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Some Communication Killers

By Dr. Don Dunlap
Pastoral Counselor
Learn some communication “don’ts” that serve as guidelines for marital conflict.

Family Counseling Ministries -

From time to time, throughout their married lives, couples find themselves stuck in a communication rut. It seems that their every attempt to deal with conflict ends in frustration. Both partners can almost predict the path their discussions will take, as they escalate into arguments and inevitably end in an impasse.


They begin to lose heart and soon view their attempts to resolve conflicts biblically as an exercise in futility. Eventually they give up trying to improve their relationship and settle for less than God intended. There are, however, several “don’ts” which husbands and wives must observe in order to avoid certain pitfalls that bring marital communication to a standstill.


While positive commands are helpful, one has only to read the Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20, to acknowledge the fact that God also speaks in “Thou Shall Nots.” Communication “don’ts” are excellent guidelines for husbands and wives in the heat of the battle.

Don’t exaggerate the facts. Exaggeration is a form of lying. Many spouses think that to state the facts as they are is not adequately convincing, so in order to be more persuasive they resort to stretching the truth. The writer of Proverbs 12:22 warns us that God hates a lying tongue. Make a decision always to tell it like it is.

Don’t hesitate to admit when you are wrong. Husbands and wives often believe that they lose respect in their mate’s eyes if they admit to having made a mistake. In fact, the opposite is true. It is very difficult to live with a spouse who thinks he or she is perfect. Be quick to humble yourself before your partner and take full responsibility for sinful words or behavior.

Don’t manipulate your mate with tears. Some wives, in particular, may be drama queens worthy of an Oscar, but it is inappropriate timing to demonstrate your acting skills in the midst of conflict resolution. Both spouses should seek to remain emotionally calm throughout the encounter and deal with the facts objectively.

Don’t interrupt your mate when he or she is speaking. Treat your partner courteously. Regardless of how important you may think your next comment is, be mindful of God’s command to regard others as more important than yourself. Allow your spouse to finish expressing his or her point before you speak.

Don’t hurl your point of view like a weapon at your spouse. Remember who the real Enemy is. Satan desires to destroy your marriage. Husbands and wives should be on one another’s team. Try always, to speak the truth in love. State your point of view in a kind-hearted fashion and remember to turn the volume down.

Don’tforget that your goal is to open the lines of communication between you and your mate—not shut them down. As you ask God for the wisdom to implement some of these “don’ts” you should find that you are making significant progress in communicating lovingly and meaningfully with your spouse.



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