Couples come to us with all sorts of challenges, and one of the factors we see 100 percent of the time … yes, we really mean 100 percent … is not being able to communicate as well as they could. Poor communication is one of the biggest factors in troubled marriages, and a source of conflict in even the most joyful unions.

Here’s the good news: you’re not to blame. Unless you’ve gone to college to become a therapist, nobody has ever taken the time to each you the key to healthy, effective interpersonal communication. Where did you learn how to communicate and resolve conflict as you grew up? You watched your parents.

Yet, in hundreds of counseling sessions with couples, very few have told us that they crave a marriage just like the one their parents had. More often than not, they’re desperately trying to avoid duplicating what they saw their parents do all those years.

When it comes to communicating with our spouse, we may have the best intentions, but one thing most of us don’t have is the right tools. In school, we learned about sedimentary rocks, past participles, and logarithms, but not about constructive ways to deal with conflicts and overcome misunderstandings. Marriage is tough enough when things are going well, but when we’re confronted with stress factors like raising kids, helping our own parents through health issues, the loss of a family member, or even a tough day at work, sustaining a healthy marriage seems impossible.

Here’s more good news: you can acquire the tools to communicate in positive and effective ways. Our counselors have access to programs that have helped thousands of couples learn how to express their needs and concerns effectively, manage conflict, disagree without causing hurt, replace sarcasm with affection, become playful once again, and spend date nights talking about something other than what the kids are doing.

Improving communication in your marriage won’t happen by accident. You have to be intentional. You both have to want to get better at it, and then learn the steps involved. Don’t spend another evening wishing he or she could read your thoughts or guess which actions will make you feel loved. Contact us to learn the steps that have helped so many other couples rediscover what brought them together in the first place.