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Communication in Marriage

Communication breakdown is an oft-cited culprit in marital problems. If you sometimes feel your mate just doesn’t understand you (who doesn’t feel that way now and then?), maybe the problem lies in what you’re doing. H. Norman Wright offers 10 tips for talking:

1. Be a ready listener and do not answer until the other person has finished talking.

2. Be slow to speak. Think first. Don’t be hasty in your words. Speak in such a way that the other person can understand and accept what you say.

3. Speak the truth always, but do it in love. Do not exaggerate.

4. Do not use silence to frustrate your spouse. Explain why you are hesitant to talk at this time.

5. Do not quarrel. It is possible to disagree without quarreling.

6. Do not respond in anger. Use a soft and kind response.

7. When you are in the wrong, admit it and ask your mate for forgiveness. When someone confesses to you, tell them you forgive them. Be sure it is also forgotten and not brought up again.

8. Avoid nagging.

9. Do not blame or criticize the other, but restore them, encourage them and edify them. If someone verbally attacks, criticizes or blames you, do not respond in the same manner.

10. Try to understand the other person’s opinion. Make allowances for differences. Be concerned about your mate’s interests.

In following these 10 guidelines, here are some scriptures worth reading and remembering: Job 19:2, Proverbs 18:21, Proverbs 25:11, James 3:8-10, 1 Peter 3:10-11.

NEW MAN, March/April, 1995, p. 14

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