Honest couple communication – especially between husband & wife – is essential for creating connection and lasting joy. But should you be able to say whatever you want to your mate?
I’ve always tried to be careful what I say to My Beloved. But many folks – mostly women, it seems; but some men, too – believe you should be able to say whatever you want to your mate. They call it “just being honest.”
On the other hand, some are too careful about what they say because they’re trying to get a particular response from their partner. Actually, that’s manipulation, and I’ve never seen it work to create true connection in any relationship.
The Psychology of Better Couple Communication
As a Couples Psychologist, I’ve seen both extremes.
[callout]let it all out vs. tiptoeing around[/callout]
And the sad thing about those who’d like better couple communication is that most don’t even realize what they’re actually doing! So here are my 5 Reasons for being careful what you say:
- Words hurt. Think before you speak: Could what you are about to say be experienced as attacking, blaming, or criticizing? Just because you’re hurt does not give you the right to hurt someone in return.
- Words heal. Be kind and gracious toward one another. You may have heard that “hurt people hurt people.” Consider what might be behind another’s behavior. Chances are they are acting defensively by being offensive.
- Words curse. Assuming the worst about your mate and saying it aloud is the same as pronouncing a curse. Trust me. You don’t want to speak out that kind of potentially self-fulfilling prophecy! (James 3:10)
- Words bless. Paul’s admonition to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:5) does not give you permission to tell your mate everything wrong with him/her. Instead speak the Truth about how God sees your mate: as His Dearly Beloved Child.
- Words create. What we think – and especially what we say – impacts the world around us. And that includes the people you love – as well as the people you don’t. We all believe the world is in more trouble than it’s ever been. Use the creative power of your words to make the world a better place.
Here are a few words from the Word about words.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:3)
I will proclaim the name of the Lord.
Oh, praise the greatness of our God! (Deuteronomy 32:3)
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:10-11)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:1-5)
Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” (Revelation 19:9)