15+ Tips For Great Communication In Marriage

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Be considerate. Always.
  8. Omit absolutes like “you always…” or “you never…”
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. “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.)
  13. “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.)
  14. “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.)
  15. You’re next…what communication tips can you share that helps you keep your conversation healthy and open? _____________________________________________________________

About Debi Walter

Face it, marriage is hard work. But when cultivated daily the fruit produced will satisfy for a lifetime. We're here to help with ideas and encouragement along the way. Having been married 36 years and counting, we share what we've learned with practical tips, Biblical Truths, Date night ideas to help you plow your own vineyard for God's glory.
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10 Responses to 15+ Tips For Great Communication In Marriage

  1. Great list.
    Like # 3 I would add listen with empathy. Allow your spouse to feel, process and think differently than you. Communication is about learning your spouse not correcting your spouse.

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    • Debi Walter says:

      Do Not Disturb,
      Excellent point. Even though we are married, we certainly don’t think the same or process the same information the same way. Communication takes time and lots of empathy! Thanks for adding your thoughts!

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  2. theperkster says:

    Maintain your sense of self during conversation. Often we react in ways to get affirmation or grab it back and when we don’t get it that leads to lashing out to make the other feel as bad as we do. http://choosetotrust.com

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    • Debi Walter says:

      Scott,
      You’re right, being “one flesh” doesn’t mean we have to think the same way or process situations in the same way. We see this as iron sharpening iron when we differ on how we think or feel. When we were first married it was when sin was involved that the lashing out would occur. The guilty person did this to provide a smoke screen to avert the attention away from their sin. Thanks for sharing!
      Tom and Debi

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  3. messymarriage says:

    I especially like number 2. I think listening is often overlooked when it comes to communication and like the old saying goes, “God gave us two ears and one mouth so that we can do twice as much listening!” 🙂 I think that’s been my biggest downfall in communicating with my spouse–especially in the heat of the moment, because I’m anxious to get my point across! But what I really need to do is try to understand “his” message and heart instead. Thanks for these great principles, Debi. They are worthy of being hung on my fridge! 😉

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  4. Lori says:

    I especially appreciate #5. I’ve found my husband to be so much more receptive and willing to talk and listen if I choose wisely when to bring up a difficult subject. When he’s rested, well-fed, and generally in a good mood are three I’d suggest. This is my first visit to your blog from Hungry for God; Starving for Time, and I’m glad I stopped by.

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    • Debi Walter says:

      Lori,
      Picking the right time is so important to having good conversation. I’m so glad you emphasized that point, and that you stopped by. We hope you’ll come back often.
      Blessings,
      Debi

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  5. Adam's Eve says:

    Very helpful. Thanks for sharing your insights. #1 is so true. I’ll admit I’ve used this excuse before, but sometimes I realize I need to bite my tongue. For me, sometimes all I need to do is pray “Holy Spirit, help!” and other times I need to consciously think, “will this benefit my spouse by saying this?” or “Will this show love and respect to my husband?”

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    • Debi Walter says:

      Those are great questions to ask ourselves on a daily basis! The Holy Spirit is ready and willing to answer such requests.
      So glad you’ve added these points to the conversation.
      Blessings,
      Debi

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