How to Have Healthy Conversations With Your Spouse

by | Mar 16, 2015 | Men

Last month, I blogged about how to better communicate with and listen to a spouse that has a very different communication style. But there’s another aspect of communication that might make or break the health of a relationship between two people.

Healthy communication exists best when spouses are both developing the skill of an assertive communication style. [Tweet This]

Communication experts generally agree that we all gravitate towards one of four communication styles when we interact with another person:

1. Passive communication: This spouse tends to clam up, withdraw, and do all they can to avoid any confrontation.  This can often lead to stress, anger, resentment, and bitterness in the passive person. For example, if finances are getting tight and stressful, the passive person will likely avoid the subject, change the subject, or overlook the subject, even when they see that a financial disaster is approaching.

2. Aggressive communication: This spouse tends to attack, control, and provoke others. This tends to raise everyone’s stress levels, creating an atmosphere of fear and confrontation that seems, over time, to be insurmountable. And if unchecked, the aggressive person can become dangerous and destructive. In our earlier example, the aggressive spouse would see the financial stress and lash out at the family, blaming others, creating fear of financial ruin.

3. Passive-aggressive communication: This spouse tends to turn agitation, anger, and frustration into a more confusing reaction by dealing with it very indirectly. Often the passive-aggressive person will respond with more subtlety or hints, while acting like nothing is wrong. They will pretend not to notice how something they did was troubling or pretend that any offense they’ve caused is more due to someone else’s problem than theirs. They’re real feelings will be masked by conflicting attitudes and actions.

Continuing the example of the financial problems, the passive-aggressive spouse, instead of addressing bad spending habits or overdue bills directly, would drop hints of frustration or unexpected snarky comments about purchases or payments, without being direct about what needs to be done to improve the situation.

4. Assertive communication: This spouse achieves a much healthier result than the others by starting with a clear understanding of what they feel, what they think, and what they want. The assertive person deals directly, honestly, and most importantly, respectfully with others about what they are thinking and feeling. To finish our example, the assertive spouse would identify the real financial issue, and directly and honestly address the issue, without being angry or demeaning or confusing to the other spouse. They would accept responsibility for any part they played and would then offer some clear solutions and say something like, “We need to make some changes, and we need to work together to get through this. Here is what I would suggest…” would be a typical type of response from a healthy, assertive person.

For much of my life, I was a more aggressive communicator, and it was not always appreciated by others, especially my wife, Susan. But I’ve worked hard over the years to be more of an assertive communicator, and it really is a much better form of communication and Susan appreciates it so much more!

Which type of communicator are you? How about your spouse? Please share in the comments section below.

Mark Merrill is the president of Family First. For the original article, visit markmerrill.com.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

There are many incidents of God giving people a sign throughout the Bible. Although I believe God still does this, I also believe that we must be careful. Asking for a sign can be misleading if other factors are not taken into consideration. In Genesis, we find an...

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

The last words Jesus spoke to me in my 23 Minutes In Hell vision were, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” Then He repeated Himself and said again, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” The Bible is clear that Jesus is coming back to rapture His believers,...

The Best Way to Love Others and Yourself

The Best Way to Love Others and Yourself

I believe that other than the gospel regarding salvation through faith in Christ, learning to walk in love is the most important lesson in God’s Word. Jesus says that love is the most important commandment (Mark 12:28–31). The apostle Paul writes that love is the...

Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Praise be to Almighty God, righteous judge, holy of holies, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. The earth is His footstool, and to His kingdom there is no end! Breached Births The Spirit of the Lord says this day: “There has been a breach—breached births, My...

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

The global apostolic movement is the most significant expression of Christianity today. This is the view expressed by historian Philip Jenkins. He talks about the rapid expansion of the church in the global south, much of which is reminiscent of the first-century...

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Do you have any relationship struggles? Perhaps you want to learn how to love, for real. Too often today, people search for a fairytale love and are disappointed when the fairytale fizzles, which it will. Michael Gibson, author of Real Life Love, challenges folks to...

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

Have the words that others have spoken over you ever significantly impacted you? Words can birth destinies on the inside of us and bring hope to our hearts for the future. They have the power to ignite our dreams and give life to our souls. At the same time, negative...

RECENT ARTICLES

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus warned us that we have an enemy, and he is a thief. He steals our joy, purpose,...
Activating Introverts in Evangelism

Activating Introverts in Evangelism

 Many believers mistakenly think that evangelism is only for charismatic, extroverted personality types. If they aren’t called to be evangelists, they shrink back from sharing the gospel with the lost entirely. The scriptural reality is that fivefold ministers, and...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]