7 Ways to Effectively Communicate with Your Spouse Without Fighting or Nagging

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My husband’s words cut through me like a knife yet he looked surprised by my pain filled reaction. And I wondered, how can one effectively communicate with your spouse without fighting or nagging? Clearly, our communication needed some work!

I turned over in bed not wanting to look at him. Silently, I hoped he would say the right thing to make this better to make me feel better, loved, and more appreciated.

Instead it got worse like it usually does when we are both tired, exhausted by a full days work and not on the same page.

In those moments it’s so easy to believe the lies that flood my brain. Those lies torment me with untruths that my husband doesn’t love me, our marriage struggle will never get better, and all hope for our relationship is lost.

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Those moments when we are at our wits end are opportune times for lies to invade and truth to become obscure.

Everything gets blurred; small things become big things because we loose the larger picture, we forget the truth.

We are called to do life alongside one another, to reveal the Gospel in our marriage by loving through the hard, by persisting when you want to give up, by serving even when you aren’t being served.

It’s a hard job we have, two imperfect people living alongside one another, doing life together, seeking to become one.

It’s messy. Two sinners who get married are GUARANTEED ONE THING: sin.

It’s unavoidable. It creeps in during the worst times, as words erupt from our mouths marring our spouse, or misunderstood sentences get spun out of control or expectations just simply aren’t met.

Communication is THE hardest thing in marriage, yet it’s the most important.

Misunderstandings are at the root of all problems in marriage, misunderstandings that stem from miscommunication, which is why it’s so important to continue to work on it.

It takes consistency, it takes being intentional and persevering. Perfection is off the table but there is always room to grow closer.

Here are 7 tips to help you effectively communicate with your spouse:

Keep Pillow Talk Light

It is never a good idea to start a lengthy or heated conversation before bed. If you are tired, go to bed and work through it tomorrow.

This will help you both get a good night’s sleep and come ready to talk in a calm manner and without a lit fuse.

Speak Expectations

Tell your spouse what you want, or expect of him/her. Beware to guard your tone and avoid nagging (even when it’s really tempting!)

Expectations should be talked through in a calm, rational manner and not kept as silent ammunition. Have honest dialogue about what you want and what you expect.

However, know that some expectations are not ok to have and boundaries in marriage are healthy and necessary.

Be honest but courteous

Honesty is the best policy but don’t be a jerk about it. Pray it over with God to know when and how to say things. Think before you speak.

Kindness goes a long way in a marriage and often bridges the gap between two spouses.

Keep Your Emotions In Check

Try not to overreact to something that upsets you. Take a step back, breathe and try and see it for the way it is, not the way you want to see it.

If a problem needs to be addressed, set a time when you will approach it with your spouse in a calm and rational manner.

Speak Often

Talk to your spouse, not just about work or the kids but inquire how he/she is doing. Ask them questions to get to know them, to pursue them. {If you don’t know where to start click here for some FREE questions to help grow your intimacy and communication}.

Examine Your Spouse’s Personality

Try to understand how they process and react to things. Most likely they work different than you do. Allow them to be different (verbal processors, literal thinkers, logical rationalizers, emotional whirlwinds etc.). Examine your expectations of your spouse reactions and communication style.

Choose Your Words Wisely

It’s better to say a little and have it mean a lot, than to say a lot and have it mean very little.

As they say communication is key but no one said it was easy. It’s often very messy.

Good thing God isn’t scared of our mess, in fact He works in it.

That’s His thing. He takes messy and inserts himself making it beautiful.

So when conversations seem to have taken an unforgivable turn, when fights break out and all hope seems lost, when this thing, marriage seems unbearable just remember that.

Nothing can surpass His reach, not even your situation.

We just need to walk in faith and prayer. It may be messy but it’s GUARANTEED  to be beautiful because He makes beautiful things out our mess.

How do you bridge the gap between you and your spouse?

More to consider

Sarah ark in the dessertI am, Sarah, a sinner saved by grace, scandalously loved by a good and gracious God. I am a truth seeker and a hopeful encourager. Visit me at Ark in the Desert and you will discover more of my story and the story behind the blog.

About Sarah Ann

Sarah Ann is a perfectly imperfect wife and mother, and is thankful for the saving grace of the Lord. When she’s not busy folding yet another load of laundry or comforting a crying child, she enjoys studying God’s Word, writing, and spending time with authentic friends. She's passionate about equipping women to live with intentional faith, family, home, and habits at Proverbs31Mentor.com. Join her for biblical encouragement and practical lifestyle tips to help you live on mission for the glory of God.

1 Comment

  • comment-avatar
    Leah July 19, 2016 (3:43 pm)

    These are great! Maintaining a marriage is hard work but so important.