Having a baby may mean less time for couplehood but it should not mean less time for communication, which is vital to a strong marriage and relationship. No matter how busy you are, schedule time to communicate – the right way:


1. Pay attention


Multi-tasking is great for tasks that do not require much attention, such as eating with watching TV; not so great for having a conversation with your spouse. Give your spouse your undivided attention. Turn off the television or stop any other activities that break your attention, so you can concentrate on speaking to your spouse.


2. Listen


Learn to be a good listener to your spouse. Hear him or her out without interrupting, especially when dealing with disagreements. Curb the urge to rebuke or defend yourself without hearing and allow your spouse to finish saying what they feel or think, before you respond.


3. Make time for one-to-one sessions


It is difficult to communicate effectively with children or other family members around, without risking disruptions to your talk. Set aside time to talk with your spouse and choose a quiet place away from distractions.


4. See eye-to-eye


Maintaining good eye contact throughout the conversation is a sign of respect, so avoid looking at the ceiling or staring into your coffee, which may give your spouse the impression that you are not interested in talking to them at all.


5. Be honest but tactful


Honesty is the best policy, but when the truth may not sound so good to the ears, you need to be more tactful in the way you communicate to your spouse. For example, you may dislike your spouse for making excuses not to visit your parents. Instead of accusing him or her of being lazy, a more tactful approach is to ask him or her for the reasons behind his or her behaviour. By understanding why he or she is behaving this way, you have a better chance of reaching a compromise or resolution.


6. Clarify


When in doubt, always seek clarification with your spouse. After all, miscommunication can sometimes be worse than no communication at all. To prevent misunderstandings further down the road, ask your spouse to explain himself or herself again if you do not fully understand them.

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