Good communication is the foundation of a strong marriage. One of the most common mistakes couples make is letting the lines of communication break down. It’s a bad habit that can get your marriage into trouble, especially when you hit a rough patch. Here are some common marriage communication mistakes and how to resolve them.
Mistake #1: Yelling at Your Spouse
Yelling unleashes strong, negative emotions and captivates your spouse’s attention. Those emotions will take center stage no matter what you are trying to communicate at that point. Yelling sets your partner up to be defensive and frustrated rather than responsive and understanding. The result is that whatever you were trying to communicate to them is diminished at best, or misunderstood and lost altogether.
A purely emotional exchange can quickly transform into an exhausting, destructive habit. Communicate emotions in a way that allows you to move past them, not fuel them.
Solution: Let Your Words Speak Volumes
Let your words take center stage. Keeping your emotions in check can help your message shine through. That doesn’t mean that you shove your feelings out of the way. However, you want your spouse to hear how you feel. Excessive emotion interferes with that.
If you’re on an emotional roller coaster, take a little break alone or take a quick walk to help you ride the wave of emotion before approaching your spouse. You may also find it helpful to write out what you want to say so you can deliver your message more clearly.
Mistake #2 Having a Competitive Attitude
You may have to stay ahead in the game in other areas n your life, but your marriage is not one of them. When one person is the winner all the time, both of you lose. If you find yourself “building a case” in your mind with supporting bullet points for every disagreement, you may have a competitive attitude in your marriage. You may win the argument nearly every time, but you’ll do more to build walls, exhaust, and demoralize your spouse than anything else.
Solution: Examine Why You Need to Win
What reasons is it so important for you to “win” the argument? Does it make you feel stronger, more confident, or successful? Do you struggle with being vulnerable, even to your spouse?
If you answered yes to these questions, you might be dealing with emotional insecurities and trying to overcompensate by trying to seem superior. Ask the Lord where these insecurities originate. Or, seek a Christian counselor or relationship coach to help you work through these areas.
Mistake #3: It’s About Me Instead of We
Have you ever considered the chatter that’s going on in your mind? Mostly, your thoughts are consumed “me,” what I look like, how I just messed something up, what’s on my schedule later, what I’m looking forward to, etc.).
But, how does that chatter relate to your spouse? Is it all about how much fun you’ll have together later, or is it what you expect from your husband or wife, and what kind of mood you are in. In other words, are your thoughts about your spouse directed at how it affects you?
Solution: Take Your Thoughts Captive
Instead of allowing your mind to hit replay on the expectations they aren’t meeting, or how your mood, take those thoughts captive. Shift your thoughts toward positive thoughts about your spouse, their needs, and the positive ways they add to the family and your marriage.
Help With Marriage Communication Mistakes
It takes some practice when trying to change common marriage communication mistakes. But, with just a few changes, you can make real progress in your relationship right away.
If you need help, Eagle Family Ministries offers a wide variety of fun marriage retreats and Christian marriage conferences. You can attend one of ours, or we can bring it to you. Call us at (479) 464-4442.
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