5 Easy And Effective Couples Communication Tips | Marriage Life
If someone were to ask you, “How do you drive a car?” Would you simply say, “You just put your foot on the gas, when the car is on drive.” Probably not. Why? Because driving involves many things. Learning how to control the wheel, knowing when to push the gas and push breaks, and knowing the rules of the road, etc.
Approaching communication should be thought of the same way. When people ask me, “How do I communicate better in my marriage,” they are expecting a list of things to do one by one. Versus, things that must be done simultaneously to ‘drive’ your communication towards more understanding, more unity, and away from arguments.
Communicating effectively involves many things working together. It is hard to suggest a list of things for people to follow that need to work together for communicating effectively in your marriage. In this article, I am going to attempt to try. Don’t stone me too hard with your criticism stones. This list isn’t a list set in stone. Depending on the intended goal of communication, the list may vary. However, generally speaking, this list would be great additions to how you communicate with your spouse.
1.)Get closer to God.
“The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?
This is a tip that I rarely read or hear anywhere. In fact, this tip is often the last thing my clients either want to hear or expect to hear when they seek counsel from me. If I were to pick my favorite tip though, it would be this tip.
“How does getting closer to God help your communication?”
Getting closer to God should lead to you being transformed by God. Jesus has commanded us to be a certain way. To act a certain way. To think a certain way. And to talk a certain way. What typically happens though, is that when we get certain situations, we do things OUR way. And not the way Jesus has instructed us to.
The problem with doing things our way is revealed by what the Word of God has said about us humans. When communicating with our spouse, sometimes, at least sometimes, WE ARE THE ONES THAT ARE WRONG. We don’t “feel” like we are. We often don’t “think” that we are, but we are.
For right now, we are just talking about the situations where we are wrong, and our spouse is right. Not situations, where we are wrong, and our spouse is wrong too.
You know how many times we are led by our feelings, feelings we feel strongly, and our wrong? Here is one way to prove it. Are you currently married to the first person you had strong feelings for? (if the answer is yes, awesome!) Strong feelings that made you strongly believe that person was the “one” and you were going to be them forever.
Do we agree that feelings are not a fact?
***Thoughtsquestioned was my former IG name**
(Men often make feelings fact too, but, in this particular video I was addressing women)
At least agree that feelings CAN be wrong.
Imagine being the wrong one, thinking you’re right and arguing with your spouse about how they are wrong. You are wrong, but you truly believed that the fact your feelings were intense, made them right.
Ultimately, who decides who is wrong, and how is right?
God. Jesus. The Bible.
Imagine doing a math problem, thinking that the answer you got from the equation was right. If you wanted to be sure, what would you do? One thing you would do is use a calculator. That is a way to self-check. Forgive the simple comparison to God’s Holy Word, but, my point is that our morality must constantly be checked. Having a relationship with Jesus provides that constant self-check.
Let’s give an example of what Jesus has said specifically relating to communication.
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;”
You wouldn’t BELIEVE how many arguments in your marriage would be absolutely avoided if you applied this truth.
A lot of the time we are NOT quick to hear, and slow to listen because we think we are automatically right about the situation. (we don’t self-check) You cut your spouse off because, after all, aren’t we right? We need to speak and tell them something like, “And here is why I am right!”
How they feel, what they think, and what they believe isn’t important, because the “fact” that we feel, or think we are right is enough.
A relationship with Jesus should lead to the submission of His Holy Spirit.
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”
2.)Learn to take criticism
“Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future”
The #2 biggest problem with communication (the first would be people automatically thinking they are right) would be spouses not knowing how to peacefully take criticism.
If you understand my first point, this part should be easier. Stop listening to reply like you’re right and listen to understand how something you did, said, or a way you behaved offended your spouse.
Ask yourself, what is your spouse trying to communicate.
Ask yourself, what you may be wrong in.
Ask yourself how you can understand them better.
After you make that approach a habit, you can then add the layer of telling your spouse what you are feeling in the moment they are telling you your wrongs. Do NOT move to this step until you have trained yourself, with those questions, NOT to immediately become combative.
Remember to respect each other.
3.)Learn to properly talk
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
We get mad and yell. We feel wronged, and we want to do wrong back.
We belittle, we demean, we speak all but good sometimes. Yet we wonder how that speech leads to arguments.
It is challenging controlling our speech. Especially with a human being that we are spiritually tied to that is imperfect. You have to ask yourself though, is that momentary pleasure you receive from “letting it all out” putting closer to communicating better with your spouse or further?
It is still a daily battle for me too. I lose the battle too sometimes. You fail and try again. You constantly have to commit yourself to the behavior that leads to the result you want.
4.)Submit to each other–
“and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.”
The word ‘subject’ in that verse means to submit. And the word ‘fear’ in that verse means respect, not fear in the sense of being scared.
This generation seems to have a negative view of the word submit. They view it as to be under someone. Like someone is over you. Like they are your boss. Thoughts like that aren’t supported by scripture.
Submission in scripture carries the idea of unselfish commitment to each other’s wants and needs in Christ. Here is an example. When a parent has kids, the needs of the parent becomes secondary. It is all about the child now. Right? That’s the idea of submission in scripture. If you have followed my movement for a while you know what my saying is, “it’s not about you, it’s about you TWO.”
Arguments in marriage happen frequently because we often make a situation about what we want or don’t want. What we need or don’t need. We selfishly forget that our spouse has needs too. That our spouse has wanted too. We tend to let what we desire FROM our spouse blind us to what we haven’t been given our spouse. Keep in mind, that the commitment to each other’s needs is a mutual agreement that has to be consistently met.
5.)Pray for each other-
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
You, two married people, are two imperfect beings seeking to live happily together. Of course, there will be arguments.
Need I say more?
I shouldn’t have to say more, but, I will anyway. Regardless of how “good” you believe you are, you will sometimes purposely do wrong. You will lie. You may cheat. You may yell. You may curse. You may manipulate. You may ignore. You may fail to make your spouse a priority. You will say sorry about any or all of these things on this list, then you will commit these same wrongs again.
I think it’s interesting how Jesus says that husbands are to love their wives like He loved the church. Funny thing is, despite who Jesus was, and despite the miracles He performed, the church still sinned. The church still needed repentance and still needed correction. Didn’t Jesus infinitely forgive?
I brought that up to say, that if the love of Jesus and the deity of Jesus still didn’t prevent the church (which symbolizes our wife) from sinning, and doing wrong, what chance do husbands have?
Husbands, it sucks sometimes, but if we are trying to love our wives like Jesus loved the church then we have to seek to model that patience, and the Grace Jesus had for the church. The prayer for your spouse comes from understanding that sin is in us all. The prayer for your spouse comes from understanding the tremendous responsibility it takes to love someone despite the feelings you have of their failure. The feelings you have of how they have wronged you, are wronging you and will wrong you. It takes the Spirit of God to empower you to do that. Pray for that Spiritual strength. Pray for wisdom to lead with His wisdom and not yours. Pray that your pride doesn’t cause you to fail to admit when as a leader you failed, and need to do better.
Wives, if your husband is seeking to love you like this, then pray for your ability to not rebel against him. Pray that he continually submits to Jesus. Pray that he is led to deal with his sin. Pray that he can see when he is in error. Pray that he puts Jesus above you because his love for you can sometimes cause him to sin against Jesus. It isn’t easy letting another person care for you. It isn’t easy following the lead of someone else and trusting them with your care. Pray for spiritual strength, when your physical strength feels weak, frustrated annoyed, or hopeless
Notice how all the tips were based or rooted rather, in God’s word. Firmly understanding the first point, the relationship with Jesus, should lead one to work on the other points. Many arguments that are a result of poor communication in our marriage can be fixed if we sanctify ourselves by seeking to be more righteous in Jesus.
Not working on ourselves, and not being transformed by Jesus leads us to force our spouse to suffer from those imperfections. We are imperfect beings, that need to be perfected daily by a perfect being. And only then will we have hopes of perfecting ourselves for each other. And improving our poor communication habits, and mindsets that often come from a flawed, sinful place.
Send each other a little love note
In the beginning, when my wife and I were dating, I would write love notes on notebook paper, fold it a special way, and leave them random places. I would leave it on her car handle so that when she went to go to get in her car in the morning to go to work, she would see it. I would leave notes in her purse, so that when she went in her purse looking for something she would find it.
I would leave in cabinet drawers in the bathroom or kitchen. The point isn’t to show off what I did for my wife. I wanted to show you an example of how you could spread kind words to your wife. After all, don’t we spread enough unkind words?