Some simple, but pertinent steps in beginning to change communication patterns with couples is to first work on being positive in what you say. It goes back to what we learned in kindergarten; if you don't have anything positive to say, don't say it at all. Now I know this goes against the often cynical, sarcastic LEO world where confronting what is wrong with a situation or the persons in it is your job, however, even if your spouse is a LEO, they don't want to hear what you think is wrong with them. Your spouse already knows what their faults are; it is not your job to confirm their belief. Part of taking your marriage vows means turning on the communication filter when you come home. Think before you speak. If it is not positive, keep it to yourself. Until you learn this skill and put it into practice routinely, the challenges in your marriage will never be resolved. Positive communication promotes emotional safety. Spouses need to feel safe; that you are for them rather than against them. Safety needs to be established for problem-solving and resolution to begin before the bigger challenges can be tackled.
In reading this article many of you may be thinking, Hey wait, I want more answers. That is all you have to say? Yes, for now. The above two skills of owning your own behaviors and positive speech are hard habits to develop. Most marriages, even good ones, often lack in these areas because they go against human nature. So start here with your spouse. These skills are the foundation of marriage. If the foundation is not solid and couples skip steps, your marriage will crumble. The reason marriage is challenging is it takes commitment to wake up every single day and consciously choose to be married in all of our words, thoughts, and behaviors all day.