Communication and Conflict

Couple relaxing and talking together at home

Article

Faith Conversation: In All You Say

Jaime Schreiner

When we try to follow the call to love unconditionally and reject sinful behavior, we need to watch our words carefully. This devotion will help you and your spouse explore speaking the truth in love.

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frustrated husband in car with wife

Article

Don't Let Your Spouse Make You Angry

Mike Bechtle

Marriages never thrive when we expect our spouse to be responsible for fixing our feelings. If we own our emotions, we're free to be co-owners of the relationship. Then we can build something great.

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Married couple having disagreement

Article

Faith Conversation: Listen First, Speak Second

Melissa McNulty

Spouses can't always agree, but how they respond to disagreements can either strengthen or strain their marriage. Learning to listen first and speak second in emotionally charged discussions is important. 

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Illustration of a woodsy man sitting on a rock holding a chain saw while large bear looms in the background

Article

The Question That Helps Me Survive an Argument With My Wife

Gary Morland

Husbands and wives can turn everyday misunderstandings into all-out arguments. But maybe there's something else going on underneath disagreements: an unspoken, subconscious test. Of the husband.

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wife shaking fist at husband

Article

Dealing With Anger in Your Marriage

Erin Smalley

Marriage provides motivation to learn how to manage anger, which often stems from other emotions: hurt, fear or frustration. Here are some healthy ways to deal with anger in your marriage.

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Young couple sitting on front porch steps looking and each othe and smiling

Article

6 Tools for Healthy Communication in Marriage

Mike Bechtle

Couples often don’t have a lot of communication tools when they enter marriage. When conversations get tough, they may need better tools than they have. Here are some basic skills they’ll need.

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unhappy husband and wife back to back

Article

You Can Reduce Negative Reactions in Conflict

Milan Yerkovich and Kay Yerkovich

People often adopt a reaction to stress when they're kids, and the patterns continue into adulthood. But couples can learn to discuss nine points to deepen their understanding of each other.

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Illustration of framed family photos hanging on a wall

Article

How to Create Emotional Word Pictures

John Trent and Kari Trent-Stageberg

An emotional word picture is a tool that simultaneously activates the emotions and intellect of the listener. When you use a word picture to communicate, it can go straight into your spouse's heart.

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A husband comforts his teary wife

Article

Why You Should Apologize for Careless Words

Gary Chapman

Many husbands refuse to accept responsibility for careless words. When their behavior puts an emotional barrier between them and their wife, it's the husband's responsibility to remove the barrier.

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young couple talking

Article

Weigh Your Words

Jill Savage

When we control our tongues, we can build a healthy, nurturing marriage. Exercising self-control in the little things may even help strengthen us to overcome temptation in the bigger things.

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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

Dr. 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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Dr. 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.

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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?

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