Whether you are early in your marriage, a seasoned veteran, or a young couple just starting out, communication is one of those things that always needs work. During the holidays, relationships often experience strain from familial pressures, overbooked calendars, and financial stress. Ultimately, we all have many balls we are juggling as we balance being parents, workers, caretakers, and partners to one another. However, some are rubber and others are glass. Your relationship with your spouse is 100 percent a glass ball. Now is the perfect time to gut check how your marriage is holding up during what can be a stressful season…before any glass shatters.

A relationship built on a firm foundation of communication can better cope with challenging seasons when you follow these three pieces of wisdom: 

  1. Allow your spouse to have the freedom to be who they are. It is so easy to frame someone into who you think they should be instead of celebrating what brings them joy. A common mistake couples make, particularly those working together, is to assume the other person should be doing a certain task because they happen to be good at it. However, it might not bring them joy and become a source for strain in your relationship.

  2. Don’t become so familiar with your spouse that you omit the respect they deserve. After all, familiarity can sometimes breed contempt. Sometimes this takes the form of focusing on each other’s weaknesses because you know each other so well. As a general rule of thumb, consider if you would say something to your spouse if a neighbor you hardly know is in the room. Let that be a good litmus test for checking in on your respect of one another.

  3. Be secure in yourself and allow your spouse to give feedback. Sometimes, they are the only ones who can identify a blindspot you cannot see. By remembering you are on the same team with the same goals, feedback can become easier to accept.

If you are wanting to take your marriage communication to the next level, we encourage you to check out The Communication Builder. This new program is a quick and easy way to understand why your spouse communicates the way they do, and then helps you create an action plan to do it all better. Check it out.