Does Your Marriage Communication Stink?

Do you ever feel like you’re talking a foreign language to your spouse? You know what you are saying and how you mean for it to come across, but your spouse misunderstands or even completely takes it opposite of what you meant?

I’ve.been.there.so many.times.

Many times, I can’t articulate what I am feeling very good and the whole conversation goes south really fast.

Is it just me? Tell me I’m not alone in this.

I grew up in a different environment than my husband. Conflict resolution didn’t happen in my family.

Angry outbursts and hurtful words were followed by silent treatment. A few days would pass and then the incident was brushed under the rug. The conflict ended but was never resolved.

Does Your Marriage Communication Stink? Learn how to express your feeling sand troubles with your husband, Christian conflict resolution and conversations to strengthen marriage using Scripture and God's Word.

Relationships don’t grow deeper if conflict resolution only happens at the surface level. Click To Tweet

 

Clashes in Communication

The first decade of marriage, in regards to communication was rough, especially when disagreements happened.

My husband would want to work it out, but I would get mad and cop an attitude.

The silent treatment was my default reaction.

He is a problem solver, so this entire situation would frustrate him. I would want to be alone and remain in my stuffy state. Then I wanted to return to normal like nothing happened, only to repeat this cycle again and again.

These spats not only caused physical disruption to our family’s life but also caused a division that ran much deeper into our emotional intimacy.

What I then started doing was to hide my feelings or sugar coat them. However, this didn’t work either because I would feel inner tension toward him. I would blow up and he would feel gobsmacked with a hit out of right field.

Where did that come from?

Not good at all and it wasn’t helpful in the least.

Ugh! Will I ever get this right?

Does Your Marriage Communication Stink? Learn how to express your feelings and troubles with your husband, Christian conflict resolution and conversations to strengthen marriage using Scripture and God's Word.

 

What not to do when you’re disagreeing with your spouse:

  1. Yell at them.
  2. Belittle and disrespect them.
  3. Compete against them, there’s no winner in this fight.
  4. Give the silent treatment.
  5. Stew and then brush it under the rug.
  6. Hide true feelings.

What we say during these times of confrontation can having lasting impacts on the future of our… Click To Tweet

Can I be honest for a minute?

I once used the “D-word” aka divorce during a heated fight ten years ago. My tongue run wild, and I didn’t mean it. I was wrong. My husband will bring this up and I fear my stupidity of letting my tongue reign free will haunt me.

(Proverbs 18:21, NLT).  The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

Body Language Isn’t Innocent Either

It’s not only what we say, but also how we act. Body language can be just as powerful in hurting our spouse.

How many times do we close down? Avert our eyes. Roll our eyes. Cross our arms across our chests.

We retreat back and act like we are disgusted with our significant other.

How can we act so unloving and unlovable in these moments?

I want to be so much better in the good times and the trying times with my spouse. Unconditional love flows throughout seasons.

 

6 Ways to Communicate Better With Your Spouse

  1. Be honest and transparent in your feelings.
  2. Encourage each other to share what’s bothering them
  3. Affirm your spouse’s feelings. Try to see their side of the story.
  4. Be kind to your spouse. Who wants to share feelings when someone is mean?
  5. Accept that both of you will fail and screw up. Grace is freely offered to us and should be freely offered from us.
  6. Relationships take time and work. Keep trying and re-trying.
  7. Makeup as soon as possible.
  8. Pray for each other and your marriage.
  9. Work together.
  10. Focus on the good in your spouse.

Growing Together

The core truth is we have to expect to failure in both of us. Growth happens through pain and trying times, even in relationships.

My marriage has come a long way in how we deal with conflict. We are not perfect, but I can see growth in how we deal with disagreements in our relationship.

It’s been helpful to grow in faith individually so we can approach our marriage with a God perspective. It offers more grace, mercy and love towards each other.

 

(Ephesians 4:2, NLT).

 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.

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33 thoughts on “Does Your Marriage Communication Stink?

  1. I’m really working on being kind and giving grace in my marriage. One thing I learned in reading Shaunti Feldhahn’s book on happy marriages was that I should always give my husband the benefit of the doubt when I think he may have wronged me. That has helped me keep a right perspective in some situations that I could have taken in a different way.

    All ten of your tips are great advice for my marriage! Praying for my husband daily and purposely noticing all the good things about him are two of my favorites as well!

    1. Tracey- you’re the second person to point out that book. I’m adding it to my book list! That’s a great perspective!

      Thank you for stopping!

    2. Tracey- you’re the second person to recommend that book! I will have to check it out!
      I love that perspective, what an example of grace.

  2. GREAT message! It is amazing how the little things like body language can make a difference. Definitely going to be trying to be more intentional with that. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Great tips, Julie. And great “don’t” list, too. Those early years of marriage are hard for most of us, I think. We’re younger and don’t have enough wisdom under our belts yet. All things Grace – for sure. 🙂 Thanks for sharing with #ChasingCommunity today! ((hug))

    1. Brenda- I agree about the early years of marriage. It’s easy to fall into comfortable in the middle years of marriage and not be intentional though. It’s a daily choice to make it work.

  4. You’ve only used the d-word once!?! I hate to admit I can’t count the number of times I’ve used it. But God… By grace He is growing and maturing both me and my husband. Your tip about focusing on the good has been key for me. If I focus on the not-so-good I find myself going through hypothetical arguments in my head. Then I’m cranky with the hubs for no real reason at all. Oh good grief!!! Right?

    Anyway… thank you for your honest and very encouraging post. 🙂

    1. Kelli- that one time was enough:( It broke his heart.
      Focus on the good…I need that in sharpie all over my body!
      Thank you for your encouragement!

  5. Julie, I thought for a minute you were describing our first few years of marriage. Only I have his family dynamic and you have my husbands, It was difficult for us to say the least. When praying about my role, where I should take ownership, God showed me Proverbs 10:18, “He who conceals his hatred, has lying lips”. My desire to keep our home peaceful was the driving force to just let things go. I let them go to prevent the argument. So my situation mirrored yours in that we swept things under the rug. That pile of dirt got bigger and bigger. And noone addressed the elephant under the rug. Now I pray and open my mouth to speak the truth in love. After almost 35 years of marriage, I’m still learning. God is still teaching me. I love you tips. I have a marriage retreat coming up in three weeks. With your permission, I would love to share this post.

    1. Calvonia- congrats on 35 years, what a blessing!
      Approaching our marriages with love and grace is key!
      Of course you can share!
      Thank you for your encouragement and friendship!

  6. Julie, a great post with helpful ‘do’s” & “don’t’s”. Marriage is hard work and truly does take commitment. I have often felt that both marriage and parenting are the two avenues that God used to grow my relationship with Him and deepen my roots. I am most grateful for both routes, yes, even with the struggles. Blessings!

    1. Joanne- you’re right about God using marriage and parenting to grow us. When left to our own devices, we screw them up don’t we?
      I want deeper roots, but growth and change is uncomfortable:)

  7. Happy Marriage Anniversary, Julie.
    Thank you for sharing this powerful message. Your advice is well taken.
    Blessings to you 😇

  8. Visiting from Moments of Hope link up. Thank you for the encouragement and thank you for your transparency. Great Bible verses to take to heart. May your soul be refreshed as you grow in Christ-likeness in your marriage.

  9. Learning to communicate better has been a 28-year process for us :). You have some great tips for improving communication. I’ve learned to pray before I speak when I feel the ball of anger or irritation rising within me. I’ve also learned to apologize (not easy for me–I like being ‘right’).

  10. Julie, this is packed with wisdom and truth. I’ve found so much of our conversation/conflict resolutions skills or lack of are often rooted in the family dynamics we grew up in, and it can be difficult finding our voice and using it to generate hope and grace during these times. I think I will forever be working on improving in this area!

  11. Julie!!!

    I LOVE this! Love it. I wish I had read this when I was a young bride… perhaps I would have missed some of those mishaps that broke our hearts along the way. My husband is the one who doesn’t want to discuss things and my little word-self always wants to talk EVERYTHING out. 🙂 It doesn’t work well like that. And growing up completely different made it even harder to communicate. After over 25 years we are actually finding ways to do all that, yes, slow learners… but so grateful for God’s patience with us and for reminding us about the power of love covering a multitude of sins.
    Great post!
    Blessings,
    Dawn

    1. Dawn- so glad you’ve found a rhythm in your marriage. Growth and allowing change to happen in ourselves is important too for making marriage work.

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