July 12, 2020

7 Ways to Improve Communication in Relationships

Hot topic alert: ways to improve communication in a relationship. I often see people who have a lack of communication in relationships. I have put together 7 tips on how to master communication in a relationship.

Importance of Communication in a Relationship

My husband and I don’t really fight. We began working on communication when we were dating. We agreed to a set of communication rules. This we don’t always execute this perfectly, but we have made it our mission to honor each other.. even during heated moments. You and your significant other can do the same!

I strongly suggest that you learn the importance of communication in relationships by working on your communication when dating.

How to Fix Communication in a Relationship

Learning to communicate better isn’t something you can just mentally do. Make a heart decision to let God teach you how to be humble and loving in all situations. Be willing to lie down your life for the betterment of the relationship. We can apply these principles to all relationships, not just marriages. When you do this, you will be that much closer to finding out what does a happy relationship feel like.

Secondly, my husband and I owe all of our current marriage success to God. We have built our personal foundations on the word of God. So it is never about what my husband thinks, or what I think, but about what the word of God says. That is our common ground. Everyone isn’t married or in a relationship with a person who has laid down their lives for Jesus, but these principles still apply.

1 Corinthians 7 says the righteous spouse can sanctify the unsaved spouse. So even if your spouse isn’t saved, you can still apply these principles. It is your unwavering and constant love of God that can keep you calm and respectful. Being kind, when you have the right to be belligerent, is a great way to show the love of God to your spouse.

Rules of Communication in Relationships

Let’s go over 7 rules of communication in relationships. These will help you learn how to fix the communication in your relationships. Our end goals are to learn the importance of communication in relationships and how the lack of proper communication in a relationship may effect you.

Don’t make fighting an option.

  1. This is a great way to experience the benefits of communication in relationships. Make a heart decision to not fight. Acknowledge that you will not always get along or agree, but ask God to help you view disagreements as opportunities to love like Him. Build a spiritual boundary that will not allow you to yell, scream, curse, belittle, or disrespect your spouse. That boundary is called love. Remember that the effects of mean words spoken during an argument do not magically go away when everyone is calm. The effects of mean words live on and reverberate throughout your relationship. Think of a time that someone spoke harsh or belittling words towards you. How long did it bother you? How did it bother you? Again, make a heart decision to behave the way God wants you too… regardless of your spouse’s behavior. So even if your spouse is angry or disrespectful, that does not mean you return that behavior. We do not let the behavior of others determine ours. We are responsible for the words we say and the effects they have on the situation. There have definitely been times when my husband and I were upset with each other and one of us spoke kindly or stopped to pray. It changed the entire atmosphere. Operate in love, not in anger or frustration. This is the biggest rule of learning to better communicate in a relationship.
  • “A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.”Proverbs 15:1 NKJV
  • A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back. Proverbs 29:11 ESV

Learn How to Forgive and Heal in a Relationship

Don’t bring up the past unless it directly pertains to the current argument. Even then, do it with respect. Marriage is a never-ending cycle of forgiveness. We will constantly make mistakes. We must forgive continually. This is how the Father treats us. We constantly needing forgiveness, grace, and mercy. We should extend that grace and mercy to others, especially our partners.

Grasping how to forgive your partner who has hurt you is pivotal. When we forgive, we should forgive as God forgives us. He tells us to go free when He forgives us. He does not bring it up again or throw it in our faces. It is hurtful and betrays your spouse’s trust when you bring up past mistakes. This behavior shows that you are an unforgiving spouse. Continual forgiveness is a large part of learning to better communicate with your spouse.

(I want to stop and say repeated mistakes are not mistakes, but a part of our chosen character and behavior. The sin & person should be surrendered to God and He will change them. If your spouse is continuing to sin against you, forgive them and pray for them. Pray for how to move forward. No one can tell you how to handle repeated offenses accept God.)

  • “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”Ephesians 4:31‭-‬32 NKJV
  • “And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.” Luke 17:4 NKJV
  • “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14‭-‬15 NKJV

Practice Respectful Communication in a Relationship

This doesn’t include hand gestures, eye-rolling, lip-smacking, an attitude, or curse words. When you’re in the moment, it’s hard to contain your annoyance or anger, but remember that you are still representing Jesus. Remember that rolling your eyes or purposefully annoying the other person is like pouring gas on a fire. You cannot put out a fire by pouring lighter fluid on it! The goal is for you to use effective communication in relationships. Anything else is counterproductive.

When you take away all the extra stuff, you increase the chance for you to learn healthy ways to deal with conflict… it can be scary. You may feel vulnerable, but that is when God wants you to get honest with yourself and your spouse. You cannot grow if you are not deeply honest with each other. Slow down, consider your words before you speak them, and speak from your heart. Honesty and vulnerability are key to learning to use better communication. This is the key if you’re wondering how to open up to someone you’re dating.

Create a “No-Go Zone” and a “Keep the Peace Plan”.

This is one of my favorite relationship communication tips. We agreed to not use curse words, scream at each other, go to bed angry, or cut each other off, etc. Since we knew that we removed our most comfortable means of communicating when we are angry, we agreed to walk away or agree to come back and discuss it at another time when we are both calm.

Recently, my husband and I discussed why we hate to walk away from an argument. We hate it because it feels like we are quitting on each other; it feels like we are okay with being on different pages, and it makes us feel powerless. But all of those reasons are feelings and not the truth. Walking away during an argument is a sign that you have dedicated yourself to upholding respectful communication in your relationship. It shows that you value your mutual understanding and the overall health of your relationship more than a momentary feeling or desire to get your point across. I am so glad we had this conversation because it has helped us better communicate.

Above all else, we want to behave in a way that glorifies God and opens the doo for effective communication in relationships. Sometimes, walking away or saying nothing is the way to do that. Sometimes you need to be silent and reflect on what your spouse said. Either way, remember it is better to say nothing than to say the wrong thing.

  • Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14 NKJV
  • A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. Proverbs 18:2

No one wins.

This is not a game. There is no winner and loser. Either you both win, or you both lose. Communication is not about how to win an argument. Make a heart decision to view your marriage as God does. He does not view you as two, but as one. When you tear down your man, you’re removing your covering. When you disrespect your woman, you’re disrespecting yourself. In the words of Jay-Z, “no one wins when the family feuds”. You are on the same team. Viewing your relationship like this will make it easier to hold your peace and be respectful. The Bible tells us you and your spouse are one flesh. Would you stab yourself? Of course, you wouldn’t. So do not stab your partner with your words. It’s hard to learn how to get better at communication without a team mindset.

  • “And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” Matthew 19:4‭-‬6 NKJV
  • A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones. Proverbs 12:4 NIV
  • So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.”Ephesians 5:28‭-‬29 NKJV

Be Unoffendable

This is another pivotal part of improving a couples communication skills. You should expect your spouse to get on your nerves, just as I am sure you get on their nerves. Be ready. Put on the full armor of God. If you want to reap the benefits of communication in a relationship, you must push past your spouse’s attitude.

When your spouse says something that hurts your feelings, don’t hurt their feelings back. Instead, be the leader in that situation and speak love. Remember that you are loving and kind to your spouse because your ultimate goal is to bring glory to God. Therefore, you are not kind to your spouse because you expect kindness back. You are kind and loving because your God has commanded you to be so and you value His approval. We should pray that God gives us self-control, peace, and the discernment to know when to speak.

  • Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11

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