Top 10 Critical Communication Skills Every Couple Should Have

Top 10 critical communication skills for couples

Do you have the right communication skills that your relationship needs to thrive?

Good communication is the cornerstone of every healthy relationship but not all couples have mastered the art.

A lot of couples find it difficult to communicate with each other effectively.

It’s like every time they talk, it always ends in heated arguments or nasty fights.

This often happens because they don’t have the right communication skills to help them express themselves better.

And when there is a communication barrier in your relationship, you’ll always struggle to maintain a happy relationship.

Effective communication is a powerful way to deepen intimacy and emotional connection.

It allows partners to express themselves freely and work together to build a meaningful relationship with each other.

Couples who work on developing better communication skills often appear to have a happier relationship with each other.

If you can’t seem to have a decent conversation with your partner without fighting, it’s obvious that you both need to adopt the right communication skills and learn your communication styles.

Research shows that couples who communicate well with each other tend to have healthier relationships.

Increasing the quality of the communication within your relationship might be the best way to help it grow.

The hallmark of any successful relationship is great communication so it’s really important to work on mastering it.

Couples who seem unhappy most likely haven’t mastered the art of effective communication.

If you want to build a healthy and lasting relationship with your partner then you have to improve your communication skills.

But before you start wondering how couples can improve communication, let’s explore why communication skills are important in a relationship.

Top 10 critical communication skills for couples


When you started reading this article, you may have asked yourself, “Are communication skills important in a relationship?”

Most couples think that friendship and companionship should be enough to build a long-lasting relationship but those are not the only requirements for a healthy relationship

Just like having great communication skills in the workplace is necessary for a peaceful environment, that’s how important couple communication is in a relationship.

Here are 5 reasons why positive communication is important for a great relationship: 

1. It helps couples get to know each other better

Lack of communication in a relationship brings about unmet needs, resentment and bigger relationship problems.

When couples are able to talk to each other without fear of criticism or judgement, they’ll listen more and understand each other better.

If you already communicate effectively with your partner, you just need to add more eye contact, active listening skills and empathy to build trust in your relationship.

2. Effective communication prevents heated arguments and unresolved conflict

Couples who constantly struggle with relationship problems are often the ones who have poor communication.

When problems are left to linger for a long time without dealing with them in a positive way, it can lead to unresolved conflict in a relationship.

The key to maintaining a healthy relationship is to learn how to communicate better as a couple so that all issues can be settled on time instead of ignoring them until they blow up.

3. It helps couples communicate their relationship needs in a healthy way

Most people in intimate relationships don’t know what their partner’s love languages are and that’s why they struggle to make them feel loved.

When a partner’s needs are unmet, it can lead to unhappiness and resentment because they feel neglected and unloved.

But when you have the right communication skills, you’ll be able to know what your partner wants and how to meet their relationship needs.

4. Good communication makes your relationship more satisfying

As a result of communicating your relationship needs in a positive way, your partner can put more effort into meeting them.

And when both partners are listened to and respected, they can build a more satisfying relationship together where everyone is important.

When you have good communication, you’ll know when your partner is unhappy, what makes them sad and what you can do to make them feel better.

5. It ensures you have a long-lasting relationship

The number one reason for divorce or breakup in relationships is irreconcilable differences.

This often stems from a lack of effective communication that was a norm in the relationship.

When couples use negative communication skills to express their feelings, it doesn’t usually end well.

According to relationship expert, John Gottman, there are four major styles of communication that lead to divorce and if you can avoid them, you’ll be able to enjoy a long-lasting relationship as a couple.

Communication is vitally important in any relationship especially where intimacy is concerned.

That’s why relationship experts suggest that it’s a good idea to develop a healthy communication style if your goal is to have a successful relationship. 

If you want stability and emotional connection, you have to start by talking about your relationship needs and knowing what you both want.

By intentionally setting aside time to talk with your spouse about the status of your relationship, you can avoid problems and instead work on how you can be more compatible together.

Unfortunately, interpersonal communication skills are rarely taught in school. We have to learn them independently.

If you’ve never tried to strengthen your communication skills, they’re probably not as good as they could be!

The good news is, you can enhance your relationship with these important communication tips that I’m going to outline in this article.

Top 10 critical communication skills every couple should have


As a relationship coach, I believe that communication is important for the growth of a relationship and it’s my job to give you some practical tips that can help you create a healthier relationship.

Now that you know why it’s good to communicate effectively as a couple, it’s time to know how communication skills can be improved in a relationship.

Here are 10 good communication skills for couples who want to build positive relationships:

#1 Focus on the specific behavior rather than the person

When you want to communicate with your spouse, address the other person’s behavior or words.

Don’t attack your spouse directly or indirectly instead go straight to the problem at hand. Learn to present issues rather than confrontation.

It’s much more agreeable when someone says, “It hurts my feelings when you don’t listen to me” instead of “Why do you have to be so rude all the time and ignore me?”

When you attack the other person, they become defensive. When people are defensive, unproductive fighting and arguments are the common result.

You’re interested in changing the other person’s behavior. You can’t change who they are. Focus on the behavior only.

The key to communicating effectively is to not criticize your partner or play the blame game.

If you do this, the conversation will end faster than a lightning bolt because nobody wants to be criticized for their mistakes.

As human beings, it’s normal to make the wrong decisions or act rash when we are not thinking right. Instead of judging or criticizing your partner, show more empathy.

#2 Find the right time

If your partner comes home from work and slams the door, it might not be the best time to share your displeasure over the dirty dishes in the sink.

Pick a time when everyone is calm and there are few distractions to interfere in your discussion.

The importance of communication is to resolve conflict faster and reconnect with each other at the end of the day.

When you bring up issues at the wrong time, they tend to escalate because someone is already in a bad mood.

If you can’t seem to find the right time to talk since your spouse is always busy, try to have meaningful conversations on weekends or right before you both go to bed.

Most people make the mistake of approaching their spouse with important issues when they’re really busy or not in the mood to have deep conversations.

Approach your spouse at the right time to avoid turning small issues into big problems you cannot solve.

The stress of everyday life can take a toll on even the most committed relationships if it’s not handled properly.

It’s wise to avoid talking to your partner about important things when they’re already stressed or angry over something.

A good time for couples to talk is often before bed when you’re both relaxed and undistracted or during weekends when you’re both at home.


#3 Be clear and assertive

It’s unfair and unproductive to expect other people to read your mind all the time.

Even if your partner is an expert in nonverbal communication, there is no way they’ll know what you’re thinking if you don’t say anything.

Be bold enough to be open and transparent when talking to your spouse.

Your happiness is as much your responsibility as it is anyone else’s.

Don’t wait for your spouse to guess what the problem is, tell them directly.

Let your partner know how they can fulfill your emotional needs. If something is bothering you, share that information.

You’ll get your problems solved faster and your needs met as soon as possible if you inform your partner on time.

Open communication is important for building a healthy and happy relationship. Try to be as clear and assertive as you can when communicating with your spouse.

Don’t rely on body language or facial expression that they don’t understand; express yourself well when you communicate.

There are two major types of communication skills; verbal and written that can be used to pass a message across.

If you find it difficult to express yourself verbally, try writing a letter or sending a text message to communicate your feelings better.

Top 10 critical communication skills for couples

#4 Be willing to compromise

This is one of the biggest communication skills couples need to nurture because being in a relationship is like a partnership.

The moment you decide to be committed to a serious relationship, you’re no longer going to be making decisions alone.

Your partner needs to be involved in your life and sometimes, things may not go your way so you have to learn to compromise to make your relationship work.

Compromising means that both of you give something up for the benefit of the relationship.

All successful relationships require compromise to remain healthy. One way or another, someone has to allow the other person to win.

When there is something up for discussion between you and your partner, be willing to compromise in order for peace to reign.

That doesn’t mean you have to let your partner ride over you all the time but you should be able to discern situations where you need to stand your ground or compromise.

Sometimes, it’s okay to agree to disagree later when the atmosphere is less tense.


#5 Consider the other person’s point of view

One major communication problem most people have is a lack of consideration or empathy.

As a couple, you’re supposed to be a team and work together at all times.

That means learning how to be empathetic and considerate towards each other.

Don’t go into conversations with your mind already made up on an issue that hasn’t been discussed. Your spouse should have a say in the matter too!

Consider your partner’s point of view when you communicate. Strive to be more understanding and empathetic towards your partner.

Give your partner full attention when they talk. Don’t be tempted to scroll on social media instead of listening to them.

It’s annoying to find out in the middle of an important discussion that your partner is distracted by a funny picture on Facebook.

Take a walk in the other person’s shoes and try to understand their side of the story. You might realize that you’re being unreasonable and unfair with your conclusions.

#6 Create a safe environment

If you’re in a relationship where one partner is afraid to express their feelings freely because of future consequences, there won’t be any effective communication.

Don’t portray yourself as someone who is unapproachable. If you want to have a healthy and happy relationship, create a safe environment for your spouse.

When everyone feels safe to express their feelings without fear of rejection, criticism, sarcasm or punishment, the relationship will flourish.

Be receptive to the concerns of your partner. Don’t dismiss them with the wave of your hand and make them feel insignificant in your relationship.

When you react poorly during meaningful conversations, your partner will be less likely to communicate freely the next time.

Create an environment that permits honest sharing without punishment or consequences.

Be grateful when your partner is willing to speak up and watch your tone of voice when you talk.

#7 Remember to listen

This is one of the most important communication skills every couple needs to have.

Most people tend to only talk about themselves or their problems without giving a second thought to what someone else has to say.

In a healthy relationship, it’s not just about getting your point across. You also have a responsibility to listen.

Couples need to learn to listen to each other more so everyone can be heard.

Your partner could have a different perspective on something that can lead to a more positive outcome so be patient enough to listen to them. 

If you refuse to listen when your partner speaks, you’re automatically creating a one-sided relationship.

And that’s one of the reasons why some people cheat on their partner. They don’t feel loved, wanted or appreciated.

Try to listen more to your partner when you communicate. You might learn something valuable that could improve your relationship.

100 Amazing Questions For Couples To Know Each Other Better 

Top 10 critical communication skills for couples

#8 Avoid giving in just to keep the peace

You might think that keeping issues to yourself will bring peace in your relationship but it often backfires.

When you refuse to communicate your feelings to your partner, you may end up harboring resentments over time.

Being resentful or keeping silent grudges can lead to emotional disconnection and an unfulfilling relationship.

Don’t avoid confrontation or having deep conversations with your partner simply because you want to keep the peace. 

While that might work in the short-term, your feelings are unlikely to change over time.

The issues will remain unresolved and there may be resentments lingering too.

Your own happiness is at stake. Avoiding conflict will only make you feel better today but the problems will keep recurring until you discuss them openly.

While it’s okay to agree to disagree later, it’s not wise to keep your feelings bottled up while you quietly resent your partner for being selfish or inconsiderate.

If there is something bothering you, talk about it with your spouse so you can both find an effective way to deal with it.

Don’t sweep issues under the rug and pretend as if everything is okay when you’re unhappy with your current situation.

You can only create a strong relationship when you keep the lines of communication open and bring your partner up to date about everything.

#9 Let go of the past

It’s easy to forgive but hard to forget when someone hurts us. Even when they’ve apologized and amended their ways, we still hold on to those painful memories.

When you’re trying to hold a conversation with your partner, it’s important to leave the past in the past and avoid bringing up previous issues.

Everyone makes mistakes and no one is perfect. Bringing up past issues only stirs up old wounds and creates negative emotions.

Keep your attention on today and the future. Leave the past behind where it belongs. Don’t dig up old problems just to create an aura of negativity.

If what you want to discuss doesn’t have any positive impact on your relationship, let it go and move on with other things.

If you’ve already had the conversation multiple times with your spouse, try to make peace with the outcome. 

There is no gain in opening up old wounds and sealed closets. If you want progress in your relationship, let the issue die down and never bring it up again.

Opening up old wounds that are already healing can lead to some negative consequences in a relationship especially if your partner is battling with mental health issues.

If you have past relationship issues that seem to resurface, consider working with an online therapist or marriage counselor to fix your problems.

#10 Avoid making assumptions

Many communication problems are the result of wrong assumptions made by couples.

It’s easy to make up fake stories in your head and imagine the worst case scenario when it comes to a romantic relationship.

In every situation, the best way to avoid problems is to seek clarity right away. Make sure you understand the situation before proceeding.

It might just be a simple misunderstanding but if not handled correctly, it can lead to bigger problems.

An inaccurate assumption can be the starting point of another disagreement. Learn to ask the right questions and avoid making hasty conclusions.

When you communicate with your spouse, get rid of any little voice in your head that could be feeding you with lies. Open your mind and try to really understand first.

Don’t jump into conclusions before getting a good look at the bigger picture.

Remember that you’re supposed to be a team working together not against each other. Your partner is your best friend so treat them as one.

Top 10 critical communication skills for couples

Effective and kind communication is important in all relationships no matter how many years you’ve been together.

When you know how to communicate effectively with your spouse, you can diffuse problems faster and become a happy couple.

Good communication skills can make or break a relationship and it’s important for every couple to learn how to communicate better.

Keep the lines of communication open by creating a safe and equal environment that welcomes open conversations.

Avoiding the situation only postpones the problem and creates bigger issues. Be assertive and share your concerns freely.

Take responsibility for the quality of your relationship by strengthening your communication skills. You’ll like the result!

Improving your communication skills doesn’t happen overnight though. It involves constant work and the willingness to grow.

You have to make an intentional effort to continue talking to your partner about a lot of things including your relationship.

Ask questions and be curious about your partner’s deepest desires.

You’ll be surprised how much your relationship will grow just by working on your communication patterns.

You don’t necessarily need to enroll for communication skills training or sign up for an online course before you can improve your relationship.

There are a lot of self-help books that can provide you with effective communication exercises to enhance your relationship.

But if you want to get a better outcome, you have to work with a couples counselor or family therapist to devise better ways of communicating as a couple.


Recommended Reading:

How To Communicate Better With Your Spouse

The Different Communication Styles of Men and Women

How to Bridge the Communication Gap in Your Relationship

12 Ways To Rekindle Romance In Your Relationship

About The Author

Jennifer Dagi
 | Blog

Jennifer Dagi is happily married to her best friend and the love of her life.

As a relationship coach, she is passionate about helping couples build healthy and happy relationships.

She strongly believes communication and intimacy are the most important ingredients for building a successful relationship.

Join her on a fabulous journey to improve your love life one step at a time and don't forget to subscribe for weekly blog updates.

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