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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: September 1, 2015.

Have you ever had a conversation with your spouse that ended without anything being accomplished?  You talk over an issue for hours, and it still ends in an uncomfortable stalemate.  You walk away and wonder, What went wrong?  Why couldn’t we resolve this problem? If you’ve had one of these conversations, then you know what a frustrating experience it can be.  However, what is even more frustrating is when couples regularly communicate this way over the majority of issues in their marriages.  Over time, this communication breakdown will lead a couple to conclude that nothing can be resolved by talking together.  Consequently, this couple will slowly drift apart.

If you sense this despair in your relationship with your spouse, then I would encourage you to read on very carefully.  You need to identify what is causing your communication breakdown and change it before you sink any deeper into this hopelessness.  Don’t miss this opportunity to grow in your communication skills.  Doing so will add so much to your intimacy and companionship with your spouse.  Solomon’s wife said that her husband’s voice was sweet to her and she longed to be with him (Song of Solomon 2:14).  Can you say that to each other?  Do you consider it a sweet thing to talk with your loved one?

If not, please consider some of the following reasons why communication can go sour in your relationship.  More important, what can you do to solve these problems?

Identify the areas that hinder communication

1. Stubbornness Communication always begins with a willingness to exchange ideas on a topic in an attitude of openness and love.  However, when a conflict arises with your spouse, do you dig in your heels and refuse to communicate?  Do you insist upon your way, or your viewpoint?  Stubbornness is like a wall that you set up between you and your mate.  This obstacle inhibits intimacy and hardens your hearts in the midst of conflict.  The wall of stubbornness must come down if communication is ever to become effective in your relationship.

Stubbornness is what made it impossible for Paul and Barnabas to work out a compromise concerning their relationship with John Mark.  On their first missionary journey John Mark went home before the trip was over.  Consequently, when Paul and Barnabas decided to take their second missionary journey, they argued over whether John Mark should be allowed to come again.  Scripture tells us that Barnabas was “determined” to take John Mark, and Paul “insisted” that they wouldn’t (Acts 15:37-38).  The contention was so sharp that they parted company and went their separate ways.  This communication breakdown was caused by two stubborn wills clashing with each other.  Does this sound like your household?

This communication breakdown could have been resolved if there had been a little more flexibility and compromise on both sides.  Both men were stubbornly defending their positions and were unwilling to see the other’s point of view.   This is why God asks both husbands and wives to submit themselves to one another in the fear of God (Eph. 5:21).  Most of the time a submissive demeanor will make a solution possible.  Unfortunately, this is not the way we usually respond.  God acknowledged this characteristic of man’s nature when He called the children of Israel a “stiff-necked people” (Ex. 32:9).

Are you stiff-necked and stubborn when you speak to your spouse?  If your communication seems to accomplish very little, this attitude would be the first thing to check within your own heart.  Won’t you ask God to give you a tender heart and make you willing to look for a mutually agreed upon solution?

2. When you are not willing to admit your fault One of the primary ways you reveal your stubbornness is by being unwilling to acknowledge your own personal faults.  When both of you are offended by the others’ behavior, nothing will be accomplished until someone acknowledges his or her own personal fault.  It is usually not just one person’s problem.  In most cases it takes two people to cause a conflict.  You may be responsible for 10% of the problem, or 90% of the problem, it makes no difference.  You must take responsibility for your part of the problem.  Jesus said, “First, take the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother’s eye” (Matt. 7:5).

Consequently, stop the “blame game” and the finger-pointing and start taking some responsibility for your part in the conflict.  Admitting that you are at least partially at fault is the quickest and easiest way to solve any communication breakdown.  Why not give it a try when the next conflict occurs?





If you would like more information on the marriage ministry of Pastor Steve Carr or his book Married and How To Stay That Way, please come and visit us at

Excerpt republished with permission from Covenant Keepers by Pastor Steve Carr, Copyright 2013.


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