Communication and Conflict

Focus on the Family Commentary

Episode

The Ten-Minute Plan for Marital Communication

Communication is an important ingredient for a healthy marriage. And if you're thinking, "Who has the time?", Jim Daly shares why 10 minutes is all you need to improve your marriage.

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Young woman talking into a can phone while a young man listens. The cord between the two cans forms a heart.

Article

To Keep Your Marriage Strong, Learn How to Listen Well

Greg Smalley

Active listening is an important skill to employ when you're in a conversation with your spouse. Here are some tips to help you focus on what your spouse is feeling and deepen your relationship.

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frustrated husband annoyed wife

Article

Accepting Feedback Without Defensiveness

Mike Bechtle

Feedback can reveal flaws that we don't see in ourselves. It can be painful, but it's essential. If we respond with defensiveness, we shut down a valuable tool for building an honest, thriving relationship.

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Illustration of a husband and wife with a wall between them

Article

The Walls in Your Marriage

Debra Fileta

Emotional walls show up in the way we interact with our spouse, keeping us from experiencing a healthy relationship in the way God designed us to. Here’s how to recognize and remove those walls.

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Paper sculpture of flowers being watered. One grouping of flowers is thriving being water by a bright watering can; the other is a flowering weed being watered by a dark watering can.

Article

Control Negative Mindsets for an Improved Marriage

Deborah Pegues

The unhealthy attitudes I ‘inherited’ from family hurt my marriage. I learned how to conquer bad attitudes, and so can you. Here’re tips to develop skills that will improve your communication.

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excited wife pensive husband

Article

When Your Spouse Won't Support Your Great Idea

Mike Bechtle

Independent thinking doesn't automatically shut off after the wedding. So when your spouse doesn't agree with your great idea, how should you negotiate a solution?

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happy married couple clasping hands in the air

Article

Nine Questions to Ask Your Spouse to Strengthen Your Marriage

Mike Bechtle

The right questions asked in the right way can determine the trajectory of your relationship. It takes skill to use questions well — and that skill that can be developed. Here's what you need to know.

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Focus on the Family Broadcast

Episode

How to Fight Fair (Part 2 of 2)

Husband-and-wife counseling team Les and Leslie Parrott illustrate how healthy conflict can strengthen marriage and offer practical advice for couples on learning how to fight fair. (Part 2 of 2)

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Focus on the Family Broadcast

Episode

How to Fight Fair (Part 1 of 2)

Husband-and-wife counseling team Les and Leslie Parrott illustrate how healthy conflict can strengthen marriage and offer practical advice for couples on learning how to fight fair. (Part 1 of 2)

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Article

Distorted Thinking Can Be Dangerous

Mitch Temple

If you are angry, afraid, resentful, jealous or depressed, the fault may lie in your thinking.

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couples turned away from each other, arms crossed, on a couch

Series

Turning Your Marriage Around

Attitudes and the thoughts that form them are important, especially in marriage.

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Illustration of a couple riding bicycles in opposite directions. The rear wheel is held in common.

Article

A Better Way to Resolve Conflict

Elicia Horton

If your approach to conflict resolution is going nowhere, you may need a heart change. Resolving conflict positively isn't as easy as simply deciding to speak gently and humbly. Try these five ideas.

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Focus on the Family Commentary

Episode

From an "Are" to an "Is"

It's not love alone that makes a marriage strong. Jim Daly shares how couples can find unity in conflict.

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husband and wife high five

Article

How Positive Comments Can Strengthen Your Marriage

Dave Wilson with Ann Wilson

Words have incredible power, and careless words can destroy a marriage. Speaking words of death and condemnation is easy, but couples who choose encouraging, uplifting words enjoy the fruit of happiness.

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Illustration of a husband and wife conversing across a table. The presence of the husbands ex-wife is shown standing behind his current wife.

Article

When the Past Is Present

Terri Clark

Your spouse may act nothing like your ex, but without even realizing it, you might be unfairly reacting based on fears and emotions that are rooted in your previous marriage — these are triggers.

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Man and woman in cafe having coffee and conversation

Article

Faith Conversation: Better Communication

Focus on the Family Magazine

Personalities play a role in communication styles. A good approach is to ask your spouse about the times and situations that allow him or her to be open to healthy, honest conversation.

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woman with hands over face comforted by husband

Article

The Key to a Happy Marriage: Feelings!

Greg Smalley

Being a better husband doesn't mean that you can fix everything, it means being emotionally responsive. And there are three components to that: accessibility, responsiveness and engagement.

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Focus on the Family Commentary

Episode

Lost in Translation

Good communication isn't as much about what you say as what someone actually hears. That's especially true in marriage. Jim Daly helps couples understand how to communicate in a way that their spouse will actually hear.

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husband compassionately holding wife's shoulders

Article

How to Care for 'Negative' Emotions in Your Marriage

Robert S. Paul

Emotions — even anger and hurt — have a purpose. These strong feelings need to be appropriately understood, valued and utilized so you can better care for yourself and know your spouse deeply.

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husband and wife discussing something in the kitchen; two children listen

Article

How Couples Can Agree on Parenting Issues

Robert S. Paul

Parenting disagreements strain even good marriages. The danger is letting differing perspectives wear down marital unity, especially if you side with the child’s desires instead of your spouse’s.

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man and woman holding hands on the ocean's shore

Article

'Submission' May Not Mean What You Think It Means

Robert S. Paul

One Scripture verse keeps couples at odds even though its intent is to teach unity. If you consider the context, culture and language in the book of Ephesians, you can better understand this verse.

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Man standing in kitchen with hands on his hips looking angry. A woman's hand in the foreground is positioned to hit a pause button

Article

A Simple Way to Stop an Argument Before It Gets Toxic

Bri McKoy

My husband and I stop arguments before they spiral downward. The pausehelps us remember that no one should tear apart what God brought together. The pause allows us to seek unending grace and mercy. 

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Photo composition of a man and a woman reflecting hurt and anger in their faces

Article

What Are You Really Fighting About?

Doug Fields with Jim Burns

Many couples don't realize that hurt feelings are really awakened fears. Understanding the way relational fear feeds recurring conflict is the key to breaking the cycle of hurtful arguments.

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