Monday, September 12, 2011

Communicating Effectively in Marriage

           Today's topic at Marriage Monday is one key factor in making a relationship work (or ruining it) - COMMUNICATION. Communicating effectively in whatever kind of relationship, especially with someone you want to spend the rest of your life, takes a great deal of practice and effort. Here are just 3 but useful tips on how to communicate effectively in marriage whether in solving conflicts or simply planning for the family:

1. Find a perfect timing.  This may sound simplistic but first of all, if you want to get your spouse to discuss with you attentively and productively particularly on crucial matters, learn to time it when you think your spouse is in the best mood to talk with you. For example, if your spouse has just arrived from work and is very tired or hungry, s/he may need some time to relax and eat first before s/he can engage with you for a talk. Read your spouse's nuances and body language to get a perfect timing to communicate especially in dealing with serious and sensitive matters. It is also good to schedule a regular time to talk to each other. Some successful couples I know (including my parents who will be celebrating their golden wedding anniversary next year) do it every dawn when they are well rested and  their minds are still fresh so that they can think very well.  

2. Focus on the issue/s. Couples can resolve conflicts more easily if they stay focused on the issue. If there's more than one issue on a problem, resolve them one by one. Don't leave any issues unresolved or it may worsen the situation or it may lead to another problem. If it can't be solved at one sitting, it should be made clear to both parties that the rest of the issues will be discussed later. Focusing on the issues after identifying and recognizing them also help save time and come up with more sound solution to the problem.
Photo from
3. Learn to compromise. The best solution to any problem is a Win-win situation but if it's not possible, as couples are two different individuals with different tastes, values, backgrounds, upbringings, etc., it is only by compromising that they can ultimately resolve a conflict. One may win in an argument and feel great but s/he may alienate the other. In Christian model of marriage, however, living under God's authority includes benefits and sacrifices for both partners, which in most cases involve ego and selfishness. If you truly love your spouse, then you may sacrifice your ego or yourself for the sake of solving a conflict or saving a relationship.
      "All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender. For it is all give and no take," Mohandas Gandhi wisely puts it which is applicable to all relationships and in  communications. There are even times when we just need to be an "listener" but not necessary to say anything. Again, if both partners believe in the Christian perspective that "it is better to give than to receive," then there will be less conflicts in the relationship as both are willing to give, give, give.

Of course, the common denominator of all these three tips revolve around LOVE and RESPECT, the foundations of any marriage. You find a perfect timing because you love and respect your spouse. The same is true with focusing on the issue so you won't accuse your spouse of any baseless and irrelevant issues and call him/her names. And you compromise because of your love and respect for your partner. So if there's true love and mutual respect in both parties when communicating, screaming or hurting each other, or worse - parting ways - will be avoided.

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Joyfull said...

Great tips for better communication! Thanks for sharing today.

Mac an Rothaich said...

Oh compromise is a great way to show you love your spouse and I TOTALLY agree it is a big part of healthy communication. I don't always like what I hear but I have learned to be thankful that he felt trust enough in our marriage to share.

Lisa Maria said...

Great points here! I agree that Love and Respect is the key to great communication. Dr Eggerich has it down!

Thanks for sharing.
God bless!

Faith said...

YES! love, respect and compromise....sooo important really for every relationship....thanks for sharing these tips...God bless you!

e-Mom said...

Perfect Timing... such an important concept!

On Friday nights, after a long week, that's the time when I MOST want to de-stress through talking. However, at the same time e-Dad is super tired and that's when he LEAST wants to talk.

A few years ago, we agreed that Friday nights would be e-Dad's "night off." I've learned that he's really not his best then, and it's important for both of us not to bring up anything controversial.

On occasion, when I forget, e-Dad politely declares "Friday night immunity" and quietly makes an exit. Then on Saturday mornings, when we're both well rested (like your parents) he's all ears and lets me have my say.

Thanks for sharing your wise thoughts, NiceA! And thanks once again for joining us for Marriage Monday.

Blessings, e-Mom

nice A said...

@Joyfull, thank you for stopping by.

@Mac an Rothaich, sure compromising will make a difference even if we don't totally agree with our spouse.

Will visit you both and will also learn from you.

nice A said...

@Lisa Maria and Faith, thank you for your nice comments.

@e-Mom, thanks for sharing about e-Dad. I want to learn more from successful and happy couples around the world especially on this communication aspect which I and hubby still need to improve a lot. Last night, after some insights from Marriage Monday, hubby and I reset our regular venting out and longer talk every Saturday night when we're both relaxed and have more time. Again, thank you for this very helpful meme that helps me grow.

tonya said...

I really like what you shared about timing, that is so important! Great post!

nice A said...

@Tonya, thank you very much for stopping by.

Constance said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

I agree whole-heartedly about timing! In the early years of our marriage, I would wait until we were in bed, right before going to sleep, to bring up something and then get my feelings hurt because he didn't want to talk! It took me quite a while to figure this out and I honestly considered myself a fairly intelligent person!!

I also learned to not use words like "You always..." or "You never..." If I am going to say something that has the potential to sound harsh or critical I always preface it with, "I don't want this to sound..."

Respect is crucial! By knowing our spouse and the way they process information we value them AND get the communication we crave!

nice A said...

@Constance, thank you very much for coming here and for sharing your wisdom. It's good to learn from experienced women like you. In fact, I learned a lot from your post with your wonderful transformation story. God can really work in many miraculous ways beyond our imagination so now He can use you as a living witness of His great love especially the suffering ones so they should not lose hope. Oh, there's so much to enjoy from joining Marriage Monday. I see this meme as a source of inspiration, encouragement and a blessing as everyone contributes much to my growth.

Cheri Gregory said...

"Couples can resolve conflicts more easily if they stay focused on the issue. If there's more than one issue on a problem, resolve them one by one."

This is SO wise! My tendency to "kitchen-sink" every issue complicated things so much during our early years. So often we'd have to ask, "So what are we even TALKING ABOUT any more?" because we'd bounced from issue to issue to issue...and ended up digging up old stuff that my husband was sure we'd laid to rest months ago.

I'm slowly learning to deal with ONE issue and then be DONE. Even when I'd like to tackle another handful, it's vital to be DONE for a while! (At least for us...I know it's important not to let a long-term issue fester, but I also know I need to give Daniel time to relax into "normal" before going into conflict mode again!)

nice A said...

@Cheri, thank you for sharing your experience about dealing with issues. There are times that I relate one issue to a past one but hubby would remind me that it's already settled before. But I argue that it happens again, and ask him why it happens again so that it would be clear why it is reopened. Yes, it's important not to let a long-term issue fester so it needs to be resolved once and for all.

Thank you for your well-said comments. I'll go learn from your MM post, too.

nice A said...

I'm sooooo blessed with all the posts I've read at Marriage Monday! I want to learn more from all of you, so see you again in the next two weeks at MM.

nuts said...

this is truly an inspiring post. I hope that everyone get to read this!

BTW, Updated my bloglist my dear
you can find hidden links here in my bloglink page of Embrace Life

and also here at MOreThanJustASAHM

Thanks and see you around!

nice A said...

@nuts, thanks so much. May you and your family have a blessed weekend ahead! God bless. Mwahhh

kimmy said...

very VERY NICE! i'm so grateful to GOD that my marriage didn't face any problem at all, i've been married for 12 years already and we never had any serious fights.. left you a KI$$, hope i get one back, thanks!

by the way, do you mind checking out on When Is The Time For Love?

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