Let your conversation be always full of grace.
Most marriage counselors emphasize communication as a foundation for a healthy relationship: Nothing should be withheld from the marital partner. There is wisdom in that advice provided it’s applied with common sense. It may be honest for a man to tell his wife that he hates her fat legs, her varicose veins, or the way she cooks. It’s honest for a woman to dump her anger on her husband and constantly berate him for his shortcomings and failures. But honesty that does not have the best interest of the other person at heart is really a cruel form of selfishness.
– James Dobson
Communication is a vital part of a happy marriage. We need to talk to our spouses about the things that bother us about our them or our marriage. Here are some rules of communication to consider:
- Listen and seek to understand the other before you seek to be understood.
- Actively empathize and use reflective listening to let the other person know that you understand.
- Don’t devalue or explain away what the other person is feeling or saying and don’t defend – just listen.
- Clarify to make sure that you understand, ask questions.
- Use “I” statements to show you are taking responsibility for what you are feeling or wanting.
Recommended resource: Boundaries in Marriage by Cloud and Townsend