1) Acknowledge their position.Sometimes it’s hard to put yourself in someone else’s shoes but doing this can diffuse tension and resentment in your relationship. I know if I am frustrated with Jake, most times I need to take a step back and try to be in his shoes for a second. It’s easy to be mad and irritated with our spouses, but I think it’s important to remember you married this person, it is probably not their mission in life to make you angry or do things to purposely annoy you. Remember when you’re angry, that you married this person for a reason and their intentions are probably not to harm you.
2) Put down the passive aggressive behavior.
Direct and to the point communication really is the best policy. Your relationship is not a game, there are no winners or losers. The more direct you can be with your partner, the more efficient communication will be.
3) Learn to speak with your partner in mind.
If you are the one to initiate a conversation, more than likely you have your thoughts and feelings in mind. When explaining these things though, expect for there to be another set of opinions and feelings to take into account. You are a team. You are two people working together through life and most things need to be tackled this way. Try to use we instead of you. It keeps each side from feeling defensive and will help move your conversation down a productive path.
4) Communicate frequently.
Just like anything else, the more you talk to your partner the easier it gets. It becomes second nature! Communication is one of the major building blocks of any successful relationship and it takes practice. Don’t wait to have in depth conversations until it’s a pressing and emotionally charged matter. Talk frequently about all sorts of things.
5) Learn when to be quiet.
While it’s important to communicate, sometimes taking a step away is the best idea. Know when it’s time to cool off. You can’t un-say things. Walk away instead of saying something counter-productive and hurtful.