Happy Couples Communication Secrets

communication secrets of happy couples

Ever wonder, what are the communication secrets of happy couples? Well there definitely are secrets that are common to a long-lasting and passionate relationship. In fact, there are eight of them. And when practiced regularly become the habits of a passionate relationship. We don’t have room here to cover them all. But let’s look at just one of the eight habits, that is how healthy couples communicate with each other. Below are two communication secrets of happy couples along with a couple of exercises that you can practice to make your relationship last and get even better.

Communication Secrets of Happy Couples #1: Care-Full Communication.

No I didn’t misspell “careful.”  I spelled the word “careful” with two “L”s. Because when a couple’s words and actions are full of care, they are more likely to be the lucky ones who stay in love.  In fact, the love researcher, Dr. John Gottman, has observed this in thousands of happy couples. His research, as well as that published by my husband and I, find loving couples liberally use four insurance factors when they communicate with one another:

  • Affection.
  • Appreciation.
  • Respect.
  • Validation.

These four ways of talking with each other ensure that a happy couple stays together through life’s inevitable sorrows of pain and loss. And, speaking from personal and clinical experience, talking in this way raises the passion level between you and your partner.

Below is the second communication secret of happy couples and two exercises that will help you and your partner cultivate care-full communication. It’s especially important to practice these exercises if the relationship is rocky.

Communication Secrets of Happy Couples #2: The Five to One Process.

Happy couples, whether they have been together one month or 25 years, maintain a ratio of 5 positive comments or interactions to 1 negative one. A negative comment might be a criticism or a complaint. A negative interaction, well you know what that looks like! This high ratio of positive and loving behaviors or comments coupled with acts of kindness provide a bedrock of connection. And win-win teamwork. Needless to say, the higher the ratio, like 10 or 20 to 1 positives to 1 negative really lights the fire of love in intimate relationships.

Exercise #1:

Read over this exercise with your partner. For the next hour or so when you are talking or hanging out together, try to act the way you usually do. But take two notebooks and each one of you write down the following. The number of positive or negative words/gestures you yourself are making toward your partner. Take another hour and deliberately double the positives. After this, discuss the experience together. You may find yourselves rolling with laughter. This is good!  Not taking things so seriously will set you both free of your negative patterns.

Exercise #2:

On your own, track the number of positive word/gestures you put out to your partner. Now, double the amount. Now triple it, and watch what happens. If you keep it up, eventually you will get positives coming back to you. Practice giving and receiving them! It is very critical to create care-full communication with your partner. Attention to and practice of this skill will go a long way to creating a passionate relationship. Otherwise you risk losing it all.

If you want to learn much more (7500 words more) about the communication secrets of happy couples, be sure to visit the Happy Couple page.

Wishing you love,
Dr. Diana

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