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

3. Comparison Something else that hinders effective communication is comparison.  If you say things like, “You are just like your mother,” or “Why can’t you act like your father?” you are making a serious mistake.  Comparing your spouse with others will always bring your conversation to a dead end.  Your mate will consider this a personal put-down and will immediately move into a defensive posture.  Comparison is a sword that cuts right to the heart.  Your mate will think you are being unfair because he is not precisely like any other person.  You have made a gross generalization that you and your spouse will now waste time arguing about.

Scripture warns us against comparing.  “For we dare not… compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (2 Cor. 10:12).  Paul teaches that measuring yourself by yourself or by others is unwise.  You really shouldn’t worry about being like or unlike someone else.  However, if you really want to compare yourself to someone, do it with Jesus.  And then ask Him to conform you into His image, not someone else’s.

Therefore, instead of comparing your spouse with others, why not try dealing with the specific issues that are driving you apart and destroying your relationship? This would be the best use of your time and effort in communication.

4. Bringing up the past Many times in my counseling, couples have come in with horrendous stories of how past failures have been used as a club to beat the other into submission.  An intense argument has ensued, and in the end, nothing was accomplished.  The only result was more anger, frustration, and, of course, greater distance between the two.

Personally, I look at the past as something that you can’t do much about.  The two things you can do with past sins and failures is to reconcile them and then forget them and go forward.  Paul looked at life this way and encouraged us to do the same.  Whether it was his failures or his successes he declared, “But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead” (Phil. 3:13).

However, to forget the things which are behind you, you must first forgive and reconcile them.  To gain this forgiveness, go and discuss these unresolved issues with your mate and resolve them once and for all.  Forgiveness and reconciliation are always the first steps toward putting an issue behind you and to opening the door to a closer relationship (Mark 11:25-26).

Then, determine that you will never bring that issue up again to use as a weapon against your spouse.  Deal only with the present.  This will keep you out of trouble and make your communication productive.

5. Attacking your spouse Have you ever had a conversation where you and your spouse spend the entire time attacking each other?  One charge after another is made while the actual issue that started the conflict is forgotten.  When couples are in the attack mode it is usually because they have not resolved past issues which they are not willing to forgive (Eph. 4:31-32).

If you are ever going to effectively communicate and resolve issues, you must begin to attack the problem instead of the person. This is fundamental to solving any conflict.  But, how can you stop attacking each other and start attacking the problem?

First, you must examine your own heart and acknowledge what your contribution is to the conflict.  This will really help you identify the problem.  It is especially important to identify what kind of communication problems you are having (i.e. Not listening, talking too much, not talking enough, interrupting, sentence finishing, blameshifting, or explosive anger).

Second, you must acknowledge your fault without trying to attack your spouse with condemning comments.  Most of the time if you will approach your spouse with a humble and soft answer, it will keep your spouse from becoming defensive (Prov. 15:1-2).

Finally, resolve the problem by asking his or her forgiveness.  Lovingly seek a long-term solution so that the same problem won’t erupt again.  When you take these actions there will be no need to attack each other.

6. Exaggeration Have you ever had a conversation where your spouse said to you, “You always do this” or “You never do what I ask” or “Every time you come home this happens!”?  What goes through your mind when you hear these words?  Don’t you immediately think of at least one circumstance when you took the action you are now being charged with never doing?  You then respond, “I don’t always do that.”  Your spouse thinks, He doesn’t believe he ever does this. Then your mate proceeds to give you another example of your failure.  This conversation then quickly descends to charges and counter charges.







Click here if you missed What Causes Communication Breakdown?- Part I

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

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