In the primarily western culture of America, couples date first before deciding to take the relationship further. During this process, potential mates get to know one another by communicating and interacting with each other in fun and entertaining environments. In arranged marriages, this concept is approached in reverse. Strong communication can draw you together after marriage.
1. Start With What You Know
The easiest way to establish communication in an arranged marriage is to start with shared customs. Perhaps over dinner you can spark up a conversation about customs or beliefs that the two of you share and how both of you would like to continue and pass on those traditions -- this provides an opportunity to discuss having children. Another topic of conversation could be what you learned from your spouse's parents during the matchmaking process. For example, if they mentioned his contributions to the community, you can ask him if he's passionate about helping others.
2. Getting Each Other's Opinion
Getting your spouse's opinion of things is the best way to establish how he thinks and feels, which may give you the perspective you need to identify with him, developing a deeper emotional bond. One sure-fire way to do this is by sharing a personal problem with your husband and asking for his advice on how to handle it. In a "Psychology Today" article, journalist Temma Ehrenfeld provides dozens of opinion-evoking questions and discussion topics. For example, "For what in your life do you feel most grateful?" Ehrenfeld also suggests complementing each other as a means of connecting. For example, tell your spouse something you like or love about him already and have him do the same for you.
3. Go Places Together
Going out and doing things together allows you and your spouse to have some fun while finding out more about each other's likes and dislikes. An added benefit is that it gives you a conversational backdrop and something to talk about later. In an American Psychological Association article, psychologists Robin S. Haight and Dan Abrahamson say you should "keep things interesting" to stay connected to your spouse in between work, outside commitments and family. Establish a regular "date night," but don't let it get boring; break your routine and have dinner at a new restaurant, take a class together or attend extra church or religious activities.
4. Practicing Better Communication
Communication is a lifelong pursuit that lies at the center of successful marriages. On Psych Central, John M. Grohol, Psy.D., lists important steps in maintaining communication which arranged marriage couples might find beneficial. To begin, stop and listen -- really hear what your spouse is saying. Be open and honest -- don't be afraid to discuss difficult topics, so you can tackle them together and move on. Pay attention to non-verbal signals -- if your spouse is getting louder, he may feel like he's not being heard or understood, warns Grohol. Stay focused in the here and now -- be respectful of one another and focus on the topic at hand.
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