Communication is the single most important part of an relationship. So long as you can talk, so long as you can respect each other and each other’s point of view; you can overcome just about anything life throws at you. Yet, talking is like anything else in life; there is a right way and a wrong way of going out it. Like riding a bike, it is something you have to learn the finer points and subtle nuances of.

So, what are some mistakes people often make when they talk to a spouse/partner? The first one is not talking to them at all! Instead, women may talk “at” a partner. They sit there and lecture the person. This is a great way to get a partner to not want to talk. Save the talking “to” for a classroom full of children, not a life partner.

The second mistake to avoid kind of goes hand in hand with the first: not listening to what your partner has to say. If you talk “to” them, and they do the same to you, you’ll both tend to tune each other out; and that’s not healthy for a relationship. So, listen!

Next, there is the issue of positive reinforcement. Often the reason that children act up” is to get attention from their parents. After all, when they’re good, they’re often ignored. Psychologists began suggesting that parents thank their children when they did something good. Even just a few words: “Thank you for sitting still while mommy did her shopping” can do a world of good. So, after you’ve talked to your partner, a simple: “Thank you for listening to what I had to say” can be a real help to the relationship.

Then there’s the use of the phrase: “I’m sorry”. On the one hand, do not over-use it, and use it without meaning it. But on the other hand, don’t become super defensive and never use it. If you’re unwilling to admit a mistake, and work to correct it, then the phrase loses all of its meaning.

A relationship is like anything else in life; you have to focus on it to make it work. So, that means setting aside time to put some effort into it. When you want to talk to your partner, don’t just spring it on them first thing in the morning if they’re not a morning person; or last thing at night when they’re trying to settle down to sleep. Set aside time to talk, and make sure you’re there on time. Being late tells your partner that you don’t really care.

When talking, don’t take everything your partner says as some sort of attack; don’t jump down their throat the minute they tell you something, and especially don’t turn around and attack them on a totally unrelated matter. That’s changing the subject, and it’s not fair to them. Listen to what they have to say, and try to look at it from an impartial point of view. Saying they don’t like one of your friends is not a blanket condemnation of your entire lifestyle.

The next point is closely related to the previous one: jumping to a conclusion. Don’t interrupt your partner in the middle of a sentence because you think you know what they’re going to say. That’s rude and insulting, and can lead to further arguing. Have your say, let your partner digest it, and then give him/her the common courtesy of letting them respond. By using a few common sense approaches, you can improve communication with your partner, and build up your relationship so that it can last.

Author's Bio: 

Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently produced a very popular free report: 10 Simple Steps to Developing Communication Confidence. Apply now because it is available for a limited time only at: communication skills