HOW TO TALK TO YOUR SPOUSE


ELEMENTS OF GOOD COMMUNICATION
IN MARRIAGE

Communication is the most important tool that unifies a couple. Good communication leads to a good marriage. Poor communication leads to a poor marriage.  Communication is from the root word COMMON.  This means that good communication is about things that people have in common.  Talking about things that are common to both parties make life enjoyable.

WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF GOOD COMMUNICATION?

1. Talk with each other not at each other.  Talk about values, feelings, spiritual things, finance, children and salvation.  Do not scream.

2. Keep an Eye contact – the eyes are the avenues to the soul. Look into the eyes.  Keep your cool as you explain your hurts.

3. Share feelings. Thank your spouse for sharing his/her feelings.

4. Make “I” statements. For example, “I am sad, I am upset.”  Your partner will obvious ask, why? Then you express your hurt.

5. Do a reflective listening. Hear with the heart not with your ears.
6. Give praises and compliments.

7. Nod your head as a response while listening to give approval and concern.

8. State your likes and dislikes in a cool and calm manner.

9. Find a “Bracketing” time. It is a time set apart to talk about problems.  Do not talk about hurts in the presence of the children.
10. Make a mighty effort never to complain about anything in public.  The best place to complain is your bedroom.

11. Remain on the topic.  Do not talk about past mistakes.

12. Focus on the present – NOW, not on the past. You can’t change the past, but you can change the present and the future with the past.
13. Be specific in your statements not generalization.

14. Stay at the trivia.  Do not pile up your hurts.  Speak them out.

15. Avoid labeling, expensive jokes and teasing.

16. Never ask “WHY” questions. It assumes ulterior motives.

17. Communicate descriptively and passionately.

POOR COMMUNICATION:
AVOID THE FOLLOWING IN COMMUNICATION:

1. Avoid Interruption: It puts the other person on the defensive.
2. Avoid blaming, fault-finding, and misinterpreting a statement.
3. Avoid trying to establish the “truth” or what is right or wrong. You might win but you will lose a friend. Talk about perspectives.
4. Avoid side-tracking, i.e. moving from one point to another, one issue to another.
5. Avoid exposing multi-faceted problems.
6. Avoid guilt-trapping– I did that because you don’t love me…
7. Avoid power moves, ultimatums, using veto.
8. Avoid “Always or never” statements. If your spouse is “Always” doing that, are you “Always” perfect too?
9. Avoid trait names or nick names, example. “You are just like your dad, mom…”
10. Avoid self-justification, and defensive statements.  Win-lose communication does not bring peace.
11. Avoid mind-reading such as “I know what you are thinking, or saying.”  Never judge motives.
12. Avoid insinuating body language and non-verbal actions.

TALKING TO GOD:
We communicate with God: We call it prayer. There is a call to prayer in Heb. 4:16.
• Isaiah 1:18 – How? It is through prayer.  Jer. 33:3 – It is a call to prayer (communication with heaven).
• Why? Because we are members of the family of God (Eph. 2:18,19).

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
“He who constantly depends upon God through simple trust and prayerful confidence will be surrounded by the angels of heaven,” IHP 16.  God has promised to give His angels charge of us, Psalm 91:11,12.

“Prayer is the most holy exercise of the soul.  If more praises of God were engaged in now, hope and courage and faith would steadily increase,” PK 202.

“Prayer and faith will do what no power on earth can accomplish, MLT 15.

God bless you. Pastor Ewoo


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