If your attempts at communicating with your spouse leave you frustrated, angry, and feeling even more distant, you’re not alone. In our recent marriage survey, 70% of the hundreds of couples who responded said they wanted better communication in their marriage. But there is an almost magic key to solving communication problems that can change everything.
Healthy communication doesn’t happen by accident. It’s a skill you learn. Think of how your communication normally happens. You try to express something important to your spouse. They react defensively and give a prickly response. Your already-stirred-up emotions get even hotter and your response back makes them even more defensive. The fight is on.
Is it any wonder that many spouses put up an internal wall and shrink from even trying to engage in real communication?
It’s time to reverse things.
Proverbs 18:2 says, “A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.”
Did you get that? It’s a fool who focuses primarily on sharing his/her own thoughts and feelings. The opposite is to find pleasure in understanding. Here’s how that translates into communication with your spouse:
Seek to Understand before Being Understood
Steven Covey made that principle popular years ago, but it’s never been more important for solving communication problems in marriage.