Marital Therapy: Three Communication Tips for Healthier Relationship: Kids, Family, and Fun!

Are you fighting about the kids all the time? Wish you could communicate better with your partner so you could have better sex? These communication tips can offer you tools to resolve your problems in ways that lead to more intimacy.

Tip 1
Acknowledge how fighting is not working and agree to try something different. Patty and Joe (not their real names) agreed to see a counselor for six to eight sessions so they could move beyond bickering and rekindle the truth that they actually like each other. It can feel like a lot to say “we’re stuck”, and ask for assistance. Remember that you’ve learned new things in the past, and you can learn new things for what is going on now, to make your life, and your relationship, better. With eight sessions Patty and Joe learned how to mutually respect one another while communicating, and they found their sex got better through this respect.

Tip 2
Deal more effectively with frustration. Don’t we all get frustrated with our partner when they’re not doing what we think they should do to make us happy? Through relationship counseling learn how we were all taught this when we were little, that we’re supposed to be taken care of, which is true, FOR YOUNG KIDS. Do you carry that belief in to your adult relationship, get frustrated, then fight with real vengeance when your partner doesn’t act like a parent, and soothe you? We all do this unconsciously to a certain extent. I can help you understand these beliefs, and deal with this normal frustration or anger in a healthier way. Become less attacking towards your partner when you learn how to release your anger without hurting your self, or anyone else! Another option is to call a “time out” in a healthy, adult way, and give your relationship some space, then come back and talk about what happened in a calm way later. Intimacy can improve when you’re not taking out your frustrations on each other so much.

Tip 3
Talk calmly through reflective listening.
How well do you listen when your partner yells? What if one person says they would like to pick a time to talk, and the other agrees to it? Instead of yelling, practice communication skills such as reflective listening, where you take turns, listen to each other, reply back with the essence of what they said. (Try not to jump in with your next statement.) Couples who learn this skill realize how important deep listening is for problem solving and for enhancing a relationship. Remember to be a “mirror”, and calmly reflect back the essence of what your partner says. When kids are in your family, efficient and calm communication like this can help get issues sorted out more quickly, which can allow for more time to be intimate.


Jim Bowen MA LPC has been assisting individuals and couples since 1992, with offices in Boulder and Denver. Contact Jim with email or call him at 303-534-8717. Why not call for a free consultation?