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Why Couples Stop Talking

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Woman in green holding a coffee cup, with her husband out of focus behind her reading a book
Good communication is the lifeblood of a successful marriage, so when spouses stop talking at a deep level, their marriages slowly die. A marriage will only be as good as a couple's communication.

I once heard a story about a retired business executive and his wife. One evening, the wife called friends to ask what they were doing.

“Oh,” said the other wife, “we’re just talking and drinking tea.”

The executive’s wife hung up the phone. “They’re drinking tea and talking,” she told her husband. “Why don’t we ever do that?” The executive said, “So, make us some tea.” Soon they sat with their freshly brewed tea, stirring the tea and staring at each other. And stirring. And staring.

“Call them back,” the executive barked, “and find out what they’re talking about!”

Many husbands and wives may find that this older couple’s dilemma sounds far too familiar.

Good communication is the lifeblood of a successful marriage, so when spouses stop talking at a deep level, their marriages slowly begin to die. After all, a marriage will only be as good as a couple’s communication.

One of the more sinister reasons husbands and wives quit communicating is that they “administrate” marriage almost to death. They’re often caught in a destructive pattern where they spend their limited time together talking about work, the budget, children, chores and so on. The conversations become “transactional.” Certainly there’s a need to discuss household management, but couples cannot allow “business meetings” to dominate their conversations.

Administration meetings often lead to arguments, and couples become trained to think that “talking” will lead to conflict and disconnection. The problem is that husbands and wives unintentionally condition each other to feel that it’s neither fun nor safe to engage in conversation. So they stop talking.

The key to positive communication is found in knowing and being known. This means that you’re interested in and curious about this person you married. Listen when your spouse talks. Ask open-ended questions. Your spouse desperately wants to be known.

The other side of that coin is to let your spouse know what’s going on in your life. Volunteer information about your deepest thoughts, beliefs, feelings, hopes and desires.

Good communication requires an active effort, but you can build a strong marriage if you offer to both know and be known.

Do you know of a marriage in crisis? Learn more about Focus on the Family’s marriage intensives by visiting HopeRestored.com.

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Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
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Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

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