Many of the couples I work with in couples therapy or marriage counseling struggle to communicate well. Communication is hard and can be confusing, draining and frustrating if not done effectively. Slowing down can help tremendously. Often we're thinking about what we want to say next while our partner is talking. In doing this, we are not truly listening. We've already left that step and gone to the next one, formulating our response. Something effective happens when we truly slow down and focus just on listening and understanding what the other is saying. If we'll pause and summarize what they said, making sure we heard all their points and that they feel understood, we may find we connect deeper and can move forward towards solutions. When we fail to really understand our partner, we contribute to frustration, further conflict and we can negate problem solving. If both partners will slow down and focus on understanding the other, we can begin to move more effectively through the conflict and find compromise, connection and resolution. Try slowing down, try summarizing your partner's points, asking them if you understood fully. And only after they feel understood share your side of things. See what kind of impact this has on your conflict resolution. It can be a powerful step in the right direction!