By Karen Smith
Do you want to learn communication tips to build unity in your marriage? I have them here for you today!
The goal of effective communication skills should be mutual understanding and finding a solution that pleases both you and your husband, not “winning” the argument or “being right.” Here are four tips to build communication skills in marriage.
Failed Communication in My Marriage
My husband is a social butterfly. He talks to anyone and everyone. He loves to be with people, and he talks a lot.
I am much quieter than he is. However, when it came to communication in our marriage, I was the loud one.
Early in our marriage, I distinctly remember throwing a laundry basket of dry clothes on our bed and watching the clothing bounce out of the basket and hit the ceiling fan as I made my opinion known loudly.
What was the entire discussion about? It was so important that I do not remember.
Isn’t it ironic that I remember being the loud one in our marriage and the quiet one in public? That is, until God changed my heart and taught me a few things about communicating with my husband.
I laugh as I write the following communication tips for building unity in your marriage because these are things I taught my toddlers. For some reason, when it came to marriage conversations, I forgot what my mama had taught me.
4 Communication Tips to Build Unity in Your Marriage
Here are the communication tips I learned in my marriage that can help build unity in yours.
- Don’t talk at the same time.
When my husband and I had heated discussions, we wanted to be sure we were heard, even if that meant talking over each other. However, this caused our conversations to become louder and louder, and neither of us felt heard. We had to learn to take turns.
Desiring to be heard makes it difficult to listen. When we began to wait for our turn to speak, our conversations became much more productive, and each of us felt like we were being heard. Listen to what your husband is saying, which communicates care and softens your heart toward him.
- Use active listening.
I am so thankful that I learned to use active listening strategies by restating what I heard. So often when I would look at my husband and say, “I heard you say ______,” my husband would respond, “That’s not what I meant.” At this point, he has an opportunity to restate what he was trying to communicate, and I have a chance to start the process over again.
But there is a caveat to this tip. While dialoguing, you must keep your emotions under control and make no assumptions. When beginning to practice this communication style, I discovered I often assumed the worst about my husband instead of the best. I have since learned to believe the best about my husband when we have these discussions, and it has helped our relationship become much more harmonious.
- Use “I feel” statements.
Use “I feel” statements instead of “you are” statements. The phrase “I feel” communicates something about you. The phrase “you are” makes accusations that are often untrue. Example: “I feel unappreciated” versus “you don’t appreciate me.” See how one response raises defenses, and the other invites further conversation?
As wives, we want to make sure that we are not making unrealistic accusations. How about this one? “You always raise your voice.” Now not only have you accused him, but you have made it unrealistic. Chances are your spouse does not always yell when he speaks. Superlatives like always and never don’t work well in heated discussions.
- Be mindful of body language.
If your actions say you are angry, but your words say you are not, your spouse will always believe your actions over your words. Ninety-three percent of communication is nonverbal. Your actions, attitude and thoughts matter. The level and tone of your voice matters. The actual words you say only have a small impact on your conversations.
When we improve communication in marriage, we build unity.
Learning to communicate with these tips brought much maturity and insight into my heart, allowing me to become a wife that loves my husband like Jesus does.
Wife Step: Choose one communication tip to start practicing today.
Karen lives in Madison, Alabama with her husband and three children. Karen has served as Preschool and Children’s Pastor and has been involved in women’s ministry for many years leading small groups, making hospital visits, organizing retreats, and encouraging the hearts of women. What started out as a way to communicate medical facts has become a place where Karen uses life experiences to encourage others in their life journey. When she’s not busy caring for her family or writing, you might find her cooking or crafting.