One of the biggest problems couples face is not talking too little, but talking too much. Fighting and conflict result in talking more than need be, and couples fall into this trap because they say too much to each other. They bark, groan and sulk about little things – from laundry to bill paying to cooking – and this adds to the cumulative effect of relationship conflict.
We say too much. We say things we don’t mean. We put our foot in our mouth, and then regret that we said anything at all. We lose ourselves in the angry reactivity of the moment, and say things we wouldn’t normally have said in a cooler state.
Appreciating this maxim – less is more – and applying it to relationship communication is essential. Chances of conflict minimization increase when the “less is more” concept is applied. Talking less equals more of an opportunity to listen, or at least not say as much. Watching our reactive selves through detached (not aloof) mindfulness is better that losing ourselves in our reactive minds, which want to keep the fight going and say things that will will the power struggle. This just doesn’t work.
Couples who can learn to say less, while not avoiding or isolating from each other, and learn to make their fights and conflicts more efficient, can find newfound success and greater marriage happiness. Learning to speak directly from our feelings and needs, instead of attacking, criticizing, and playing the power games, we can learn to be more efficient in our words and getting our point across much more efficiently to our partner. Learning to develop these qualities is a must for couples seeking to stave off more conflict; couples counseling or marriage counseling provides a third-party and a neutral environment to develop those skills to better a marriage or relationship.