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How to stop the silent killer of relationships?

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

Did you know that right about the 32nd or 36th month mark in the relationship is when you start losing the sexiness, that hot love, that connection you had at the beginning of your relationship?

As you progress in our marital relationships you start acquiring the weight of duties and responsibilities that arise from being married, having children, owning a home, having multiple cars, perhaps having a second family home, or taking care of your extended family. As a couple, you both focus more on the duties, responsibilities and developed stress that come with acquiring. Instead of doing the things you two once did to connect, build and cultivate strong sexy connections which came by working on your healthy relationship.

As a result of the building pressure of acquired duties and responsibilities in your marriage. Sometimes couples experience a big space in between them full of unmet expectations, unsaid wants, needs, desires, hurts, pains, disappointments and run over boundaries. These actions create the silent killer in relationships called silence. The silence of feeling unseen and unheard in your relationship. When left unchecked, this silent space wreaks havoc and can destroy your relationship simply because you don't know how to address the created space that came from not knowing how to express yourself clearly and concisely in the first place and not have your needs fully met in your marriage.

This article will walk you through the top sixteen ways in which to improve communication skills in your marriage and build a healthy relationship in which you can respectfully and lovingly show up fully expressing yourself.

Number one is to listen actively and attentively to your partner. Over-talking, yelling, ignoring one another at the same time does not create a safe space to communicate clearly and concisely. Instead work on taking turns to express yourself in order to feel seen and heard.

Number two is express your thoughts and feelings clearly and respectfully. Did you know we model the behavior of our parents in our relationships? If your Mother or Father did not teach you how to express your thoughts and feelings in a relationship, then learn. Rest assured this is an easy skill to master.

I don't know about you, but for me there is nothing worse than starting and stopping in the middle of an argument, losing focus on the topic at hand and incurring more agitation. Instead use number three: avoid interruptions and distractions during conversations. Set up a time or place to create a safe space to discuss the challenge you are experiencing. You will both feel respected and focus on coming up with a mutually beneficial solution.

Number four: practice empathy and try to understand your partner's perspective. Owf, this is a good one! Stopping to listen and hear one another's side of a disagreement or challenge shows your partner respect. The act of looking at one another and listening helps each one feel seen and heard which allows for creating number five: healthy conflict resolution strategies.

Have you ever screamed at your spouse - "I am sick and tired of YOU ALWAYS" or "YOU NEVER..."

I mean, how many times have you said those sentences? Instead, use number six: avoid blaming or accusing language. Blaming statements such as "always and never" prevent you from taking responsibility for your actions or seek help when the situation calls for it. For example, I need help in expressing my thoughts and feelings without yelling because I feel unheard! I will get the help I need in improving how to respectfully show up for myself and my relationships through my ten coaching sessions with Vanessa. Using "I" statements instead of "You" statements, which is number seven can better help you express your wants, needs, desires or express a boundary clearly and concisely. Also saying things like "You don't tell me.."," It's because of you..", or the ever popular "you better do what I say or else..." is disrespectful, damaging and will further break down communication in your relationship. Opt for- "I feel...", "I want..." or " I desire..." this request. An "I" statements works better and creates a harmonious relationship.

You know this one makes sense. Lean into it!

Many of my clients have shared how difficult it is for them to do number seven because they were taught taking responsibility for your mistakes and apologizing sincerely, shows weakness.

On the contrary! Taking responsibility for your own negative action shows empathy and self awareness. Apologizing sincerely shows respect for yourself, your spouse, leads to improved behavior and builds healthy communication skills in the relationships.

This also doubles down on number four.

This is a skill we can all master ; )

How does it feel to be screamed at? Do you feel disrespected? Do you feel resentful by the act of being screamed at and want to retaliate in kind? Of course you do! Who wouldn't? Does this lead to you fantasizing about what you would do to your spouse if you weren't caught and taken to jail? Yeah, me too!! What's worse? The gnawing feeling, in your gut, of being hurt because the person you love the most is treating you NOT nicely. Oh wait, ARE YOU the one being disrespectful? Owf, stop that. Number nine is avoid criticism and defensiveness. This makes sense. When you critique your spouse they get defensive. When your spouse gets defensive they can't hear you because you criticized them. This is a vicious circle. Use your tools, practice empathy and try to understand your spouse's perspective. Or practice healthy conflict resolution strategies.

See how each of the top sixteen ways to improve communication in your relationships have a subtle interplay 🤓 Can you feel your vibe changing knowing you can apply and share new ways to communicate more loving and respectfully in your relationship? Yeah, me, too!!

Do you remember the tv show Barney & Friends? The childrens program from the 90'. What is one of the songs Barney always sang?

"There are lots of things, we can do to be nice

Sometimes they're hard to remember

But there are two little things

You should never forget

From January till December

He's talking about please and thank you

They are magic words."

Which leads me into number ten: show appreciation and gratitude to and for your partner. Start by looking at your person in the eyes and say thank you. Come close, here is a little secret- the more you praise the behavior you like, from your spouse, the more you receive it and vice versa. Oh, you do it too! It will change that subtle interplay between you which will increase intimacy. And you know what happens when you increase intimacy in your relationship? Cue Barry White on Spotify.

Take time out of your schedule weekly or bi-monthly to strengthen the bond in your relationship. Put it in the calendar. Allow yourself the time to nurture, build and cultivate what and how you want your relationship to be. Ask the questions, build trust and support one another. Using number 11: make time for regular check-ins and discussions about your relationship and number twelve: be open and honest about communicating your needs and expectations.

These two work together seamlessly💯.

I love sitting at a cafe or restaurant watching people. What's exciting for me is seeing the clothes, the movement and being a part of the sexiness of life. Do you know what my pet peeve is? Seeing a lovely couple using technology as a substitute for face-to-face communication. Can you feel the energy drain into the space of silence? It irks me! Do you know what the statistics are on being in a successful or happy relationship? Fifty percent😵‍💫. Imagine applying a few of the top sixteen to improve the robustness of your relationship. Number thirteen is to avoid using technology as a substitute for face-to-face communication. The best way to show interest in your person is to ask questions. What's going on at work? Are you enjoying...? Do you remember the other night you did this to me? How do we introduce more of that? What deliciously naughty thing can I do to you?

It works. Try it!!

As you are indulging in the sexiness of life why not add number fourteen: celebrate success and milestones together. When you start celebrating the little things in life, you show appreciation for what you got. Focus on the good in your relationship! In my experience most relationships focus A LOT on the twenty percent of the relationship that is not working and ignore the eighty percent that is working. We are adults, if something isn't working use number fifteen: practicing active problem-solving together, find the solution and move on to enjoying each other.

If you are at a point in your relationship where you feel the big space in between you two is full of unmet expectations, unsaid wants, needs, desires, hurts, pains, disappointments, with run over boundaries and you don't know what to do? Move forward to number sixteen: seek professional help if communication problems persist. Let's face it. You married each other. As a couple, you both focused more on the duties, responsibilities and developed the stress that came with acquiring all that lifestyle stuff. Instead of doing the things you once did to keep you connected. Seeking a professional to help you is advantageous for the care and rebuilding of your relationship. Invest in the process and may you gain a loving, robust and flexible relationship.

To recap, here are the top sixteen ways to improve communication in your relationships.

  1. Listen actively and attentively to your partner.

  2. Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and respectfully.

  3. Avoid interruptions and distractions during conversations.

  4. Practice empathy and try to understand your partner's perspective.

  5. Use "I" statements instead of "you" statements.

  6. Avoid blaming or accusing language.

  7. Practice healthy conflict resolution strategies.

  8. Take responsibility for your mistakes and apologize sincerely.

  9. Avoid criticism and defensiveness.

  10. Show appreciation and gratitude for your partner.

  11. Make time for regular check-ins and discussions about your relationship.

  12. Avoid using technology as a substitute for face-to-face communication.

  13. Be open and honest about your needs and expectations.

  14. Practice active problem-solving together.

  15. Celebrate successes and milestones together.

  16. Seek professional help if communication problems persist.

I trust that you got so much information from learning the top 16 ways to improve communication in your relationships. Because it is my sincere wish for you to eradicate the silent killer from your relationship, so that you and your spouse have healthy, wonderful, robust and flexible relationships that are just exuding with that kind of commitment and love that comes from going through a lot of crap, quite honestly, and being able to be solution focused.

Much love,


Every Thursday I drop a new video on YouTube.

Get the written word here on my blog Waves and Reflections.

You can always get a hold of me either below in the comments or you can always dm me on my social media IG @wordsbyvanessa or on Facebook Vanessa Lee Curley.

Enjoy the week 😘

See you in the next one💜.

Thank you for being here 😁

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