We had a reader ask us if we would post some tips on how to have healthy communication in your marriage. What a lofty goal to put such wise advice into our daily Healthy Marriage Tips. So we’ve decided it needed it’s own blog post. We invite you to add yours to the list as you think of them by commenting on this post.
Imagine the benefit of having a growing list on how to communicate more effectively with your spouse.
It’s different for each of us on different days. This is why the topic is so important and so deeply needed.
- Being honest with your spouse doesn’t give you permission to say whatever you feel like saying under the guise, “I’m just being honest!” Once words are spoken you can never take them back. Think before you speak.
- The best way to understand your spouse is to ask them good questions and listen to what they say in response. Oftentimes we assume we know what they’ll say, so we don’t listen as we should.
- Listen with the filter of grace. If they are confessing sin to you, remember how much Christ has forgiven you. If they are sharing concerns about something you’ve done, remember no one knows you better than your spouse. Listen and pray for God’s help in hearing it with grace, not condemnation. Many times our spouse sees areas in our life we are blind to. If we ignore their observations we won’t grow.
- If a topic is off-limits, then get help. Just because you choose not to talk about it doesn’t mean it will go away. In fact, it will do more damage as it sits there and festers.
- Choose the right time to talk about important subjects. If your spouse is tired, it’s most likely they won’t have the energy to give the topic the attention it deserves.
- When you think the time is right to talk about something important to you, ask your spouse if they have a minute to talk about something weighing on your mind. This opens the door for a friend to come alongside and listen, rather than demanding your need without thinking of what might be weighing on their mind.
- Be considerate. Always.
- Omit absolutes like “you always…” or “you never…”
- Don’t accuse your spouse based on your observations. Tell them “It seems to me you might have….” Give them room to explain the situation with grace. We are not our spouse’s judge. We are their companion and best friend.
- Conversation builds the friendship between husband and wife in a way nothing else can. Don’t share things with your other friends that you haven’t spoken to your spouse about first. This is protecting your marriage friendship.
- Love your spouse even when they don’t deserve it. This is modeling Christ’s love for them and may break down the walls the enemy wants to build between you two. Love speaks softly, not judgmentally.
- “Assumptions are the termites of relationships.” – Henry Winkler (well said!) (You know what they say about what it means to “assume”–it makes an a** of u and me. Don’t do it.)
- “Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say “infinitely” when you mean “very”; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.” ― C.S. Lewis (Great advice from my favorite author.)
- “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” ― George Bernard Shaw (If you’ve only thought about talking to your spouse be sure you actually do it.)
- You’re next…what communication tips can you share that helps you keep your conversation healthy and open? _____________________________________________________________