Little ways to improve communication in a relationship

I got married at 30 years old. It’s the bravest thing I’ve done in 2019.

“Am I ready?” “Am I an adult already?” “Am I capable to take care of another human being?”

I guess I’m still figuring it out.

My husband and I are both strong-minded and independent, but quite the opposite in other aspects.

According to the MBTI personality test, he is ENTJ and I am INTJ. He’s an extreme extrovert who likes to talk and be surrounded by people, whereas I’m an introvert who needs (a lot of) lone and quiet time.

Here’s a snapshot of our personalities:

You can imagine how easy it is to have 100 reasons to fight against each other, especially when we’re travelling.

We try our best to avoid heated argument but we do debate. We defuse the situation by having (a lot of ) honest conversations and using different techniques.

Think before you speak

  1. Always compliment each other.
  2. We take turns to express our (many) opinions.
  3. Only one person can speak at any moment. Listen. Wait until the other party finishes his/her part.
  4. Do not speak when we’re angry.

Listen, listen, listen

  1. Do not interrupt the other person
  2. Encourage wild imagination and creative ideas
  3. Do not judge. We come from different backgrounds so naturally we look at things differently.

If there is a silence that’s fine. Relax.

RELAX.

Grow together

My parents are both religious and that’s the common denominator in their relationship. They go to the same events and hang out with each other’s friends.

That’s a good way to keep the relationship alive.

And I pronounce you husband and wife…

Being in a serious relationship is entirely different from your typical Korean drama. The drama only show you the romantic and sexy sides of life which, you probably know by now, is all bullshit.

What is love? Let’s look at the Sternberg’s Love Theory

There are 3 components of love: intimacy, passion and commitment.

Image source: psych2go

When we’re young, the first two components excite us. We want to spend every second with the person we love. We want to feel romantic and sensual.

A serious relationship takes you a step further. You’re now committed to each other. You’re responsible for each other’s finance, health and wellbeing.

Ideally we try to balance the 3 components and strike our own balance.

Conclusion

So how do we improve our communication?

Listen, ask questions, share. It’s a lifelong practice.

If you’re a book lover, I highly recommend that you read these two books. They changed my perspective on marriage and romantic relationship:

  1. The Zahir by Paulo Coelho
  2. Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert

How do you improve your relationship?

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