How Your Spouse Is Essential To Your Career Success: Communicate With Respect
Being married isn’t always simple, or easy. Being two working professionals in a marriage makes accomplishing career goals for interesting career planning. Even if you’re a stay at home wife or husband, you can support your spouse to the fullest. Whether you are single and looking, in a long term relationship, or married and want to create a fulfilling and financially secure life together consider how you can support your spouse in the future. Part two in the Partnership Series addresses communication problems and how to set boundaries to improve couple problem solving skills.
Communicate With Respect
Good communication and mutual respect solidifies the love couples feel by making it real. There are some folks out there that believe they shouldn’t discuss money or work troubles for fear of arguing or upsetting their spouse. There are some folks who argue with no limits at any place and at any time. Some people shut down as soon as pressure get high. How can couples discuss work and relationship problems more effectively?
Debating two different sides isn’t the problem in communication. In fact, debating, dare I say, arguing is natural and healthy. Unfortunately, displaying a lack of respect by screaming, name calling, or accusing, is what causes invisible rifts between two people who are trying to create a unified life together. Respect comes with boundaries and through respecting boundaries with discipline comes trust to speak and behave freely within those boundaries.
Some boundaries of excellent communication include some or all of the following:
- When and when not to discuss subjects (depending on timing, location, or present company).
- Topics to discuss at home during specific times such as during a family meal or fun activity.
- What words are acceptable to use during arguments.
- How long conversations can take place before resolution must begin.
- When does the speaker stop listening and interject, and so forth.
I have some clients who say, “Gosh, this all seems formal between me and my spouse. I’m not sure if this could work.” However, time and time again, clients come back thanking me. One client reported that the boundaries enabled him and his wife to solve work and relationship problems faster with little emotional distress. He told me because he knew the rules of the conversation game, he felt free to share his worries and emotions with his spouse who, he felt, listened with heart rather than trying to create a defense, “For once, I felt like we were on the same team. We’re not pitting our needs against each other anymore.”
When couples effectively communicate, a whole new level of trust and understanding emerges. When this happens, it’s hard not to want to replicate the good habits in other areas like work. That’s why I suggest my clients work on their communication skills at home before improving them with colleagues. Marriages and relationships are much safer places to make mistakes than on the work front, plus having the benefit to practice with someone who loves you makes for good progress.
Don’t stress. Much time and consistency is required to improve communication skills. When couples sense respect in how they communicate, they see the respect and love grow in other places in their lives.
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