Assertive Communication for Couples

Assertive communication is a fundamental element for couples. In fact, it's the basis of any relationship. But how can you improve it and the role you play in yours?
Assertive Communication for Couples
Gema Sánchez Cuevas

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Gema Sánchez Cuevas.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Assertive communication is very important for couples as it’s one of the most effective ways to communicate. But few people can put it into practice, especially in their intimate relationships. Today, you’ll learn how to improve it in your relationship to keep conflict at bay.
According to an article on assertive communication, it’s a behavior with which to express the feelings and thoughts of an individual. An honest way to do it without hurting others. As you can see, this is essential in every relationship. Thus, it’s important to work on assertive communication in couples.

Assertive communication for couples

Anyone can practice assertive communication every day with small simple actions. For it to be effective, the members of a relationship must reinforce each other. They must do so as soon as they begin an argument. This is something to incorporate into their daily routine.

Express what you really think and feel

People seldom express their thoughts when they’re in a relationship. For example, loud music may bother them but they keep it to themselves. They don’t confront their lover to avoid conflict.
This is counterproductive as they’ll explode someday. This is because uncomfortable moments are a good opportunity to practice assertive communication. People are always better off when they don’t shut up and when they state their needs.

Speak up for yourself

For some reason, people don’t usually talk in the first person when they argue with someone. Thus, they blame their lover and may even throw in some phrases such as: “My friend agrees with me”, for example.
This is a mistake, as it doesn’t allow you to practice assertive communication with your better half. Thus, learning to speak in the first person is good for taking responsibility for your emotions. It’s good to verbalize them. If you don’t know how to do it, say things such as “I feel…” or “I’ve noticed…”.

“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”


Ask before attacking

How many times have you attacked your lover when they said “You’re too messy” or “I don’t like how you do this (or that)”? Your reaction is usually aggressive rather than assertive. But if you were assertive instead of defensive, you would ask for more information.
For example, if your loved one tells you that you’re messy, ask them how you can improve. This way, you’ll start a dialogue that’ll lead you to a pleasant solution for both. Because it may seem that your partner is your worst enemy. But they’re not.

Assertive communication for couples – think before you speak

There are many ways to improve your communication with your loved one. But it’s important to practice every day. Some tips that can help you when you start a discussion. They can keep you away from falling into old behavioral patterns.
  • Think about the message but also how to deliver it. Feeling hurt or even attacked can lead you to harm your better half. For this reason, it’s better to breathe, stay calm, and think before you speak. There’s no hurry. Think that your ways can invalidate your message and create real conflict.
  • Empathize with your lover. Learn to put yourself in their place as this is very valuable if you know them well.
  • Don’t accumulate complaints. It’s preferable to express what bothers you the moment you feel it, as opposed to bringing it out later in an unrelated conversation.
Take advantage of every moment of your day to practice assertive communication. This is so trusting becomes the foundation of your intimacy.
Remember that verbally hurting each other isn’t constructive. It’s rather destructive, in fact. Don’t forget to express yourself in a direct way, honestly and with respect.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Capafons, J. I., & Sosa, C. D. (2015). RELACIONES DE PAREJA Y HABILIDADES SOCIALES: EL RESPETO INTERPERSONAL. Behavioral Psychology/Psicología Conductual23(1).
  • Espinosa, J. A. H. (2006). Estudio de correlación entre satisfacción sexual y asertividad sexual. Archivos hispanoamericanos de sexología12(2), 199-217.
  • Rodriguez, J. J. C. (2013). Parejas viables que perduran en el tiempo. Diversitas: Perspectivas en psicología9(2), 257-270.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.