Communication is not only the life's blood of a marriage, it is the cornerstone that the foundation of relationship skills rest on. You have to have good communication skills to be able to convey your love, affection, and commitment to your loved ones. You can not effectively problem solve without good communication.

Inadequate communication creates or worsens the struggle to maintain the positive emotions in the relationship. All people want to feel loved, appreciated, and a sense of belonging.

When about half of all marriages end in divorce, it just makes sense to take good care of your marriage. A sound marriage that attends to the needs of each partner is one that has a higher probability of avoiding divorce over time.

If one partner is not satisfied with the marriage, it is vulnerable. A marriage in which there is a lot of unresolved conflict and lack of positive regard is is very vulnerable to divorce. Such a marriage may also be vulnerable to infidelity.

Effective communication allows couples to effectively problem solve and increases the probability that hurt feelings and emotional relationship issues can be worked through to the satisfaction of both partners. Many people believe that they communicate well. And they may when there is very little conflict. However,when emotions are intense, that may not be the case. Some couples actually spend very little time together. You cannot really be communicating well when you are apart most of the time.

Sometimes one partner believes that time spent in the company of the other is time spent together. That time together, however, may be devoid of interaction. Often one partner will want and need more interaction and communication time while the other needs less. This, of course, puts their needs in conflict.

Similarly, a conflict that commonly occurs is when one partner wants to talk about and deal with relationship issues and the other partner believes that they are problem solving on some logistical or "business" level. When couples don't know that they are trying to solve problems on two different levels, unresolved relationship issues are often projected onto seemingly unrelated problems. When you do not problem solve about emotional relationship issues, those same issues will often be projected onto other areas, like taking out the trash and they will keep resurfacing. Taking out the trash may be a logistical or business issue for one partner but not for the other. To the other partner, asking someone repeatedly to take out the trash means, "s/he doesn't love me" or "I'm not important".

When you have identified that you don't feel appreciated or loved enough and you believe that spending quality time together could help, you are probably right. Quality time together, without distrations, with dedicated focus on the relationship can go a long way to remedy relationship aches and pains. Good things begin to happen when couples devote time and energy to communication and to spending qualtiy time toether.

Commitment helps a marriage weather the many changes that it goes through over time. Most people experience change as stressful. Couples can use the relationship as a strength to deal with shared and individual stressors, or they can individually problem solve and try to sell their individual solutions to each other. Using the latter stress management technique sets couples up for more conflict and more stress. Effective communication makes it easier for couples to help and support each other with stress.

There are many ways to learn to effectively communicate. Couples counseling, marital enrichment programs, and structured or semi-structured communication exercises are all possibilities. One of the common goals of couples counseling is to learn to identify when you are trying to problem solve on different levels, and how to move to the same level for solutions. Couple's Feelings Meetings and The Honey Jar,a couple's conversation starter, are examples of helpful communication exercises.

Take action. It is not a good idea to do nothing, hoping that something will change. Change is inevitable, but it may not be the type of change you are hoping for.

Author's Bio: 

Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D., LADC, LMFT, is a private practice professional in Stillwater, OK. Dr. Ferguson's website has a number of useful resources available to you at "The Honey Jar", a couple communication conversation starter exercise is available for purchase and download at