Clearly, the existence of issues with the children, in-laws, or money might be the subject of the argument. However, the inability to build effective communication in marriage can prevent the ability to resolve any issues.
If you find yourself looking for a definite solution to “how to communicate with husband without fighting?”, here is a compilation of 16 principles that will help you build and apply effective communication strategies in a marriage.
What are the principles of effective communication?
Author Gary Collins in his book “Christian Counseling” offers 16 principles for effective communication in marriage:
1. Avoid double messages
Avoid saying something and contradicting it in a non-verbal way. We communicate with words, tone, facial expressions, gestures, and body language. So, be extra careful!
2. Deal with it now
Delays have the potential of creating layers of negative emotions.
3. Respect cross-cultural relationships
Understand that people from different cultures may attach a different meaning to certain gestures.
4. Always show respect
Always show respect for your partner’s value as a human being.
5. Accept that issues can be viewed uniquely
Don’t assume that your perspective is the only one or the valid one.
6. Focus on the current issue
Communication becomes clouded when the past is dumped into the conversation. It is wise to avoid bringing unrelated grievances, complaints, and past sins to the table.
“For better or worse” is the promise of forgiveness and a pathway to effective communication in marriage.
7. Fight fair
Resist fault finding, exaggerations, put-downs, name-calling, blaming, insults, sarcasm, and absolutes…” You always” …” You never.” It is advisable to avoid “You should” or “You shouldn’t” as well.
These unfair verbal weapons only escalate an argument due to the attacking nature and usually result in the other person taking a defensive posture.
8. Be clear
Be concise and specific with your words.
9. Be honest about your feelings
Resist saying “You made me feel.” Giving your personal power away is an excuse for bad behavior.
“I” statements are more concise…” I felt like crap when you said…” This is a better way of expressing your feelings.
9. Be honest, but be sensitive
Be aware of your spouse’s feelings. We know the words that hurt.
You need to realize that intentionally using hurtful words is sabotaging and damaging to any relationship.
10. Avoid making or accepting excuses too quickly
Man-up to your actions, whether right or wrong.
Carefully, respectfully, and courteously WITHOUT interruptions or criticism.
Expecting your partner to do, say, or uphold certain roles or duties due to gender, age or tradition is an unspoken unfair demand and ruins your chances at building effective communication in marriage. “It’s a man’s job to take out the trash” “it’s a woman’s job to make the bed or cook.”
Get an understanding of the importance of communication in marriage and work together to make your marriage work. “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom; and with all your getting, get understanding.” (Prov. 4:7)
I use these principles in helping couples navigate effective communication in marriage. Principles of effective communication between couples go a long way in addressing any budding or deep-seated resentments in marriage.
However, it is a good practice to season all of these wonderful principles with the principle that drew them together in the beginning…LOVE.
Love is an action word, show love through hugs, personal thoughtfulness, and lovemaking. Along with love, try marriage communication exercises like Three and Three, where both partners list what three traits they like and dislike about each other.
There is power in touching and being affectionate; it is a non-verbal way of communicating that can leave your partner melting in your hands and make way for long-lasting, effective communication in marriage.
Following these principles of communication will deepen your love, empathy, and compassion for each other.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Dr. Jo Ann Atkins, is a certified pastoral counselor with a private practice in Atlanta, GA.
Her passion is couples therapy, her specialty is spiritual direction and positive psychology. Dr. Atkins has served in ministry all her life in Akron and Cleveland, OH and the Atlanta area. With experience in Chaplaincy, individual and group therapy, she has a wholistic approach to helping others find mental, physical and spiritual well-being, inner peace, and unconditional love for self and others. She is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia and the National Association of Christian Ministers.