1. Be swift to hear and slow to speak: James 1:19 We’re often so afraid of not being heard, we rush to keep talking. Ironically, this behavior makes it all the more possible that we won’t be heard.
2. Make listening a priority. There are times that you’ve stopped talking for the moment, but inside your head, you’re still thinking of all the things you want to say. Therefore, you’re still not really hearing what is being said. Rephrasing what a person has just said helps to let the person know you’re listening.
3. Trust is important in marriage: John 4:18 Little lies turn into big lies. Pretending everything is alright isn’t alright. Know that the silent treatment will lead you nowhere fast.
4. Pay attention to nonverbal signals. Most of our communication with one another in any friendship or relationship isn’t what we say, but how we say it. Reading your spouse’s nonverbal signals takes time and patience, but the more you do it, the more attuned you will be to what they’re really saying.
5. Stay focused on the topic of discussion. Sometimes discussions turn into arguments and you never get to deal with the real issues. To be respectful of one another and the relationship, you should try and keep the discussion focused on the topic at hand. It’s easy to get off-topic and veer off to something that has nothing to do with what’s being discussed.
6. Don’t allow emotions to overtake you: Anxiety in a person’s heart weighs him down, but an encouraging word brings him joy. Proverbs 12:25 When discussing important issues, no one can talk if they feel emotionally weak or charged-up and angry. If you’re experiencing anger or are emotionally charged, here’s a good opportunity to table the conversation and choose another time for your discussion.
7. Be willing to let go of an argument. Many times we continue to argue or have a heated discussion because we simply want to be right. The need to win the debate should not be your motive. When you back down a bit, it shows you respect the other person’s feelings as well, and it’s not just about you.
8. Lighten up: Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
9. Communicating is more than just talking. All too often, couples focus only on the talking aspect of their relationship, but your actions also speak loudly. Caution: When using social media as a form of communication, note that some matters should remain personal & private.
Most Importantly: We all must remember that no one is a perfect communicator at all times. But we have power to work on our communication with our mate. This process takes time but you must start somewhere, and why not with you? Just making the effort to improve your communication with your spouse can often encourage them to see something different and make more of an effort in communication too.