The usual culprits of tension or hurt in a marriage, or the ones that seem to get all the air time, are finances and sex.
But I’d actually argue that if you go back and look at the last 10 arguments you’ve had with your spouse (or boyfriend/girlfriend) there is one underlying theme.
Every single time Alyssa and I have a disagreement (whether it’s about kiddos, goals, or what way the toilet paper faces — don’t lie married folks, you know that’s you too!) I can usually trace it back to bad communication. The what might be something different each time, but 9 times out of 10, the why boils down to some form of unmet expectations that would’ve been a non issue had we communicated better beforehand.
The saying goes, a couple who has bad communication usually has a bad relationship. And a couple who has good communication usually has a good relationship.
Communication is the key to a healthy, vibrant, and loving relationship.
And here’s the truth — good communication isn’t usually something they teach in pre-marital counseling, but it’s even far more important in a romantic relationship than other relationships in our life.
Because the closer you are to someone, the more their words and your words matter (for good or for harm). And there’s usually no one closer than your spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend.
For example, some guy can cut me off in traffic and yell “you’re an idiot!” or “you’re worthless!” and I’d probably laugh it off. But if Alyssa said that to me? I’d be devastated. Crushed. Broken.
Words have more power the closer you are to someone. They can be the exact same words, but one would hurt much, much worse.
So let’s be people who communicate well. Who lift our spouses up. Who speak truth over them, not lies. And who understand that words have power to bring death or life, and I think we’d all much rather be the latter.
P.S. Alyssa and I just launched a big resource for couples called the Love That Lasts Experience. We picked the 12 biggest topics every relationship struggles with or doesn’t know how to properly walk through (sex, finances, trust, boundaries, etc). And one of the topics in the books and video series is communication. We were able to interview Jeff & Shaunti Feldhahn and what the had to say will blow your mind. We wanted to give you their video for free as a little gift. Get it sent to your inbox right away here.