be honest during the session. During the check-in each partner will go back and forth, uninterrupted, talking about both the things they are enjoying about married life, as well as addressing any issues or concerns they might be having.
Any topic of conversation can be on the table for the business meeting; starting a family, cleaning up after yourself, financial matters, raising the children, spending more time together, the frequency of intimacy. But remember, this method will not work if both partners are not honest and willing to communicate openly.
- The Caregiver Archetype
As a caregiver, your priority is your spouse’s well-being, emotionally and otherwise. This archetype has a sweet soul and approaches communication with kindness, tenderness, and gentle speech.
A caregiver isn’t afraid to sit back and listen to their partner without interruption. They are devoted to solving problems within the marriage. A gentle demeanor full of love and understanding will be the key to encouraging your partner to be vulnerable with you.
- The Chit-Chat Method
“Hey honey, how was your day?”
This simple phrase is uttered nearly every day by couples everywhere when they convene after a day away from one another. Instead of going on autopilot with the hum-drum answer of: “Fine, thanks. Yours?” why not take advantage of the opportunity to really talk?
Communication is about using your voice, showing empathy, and feeling comfortable enough to be vulnerable with your partner.
This day-to-day small talk may not seem like a big deal, but this idle chit-chat is necessary. Small talk helps establish a real connection that doesn’t require heavy conversation. Yet, it is still important to your everyday marriage. After all, if you can’t talk about the little things, how can you talk about the bigger topics of conversation?
From nonverbal cues to date night revelations, there are many different methods of communication in marriage. There is no longer any excuse for not talking openly and honestly with your spouse. Strengthen your marriage by using these different structures and archetypes of how to communicate with your partner.
Author Bio: Sylvia Smith is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.