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More Marriage Communication Killers

By Dr. Don Dunlap
Pastoral Counselor
Here are some marriage communication “don’ts” that could damage your relationship.

Family Counseling Ministries -

In the following continued list of marital communication “don’ts” we take a further look at suggestions to enhance problem solving in marriage:

Don’t keep score of offenses. Jesus meant it when he told us to forgive one another seventy times seven—in other words, an infinite number of times. It is an exhausting and fruitless endeavor to try to keep up with which mate has been more selfish and insensitive than the other. Remind yourself of the glorious truth, “Where sin abounds, grace does much more abound.” Be gracious to your mate, as your Heavenly Father is gracious to you.

Don’tcompare your spouse to anyone else, or your marriage to any other marriage relationship. God has created each of you uniquely and your union is entirely unlike anyone else’s. It is foolish to wish that you related to each other as “Susan and John” relate to each other. You are obviously not Susan and John. Prayerfully seek to discover the communication style that works best for the two of you.

Don’t chase rabbits. Stay on the subject at hand. When emotions run high it is easy to get sidetracked from the present task. Be single-minded in your approach and remember the warning of Proverbs 10:19, “In many words is transgression.”

Don’t say, “I told you so.” It is a hollow victory. Should your perspective turn out to be the right one, the wisest course of action is to remain silent. Your spouse will appreciate your humility and you will most likely retain your “I Was Right” title only until the next disagreement arises.

Don’t bring up past offenses. Someone has described this as “saving emotional trading stamps.” The Bible instructs husbands and wives to forgive one another as God in Christ has forgiven them. When God forgives a sinner, He promises to no longer remember his or her sin. This, of course, does not mean that God cannot remember the many sins His children have committed. It means, rather, that God, in His mercy, chooses never again to bring up those sins against His children. Make a solid commitment to deal with present offenses only.

Finally, don’t return evil for evil. The marriage relationship is a training ground for turning the other cheek. Try to respond to an angry spouse with a neutral comment such as, “I can see that you feel very angry about this and I’m committed to working on this problem until we reach a satisfactory solution.” A gentle answer is an effective tool to help defuse anger.


As marriage partners strive, by God’s grace, to be mindful of these scriptural “don’ts” they will find themselves on the road to more meaningful and successful marital communication.



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