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Marriage Accountability

4 Tips for Good Communication in Marriage

by Ali Royann

Dear Ali,
Communication can be so hard sometimes with my spouse. Do you have any tips for maintaining good communication in marriage?

Lost for Words

Dear Lost,

Good communication is an essential part of a successful marriage. The lack of this crucial factor is a leading factor in infidelity and divorce. So here are four ways to encourage continual, healthy conversation with your spouse.

1. Address Issues

Discuss issues when they occur. Don’t let problems fester. When bitterness and resentment have opportunity to grow, communication in marriage breaks down as well as your bond and friendship.

Focus on the issue itself and avoid attacking one another. Identify the root of what is causing the pain, frustration, or anger. Don’t make your spouse guess what is wrong by being vague or expecting them to know how you are feeling. Choose your words wisely and lovingly because you can build up or tear down a person with the smallest phrase.

Listening is just as important to convey to your spouse that you are genuinely interested in what they have to say. Agree upon appropriate solutions that will help you both grow as individuals and together as a couple.

2. Dream Together

Dreaming together is powerful. It reaffirms your commitment to one another. Supporting each other toward individual dreams is fine, but be sure to set goals and have a unified vision of your future plans as a couple. When you dream together, you grow together!

Conversations about all the possibilities life can hold is exciting, but be sure to put a detailed plan in place to see these possibilities become a reality. Dreams become possible by taking action and moving forward. Explore what you value most in life as a couple, then reach for the stars!

3. Keep Learning

Learning about your spouse needs to be intentional. During the initial phase of our relationship, we spend a lot of time getting to know our future spouse. But once we are married, we tend to stop asking questions and get on with living life. It is essential to keep learning about each other and their interests because we are continually maturing and changing as people. The person you married will not be the same person years later.

Having a genuine interest in each other will require you to take time to sit down with your spouse and ask questions. Schedule date nights for the purpose of learning more about your spouse. The benefits will be endless!

4. Show Appreciation

Every day provides another opportunity to bless your spouse with words of affirmation, love, and encouragement. Good communication in marriage often means saying the things that “go without saying.” Life is full of trials, frustration, hurt, and disappointment. But hearing a simple phrase like “You’re such a wonderful wife/husband” or “I love how you ...” can re-energize and motivate a discouraged heart.

Be sure to also speak well of your spouse to friends and family. Praising your spouse in public provides encouragement and positive reinforcement. Having qualities and characteristics recognized in front of others is great motivation to continue that same behavior! Affirming words will communicate to your spouse that they are treasured and valued.

Good communication in marriage is one of the most important investments you can make in building a strong relationship with your spouse. Invest in one another!

Yours in accountability,

“Ask Ali” is an op-ed column answering common questions about accountability and related topics.

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