Communication and Conflict

Focus on the Family Broadcast

Episode

Establishing Good Communication in Your Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Based on his book Honey, We Need to Talk, Dr. David Clarke explains how couples can strengthen their marriage by improving their communication skills. Discussion topics include typical communication styles of men and women, how men can be more intentional in initiating conversations, how to better navigate conflict, and more. (Part 2 of 2)

Listen
Focus on the Family Broadcast

Episode

Establishing Good Communication in Your Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Based on his book Honey, We Need to Talk, Dr. David Clarke explains how couples can strengthen their marriage by improving their communication skills. Discussion topics include typical communication styles of men and women, how men can be more intentional in initiating conversations, how to better navigate conflict, and more. (Part 1 of 2)

Listen
Illustration of a husband and wife talking intently while they write down notes on pads of paper.

Article

When Talking Doesn't Come Easily

David Clarke

I have a great conversation tool I’ve used for 25 years. Throughout your day, record things to share with your wife. Making notes is a simple act that’s the basis for what I call “couple talk times.”

Read more
Husband has his arm around his wife, trying to persuade her as she looks the other way

Article

Head Games

Jim Daly

Guys, we can resolve disagreements a lot more quickly, and with better results, if we see our wives not as opponents to be outplayed, but as teammates. Let's be men who can disagree, discuss — and then move on.

Read more
A humorous illustration of a husband in a chair hooked up to a lie-dectector machine. Wife is interrogating him and holding a lamp near his face.

Article

Can You Be Totally Honest With Your Wife?

Phil Callaway

 One man accepts the challenge to be perfectly honest for a year. He failed many times; however, his wife prefers the man of integrity that he has become through the efforts of being more edifying.

Read more
Man standing between his wife and mother. Each woman has piece of yard they are pulling from his sweater as it unravels

Article

Java With Juli: Love Your Husband by Loving Your Mother-in-Law

Juli Slattery

By building a good relationship with your husband's mom, you can show your husband that you love him. Here are some ways you can reach out to your mother-in-law and create a peaceful family bond.

Read more
Couple having a disagreement

Article

Java with Juli: Fighting Fair

Juli Slattery

All couples disagree at times — money, in-laws, sex, the laundry. Conflict seems to be a necessary evil in marriage. But did you know that how you fight is more important than what you fight about?

Read more

Series

Communication for Military Families

The challenges military families face aren't for the weak. But by intentionally building strong communication skills, families who serve can overcome obstacle together and be closer as a result.

Read more
Photo illustration of a husband and wife, adrift in separate boats. Each is looking away from the other with their arms folded across their chests.

Article

Understanding Your Feelings to Stay Connected In Your Marriage

David and Jan Stoop

We can improve our ability to control our emotions. The skills we develop can make us more aware of what we are feeling, which can help us break the cycles in the way we interact with our spouse.

Read more
a couple on a couch warming their sock-clad feet by the fire

Article

How to Warm Up a Winter Season in Your Marriage

Erin Smalley

Every marriage has seasons that change over time. Wives, you don’t have to be stuck in a “winter” period. If you pursue your spouse, the emotional climate of your marriage can change for the better.

Read more
Focus on the Family Broadcast

Episode

Managing Marriage Conflicts in Healthy Ways

Dr. Greg and Mrs. Erin Smalley explain how conflict, if handled well, can actually strengthen a marriage, and offer practical advice for navigating disagreements, so that they lead to relational intimacy, rather than division.

Listen
Illustration demonstrating how a man and a woman think differently. The woman is talking about vacation plans, while the man is thinking about sports and camping instead of listening to her.

Article

When a Man Listens to a Woman

David Clarke

If you don't listen to your wife, she might not feel loved. She could feel frustrated, hurt and rejected. Fortunately, there are practical things you can do to stay focused while your wife is talking.

Read more
husband on phone wife glaring

Article

White Lies Are Still Lies No Matter the Intent

Greg Smalley

Lying is almost always about protecting self.  When we're tempted to lie, we can ask ourselves, What does this fib do for me? Then we can ask, What are the personal and relational costs of this lie?

Read more
sad wife with sad husband in the background

Article

To Resolve Conflict, Open Your Heart

Greg Smalley

Once conflict begins, it's hard to defuse. Before you can begin to talk over the conflict like reasonable, loving adults, you have to pry your closed hearts open again.

Read more
Words of appreciation shaped overlayed onto a gift box tied up with a big bow

Article

Choose Wisely... Words Matter

Janine Petry

In marriage and other relationships, words are powerful. Search for those words that will carry beauty into your home and your heart.

Read more
Husband and wife, wearing matching uniforms, wash dishes together in the kitchen

Article

5 Ways to Stay on the Same Team

Joshua Straub with Christi Straub

If you and your spouse are going to function as teammates in marriage, you need to actually understand each other's situation and validate each other.

Read more
couple looking at each other with serious expressions

Article

Four Types of Communication to Strengthen Your Marriage

Greg Smalley

Communication can be tricky to define, much less do well. It involves four different types of interactions we use, and each type is critical to a high-functioning relationship.

Read more
Husband tenderly hugs his wife

Article

Talking About Touchy Topics

Bill Farrel

As a husband, you don't want to ignore issues, but you don't want to be a bully. How can you find a healthy balance? Think CR-V: compliment, request and value.

Read more
Profile image of a man looking like a secret agent

Article

Married to a Secret Agent

David Clarke

Your Secret Agent is intimacy-challenged. He or she may have no trouble talking about superficial things. But he or she closes down when it comes to any personal, below-the-surface conversation.

Read more
young married couple

Article

Who Did You Marry?: Understanding Your Spouse

Paul Reisser and Teri K. Reisser

People who have been staunchly committed to faith and family fall into trouble when they don't grow with their spouse. We need to continually "update" our knowledge about our husband or wife.

Read more
illustration of wife and husband putting out a fire

Article

Extinguishing Marital Conflict

Ron Deal

Marriage conflict often involves more than simply an issue over which the couple disagrees. How the couple interacts and the negative feelings experienced by each person also affect communication.

Read more
Focus on the Family Broadcast

Episode

Reducing Conflict in Your Marriage

In a discussion based on her book The Argument-Free Marriage, Fawn Weaver explains how you can reduce conflict with your spouse by making small, intentional changes, timing your discussions, establishing rules of engagement, and more.

Listen
A pensive young man looks over his shoulder toward where his wife sits in a field looking sad.

Article

Managing Stress Together

Greg Smalley and Erin Smalley

What do you do when you're stressed out? When you deal with stressful events in unhealthy ways, you create new problems in your relationships. But there are ways to constructively deal with stress.

Read more