Marriage Communication

QUESTION: How can I create better marriage communication?

ANSWER:
  • Work at it. Good marriage communication does not happen by itself.

  • Inventory your attitudes. Ask yourself, “Do I truly honor, trust, and respect my spouse?”

  • Never belittle your spouse to his/her face or to your friends. It only aggravates the problem. Women and men bemoaning the shortcomings of their spouse in gossip clutches are loathsome.

  • Never, under any circumstances, let any name-calling come out of your mouth. Too many marriages have been destroyed that way. The Bible addresses this: “Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” This is good general advice, but how much more so in fostering good marriage communication.

  • Get to know your spouse. Cultivate an intimacy that is deeper than sex. Get to know his/her thoughts, feelings, desires, and dreams as though they were your own. Share them. Grow your dreams together.

  • When problems come up, never raise your voice. It’s a sign of disrespect. Voice your objection another way. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).

  • Spend more time listening than talking. “. . .be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry” (James 1:19).

  • When important issues need to be discussed, chose your timing wisely. Let it be a time when both can sit down and discuss the situation level-headedly -- not when one spouse is rushing out the door on the way to work or distracted by caring for the children.

  • Use “I” statements when you have a serious problem with something your spouse may be doing. Never accuse. Say something like this, “Whenever you do __________, it makes me feel ___________. Using “I” statements is a non-abrasive way of marriage communication.

  • Act upon your words. Communication is more than just words. It is tone, gestures, and body language. Ask yourself, do my words and my body language match?
Learn More About Managing Marriage Conflict!

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