How Can I be More Open with My Spouse?

In order for anyone to be open with another person, a sense of comfort and trust must exist. In a marriage relationship, you would think those two things would be present, however, it seems that many couples don’t communicate as intimately as they once did, yet they long to.

What happens to cause some people to close up? A person who fears communicating openly about various issues is usually the victim of past criticisms, a judgmental attitude, or ridicule. The marriage should be a safe haven from such things, but unfortunately, sometimes it becomes the den of mockery instead.

In order for you to be more open with your spouse and vice versa, ground rules must be established. Here are some of those rules, and you may want to add your own:

1. Make time to really communicate deeply about subjects that need attention.
2. Make it a rule that when one is speaking, the other will listen and not interrupt.
3. Practice asking questions to make sure you understand what your spouse is saying.
4. If your spouse confesses something unbelievable, do not judge, criticize, or complain about what is being spoken, even if it hurts you deeply.
5. Try to be empathetic about what the other person is saying and put yourself in his or her place, especially if you’re tempted to get mad.
6. Emphasize to each other the need for more open and honest communication and praise one another when that’s accomplished.
7. Though it may go without saying, remember that what’s spoken between the two of you remains there.

Being open requires commitment not only to the relationship, but also to your own value as a person. A person with a healthy self-esteem will desire for a closer, more intimate relationship. The closer two people become, the happier they will be.

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