Communicating with your Spouse

Speak for yourself

Take a cue from Gary Chapman, and learn how to speak for yourself. Instead of using accusatory “you” statements when talking to your spouse, use “I” statements to help them understand your point of view and to keep you from pointing your finger.

Listen to what's being said

Relationship conflict often arises from simple misunderstandings. Ask for clarification rather than making assumptions. Try saying, “I heard you say this. Is that what you meant?”

Yell less, walk more
Want to tell your spouse something, but they're in the other room? Shouting loud enough for them to hear you isn't the answer. Instead of lazily yelling to your husband or wife, walk to the room they're in so you can speak calmly and quietly. Bonus: you'll get some exercise and maybe a quick kiss from your sweetie, too!

Timing tough talks
Collecting thoughts in a conversation jar frees you from the anxiety of timing challenging chats. As you think of a concern, write a few topic keywords on a strip of paper and put it in a jar. Set aside time every week to pull out one issue from the jar for a focused discussion with your spouse.



"This or that?" game
A social gathering or event is easy fuel for fantastic conversations! After an activity, debrief with your spouse by having a "This or that?" question time. Ask your spouse a series of questions about what they enjoyed about the gathering, and provide them two options. For example, ask "Which did you like better, the entree or dessert?" or "Did you have more fun chatting with friends or playing the group game?"

Be sweet to your sweetie

When do you use your best manners? When you’re with co-workers, church members and friends – or with your spouse? Talk to your husband or wife more sweetly and respectfully than you talk to anyone else.


Use nonverbal signs
Several psychology studies report that more than half of a conversation is nonverbal. Use physical signs to show your spouse that you're listening intently. For example, give their hand a gentle squeeze. Also, face them when they speak and lean forward slightly; these are signs that you’re interested and receptive to what they’re saying.

Keeping the love line open
Do busy days keep you and your spouse from finding time to talk and pray together? Take a moment or two throughout the day to briefly call, email or text message your spouse. Quickly share your prayer requests, praises and assurances of love. Make sure you end the day together in prayer.

Poor reception
Accused of neglecting a task, a husband once responded to his wife with a grin, “I don’t remember you telling me to do that – you shouldn’t talk to me when I’m not listening.” Sharing information is a shared responsibility: Be sure your spouse is “tuned-in” before making an important announcement or request.

Hearing vs. listening
The first thing you need to know about love, you learned in kindergarten . . . and that’s to simply pay attention. Don’t let “tuning out” become a habit – acknowledge every comment from your spouse. If you tend to share your every thought, reduce the chatter so meaningful comments aren’t missed.

Checking in
When day-to-day life is filled with so much busyness, it can be easy for couples to lose track of each other. Try setting aside a time where the two of you can check in with how the other is doing, either once a day or a few times a week. It’s an intentional but simple way you can connect and make sure your marriage is always at the forefront of your weekly routine!


Article : Focus on the Family Canada 2016

(Pamella Seaton-Brisett - member)