Communication and Conflict

husband, wife and child on a couch cheering for football

Article

Get Through This Year’s Football Season With Your Spouse

Greg Smalley

It's that time of year again — changing leaves and cooler temperatures. Football season is here. Does your spouse feel like a football widow?

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wife and husband actively listening

Series

L.U.V.E. — A Five-step Communication Process for Conflict Resolution

A big step in your journey to healthy conflict is to communicate using the L.U.V.E. talk method. This is a five-step communication process that stands for Listen, Understand, Validate, Empathize (and Apologize).

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wife and husband resolve conflict

Article

Understanding is the Second Step to Conflict Resolution in L.U.V.E.

Greg Smalley

Instead of judging or ignoring your spouse's emotions, you have the opportunity to be curious about his or her feelings. Curiosity leads to understanding.

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wife with hand on husband's heart modeling empathy

Article

Empathy is the Fourth Step to Conflict Resolution in L.U.V.E.

Greg Smalley

Empathy is more than feeling sorry that your spouse is burdened or troubled. Empathy takes place as you carry your spouse's burdens.

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young married couple embracing after an apology

Article

Apology is the Fifth Step to Conflict Resolution in L.U.V.E.

Greg Smalley

Forgiveness is vital in marriage. The key is to seek an apology after we truly understand our spouse's heart. Here's a four-part process to a sincere apology.

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wife and husband actively listening

Article

Listening is the First Step to Conflict Resolution in L.U.V.E.

Greg Smalley

True listening requires you to be fully present — clearly and intentionally focused on your spouse. Intent focus shows that your whole heart, soul, mind and body are present.

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husband and wife modeling validation

Article

Validation is the Third Step to Conflict Resolution in L.U.V.E.

Greg Smalley

Validation is safely allowing your spouse to share his or her thoughts and feelings. The message is that it's OK to think and feel the way he or she does.

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Focus on the Family Broadcast

Episode

Arguing Well in Your Marriage

Dr. Scott Stanley offers couples practical advice on establishing patterns of healthy conflict in their marriage.

Listen
wife and husband looking frustrated about communication

Article

How Birth Order Affects Your Marriage

Kevin Leman

Because of birth order, the place in their families of origin, spouses have different experiences growing up, and that shapes behavior, personalities and relationships with each other.

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man and woman each pointing a finger at the other while holding hands; Image Number: 478706307

Article

How Fighting Can Help Your Marriage

Greg Smalley

Healthy conflict can facilitate communication, understanding, trust and respect if we choose to manage our differences and disagreements in nourishing ways.

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Close-up of man and woman back-to-back

Series

Dealing With Your Differences

Dr. Scott Stanley offers basic insights to help couples lay a solid foundation in their marriage so differences and conflict don't drive them apart.

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Close-up of man and woman back-to-back

Article

Dealing With Your Differences: Decide, Don't Slide

Scott Stanley

Learning constructive ways to handle your differences is one of the most important things you can do to protect your marriage. You can decide to take control of your issues.

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young husband and wife talking in a restaurant

Article

Positive Communication in Marriage

H. Norman Wright

Couples can build a healthy marriage when they offer encouragement to bring about change, growth and the fulfillment of potential.

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Side view of man with woman's smiling face against his back and her arm on his shoulder

Article

Dealing With Your Differences: Do Your Part

Scott Stanley

We will all blow it sometimes. But if you really strive to limit your reckless words, you will create a climate that fosters openness and closeness in your marriage.

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Close-up of man and woman back-to-back but man looks angry and woman looks worried.

Article

Dealing With Your Differences: Make it Safe to Connect

Scott Stanley

Differences can be part of what draws two people together, but the ways couples handle conflict are strongly related to how they will do in the future.

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Husband and wife seen through a window at a diner

Article

What Your Communication Says About Marriage

Carey Casey

How a wife and husband communicate with each other tells other people a lot about their relationship. Your marriage can be a witness of Christ's love.

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married couple back-to-back but smiling

Article

To Know and Be Known

Henry Cloud

Dr. Henry Cloud describes how vulnerability makes a difference in marriage as it builds trust and empathy between a husband and a wife.

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Focus on the Family Broadcast

Episode

Learning to Effectively Communicate With Your Husband

Authors Greg and Erin Smalley offer couples practical tips on improving communication in their marriage.

Listen
Focus on the Family Weekend

Episode

Learning to Effectively Communicate With Your Husband

Authors Greg and Erin Smalley offer couples practical tips on improving communication in their marriage.

Listen
Woman behind man with her arm around his shoulders and smiling at him; he is smiling back.

Article

God Can Use Your Past to Shape Your Future

Greg Smalley

In John 5, Jesus heals a crippled man and then tells him to pick up his mat and walk. Can our "mats" help us be grateful to and dependent on God—even in marriage?

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Woman and man facing each other and smiling; woman's hands are holding man's face

Article

Effectively Communicating With Your Husband

Erin Smalley

Erin Smalley challenges wives to avoid criticizing their husbands. She's found that effective communication in marriage includes encouragement and positive feedback.

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illustration of granddad with grandkids while Mom is warily looking on

Article

The Laws of In-Laws

Gary Chapman

Create boundaries while still showing respect.

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Focus on the Family Minute

Episode

Two Ears, One Mouth

You know the old saying God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason. Dr. Gary Chapman explains how to balance listening and talking in your marriage. Listen to the full program here.

Listen