How To Communicate With Your Spouse More Effectively – 7 Keys

There is a big difference between talking at someone, and communicating with them. Most individuals don’t actually hear themselves, or how they sound, so don’t make any effort to regulate or improve their communication. Most people wouldn’t know how they should regulate their speech for the best results, yet communicating well is huge if you want to be happily married.

Keys On How To Communicate With Your Spouse


Good communication begins and ends with making sure its love that flows through your speech and actions, and nothing else. Make sense? It should, because a happy marriage has to be based in love.

Most of us didn’t get a good start. We learned communication in our families. But parents demanding, siblings yelling, and no-holds-barred yacking is not what marriage is all about.

We get married to give and receive love. That’s why we need to regulate our communication, to meet that end.

Normal household communication should be considerate, mutually beneficial, and sweet. When you compare that to other alternatives which would you rather have?

What would you rather be, a mean person or someone others look forward to being with? A grump, or someone uplifting?

There are excuses aplenty for going the low road. But excuses don’t get you where you want to go, do they?

Good marriage communication practices are essential for happiness

People place a lot of value in courses that teach communication. For people in sales good negotiation is a must. Well, what about your marriage? Isn’t it as important as your career? I say its way MORE important. Your marriage is supposed to be the happiest part of your life. Knowledge of how to communicate ‘marriage style’ is undeniably valuable.

Good communication reduces misunderstanding, keeps things simple, and makes living in close proximity joy filled instead of difficult.

I do my best to help people who are interested in learning how to improve their marital communication. One whole section of our online program is devoted entirely to communication because its vital to learn how to upgrade your skills and understanding if you want to improve your overall marriage.

Many couples don’t begin learning these important skills until they face a crisis in their marriage; but it is never too late to learn. Starting now is just fine.

Marriage communication keys for your marriage

First key – Be clear about your overall intentions

your intention should always be to infuse happiness into your marriage. If you remember this you will be able to consciously create happiness while at the same time avoid any hurtfulness.

You always can say the right thing, and in the right way, if you think first. If you just blurt out how you are feeling it won’t be good. So think before you speak or act.

Happiness doesn’t just happen in marriage, or anywhere else. It has to be developed and nurtured

Second key – Avoid hurtful communications

Some people think it’s humorous to tease their spouse. But people who tease generally don’t take the feelings of the one they are teasing into account, or they would be very careful about what kind of teasing they do. In most cases the teased person is humiliated. They don’t feel loved.

Communication should be deliberate to achieve a loving result.

Third key – Avoid communicating your frustrations

Most people typically start complaining about whatever is bothering them because its considered good to “get it all out”, as if that’s a form of intimacy; it isn’t. Intimacy is connecting your hearts, not dumping out your personal issues.

Especially if your feeling a frustration with your spouse. Frustration is a personal reaction you can and should control. Negativity is too easy to spill into your marriage, but you should consider its affects.

Thinking your spouse should “be there for you” in this way, acting like a receptacle for any negativity, anytime, is not marriage thinking; it is more of child type thinking. You need to be aware of your spouse’s needs for your love. One is responsible for their own issues.

I realize sharing frustration is a big thing in the psych world, but it absolutely erodes marriages. I saw it all the time when I was a divorce mediator, especially for couples who went to marriage counseling first.

Fourth key – Communicate ideas that turn your spouse on

I don’t mean just sexually. Get your mind off things that are troubling you. Get yourself and your spouse into a happy place. Choose this over dragging them and yourself into whatever it is that’s tweaking you.

Your mind is a tool you possess. Use your free will to change your thoughts. Though not promoted as a marriage technique, controlling one’s mind should be. It’s what is called for; not venting.

Marriage is meant to be a constant stream of happiness; honestly. So, the right kind of communication, the kind that fills your marriage with love, changes everything. Vigilant self-awareness allows you to fulfill the positive purpose of marital communication.

The purpose for “Marital Communication” is to express love 

If only poor communication, not other issues, is afflicting your marriage you can easily turn things around with one of our books.

My books, Lessons For A Happy Marriage and Breaking The Cycle cover marriage objectively, while our courses, which include access to our counselors, provide a step-by-step guide.

Either will help your marriage unless your marriage is distressed.

If your marriage deteriorated to where a book won’t help you, and only you can judge, don’t give up. You will do fine using our course(s). Very few marriages are past the point of no return.

The courses are divided by gender. If just one of you wants to turn things around at the moment, which is normal, you can do it on your own. People who claim it takes two don’t know what they are talking about. It takes only one of you to transform your marriage.

Our success rate is unmatched. We earned our golden reputation helping thousands of couples and families over the course of many years. Significantly better than virtually any other system. See our reviews. It will help you faster and more effectively. The proof is in the pudding.

“We don’t have good communication” is a catch phrase. In some cases it’s true. If that’s your marriage one of my books will be awesome. But many couples use poor communication as a blanket explanation for lots of problems and a marriage that is falling apart.

It is better to address your marriage issues as honestly as you can.

If you are angry all the time, that is not just communication.

If one of you is cheating, that is not about communication.

I say you should use any unhappiness in your marriage as a reason to address the underlying foundational structure of your marriage. After all, marriage is supposed to be very joy filled.

Fifth key – Never confront your spouse

Misguided therapists erroneously say women lose their dignity unless they stand up for themselves or put ultimatums on the table when their husbands are caught cheating. Its not true. Confrontation only triggers reactions that compound underlying issues.

How to Communicate With Your Spouse: Make Love, Not Confrontation
Make Love, Not Confrontation

Confrontation triggers core instinctive reactions to fight or fly.

Anyone confronted will either attack you or escape from you. Lies and false promises are common reactions. Genuine change is never a reaction.

Sixth key – Communicate respectfully and lovingly

The contract of marriage is a spiritual path, not a business contract.

If one of you strays or something else that hurts like crazy it is a “symptom” that should shock you into doing better.

If you take anything as a “deal breaker” you miss the whole point of marriage.

Even when a husband has been discovered using porn, or having an affair don’t think it is the end of your marriage.

It is rare that a marriage is so off track that we cannot help you.

If you want to share your situation with one of our counselors and get an expert opinion don’t hesitate to contact us.

Seventh Key – Train yourself to speak positively

You have free will. So you can make your mind do whatever you want, no matter what. That means you can choose your communication style, words,

How to Communicate With Your Spouse: Your Marriage Can and Should be Happy
Your Marriage Can and Should be Happy


Don’t be reactive. Be calmly positive.

Be inwardly content in a way the whole world would admire if they saw how loving and selfless you are.

If I shouldn’t confront my husband, how can I get him to listen to me?

Seriously, are we back to confrontation? Getting your spouse to listen to you, if you go back to the rightful purpose of marital communication, means creating a reason for them to want to.

Ask yourself

  1. Do we treat each other as soulmates? Or have we become cellmates, or just roommates?
  2. When I communicate, do I have an agenda of love and giving, or am I only expressing my needs?
  3. Am I as good a communicator as I want my spouse to be?

A better way

“Honey, there is something upsetting me, and it’s not your fault, I just need to talk to you about it. I know you are good at fixing things, but for this I only need to talk about it. In fact, a ‘practical’ solution would only be a greater burden for me. I just need to get it out.” Expressing yourself in this way covers all bases. This is an example, but you need to learn much more about communication to be good at it.

Make your communication POSITIVE! Marital communication is both an art and science

Remember you live together in your own special space, occupied by only two of you.

Be good to him or her, make them feel like a million dollars every time you speak to them, and you will see them responding in kind. Sometimes you can hint to your needs, but don’t forget to take care of theirs.

Amazing marriages are entirely possible. They are the only kind to have. I don’t settle in mine and you should not settle in yours.

Love is immeasurable It has no limitations; it takes up no space. So, when you consider it you will see that most couples take each other for granted, which erodes marriage quicker than waves erode a sandy beach. That’s what you need to make sure you are not doing.

If you stick to the core principles of love as the guide for all your communications you will experience the joy that marriage has to offer. Yes, its true that you must train yourself somewhat. It is well worth it. It’s the best way to be married.

Paul Friedman
Paul Friedman
Founder, The Marriage Foundation
Paul devised an entirely new approach to marriage that empowers individuals to finally understand and cultivate expanding happiness and love in their marriages.

He has written two books, produced several video educational programs, regularly speaks on marriage, and founded The Marriage Foundation as a non-profit organization.

Our mission is to end divorce by spreading Paul's revolutionary marriage system around the world. We have helped thousands of individuals and couples for nearly 20 years and in over 45 countries.

20 thoughts on “How To Communicate With Your Spouse More Effectively – 7 Keys

  1. Moon girl Reply

    Your husband is there for you to love, honor, serve, and protect you, to the best of his ability. He is not there to:
    What? I can’t believe I just read that? It’s 2016 isn’t it?
    Silly me I was wanting more that a security guard

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Moon girl used so much energy to criticize, and without ever touching upon her own deficiencies. That is a great example of how wives dig their holes deeper,and deeper, and then blame their husbands, or others, for all their problems, never stepping back to see how they can improve themselves.
      Our courses, for both men and women, start with the individual, or the results of any marital help will be useless confirmations of the issues, but no progress in healing.

      • Liny Reply

        I lost touch of myself and the relationship but ,this masterpiece shared makes me want to work, since it takes only one person to cause a change, and I know it will be a success

  2. Steph Reply

    Calling it an art and a science makes me really want to work on everything with my husband and how i address things. It truely is a form of art and science! I read this, angry at first… wanting to fight it out with my husband… but now, i see that it would be pointing out a flaw and nagging… i would, however, like some input on how to communicate something to him without it becoming nagging.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Dear Steph
      I am glad you were inspired to hold back. The desire to have a great marriage is NEVER fulfilled by expressing what you know will be received as hostility.
      Unfortunately, trying to plant a flower in a garden which has been taken over by weeds will not work either. The best approach is to become so desirable to your husband (which does not mean only being sexual-that is a small part of your attractiveness) that communication is much different. Your marriage must be re-created, if you want the tremendous benefits available. Use your current problems as a spur to learn.

  3. Peggy Reply

    If your husband has mentally checked out of the marriage but is physically present because of financial and parental responsibilities haunting him, what should I do in this situation? He say I have become his burden because he cannot move and be with his lady.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Dear Peggy
      I am saddened by your situation, and how it affects you, your children, and your husband.
      His “lady” is not a lady, at all. She is a home wrecker! But that is a different topic.
      Your best move is to consider this; he strayed because he was not happy, not because he is a class A jerk, but because society tells him what he did was just fine, and justifiable. He is a victim, too.
      But it is not over. If he were a jerk he would be gone. Instead he is unconsciously challenging you to be the wife he wanted to marry. Yes, it is, at least on the face, unfair. But you need to keep in mind he is your husband, and he is slipping.
      I suggest you do not wait a moment longer, but take our program so you can get your family back together in ahurry.

  4. P Cole Reply

    I am offended by my husband’s family and other people when they do something that excludes me and in telling my husband this he feels that it is not true so in turn I still experienced it but am denied my reality which makes me try harder for him to understand and the anger escalates. His comment is always wanting other people to have the benefit of doubt which means I am always wrong in my perceptions by him. This problem I am sure stems back to my step dad sexually abusing me and my mom denied it and didn’t believe me. All these interactions with my husband exacerbates my old issue, as a guess.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Dear Ms Cole
      The experiences you have may be related to your past in some way, but you do not have to allow the past to control your feelings, or you will never feel any peace, ever. Each and every one of us had experiences that our minds have turned into some “issue” or another, those later trigger and disturb us. It is, therefore, our individual ability, our responsibility, to control our mind, not the outer conditions like the drama with your in-laws and husband. Outer conditions are 100% out of our control.
      In effect,because you have free will, only you can make yourself into a victim. Try your best to see the mistakes your husband makes as his mistakes, that are not intended to hurt you.
      In every case individuals must do their best to concentrate on healing their own wounds. I suggest you read one of our books, see if the answer in there. Then don’t hesitate to let us know how you gauged the help within it.

  5. Brittany Reply

    I feel my marriage is flopped with how you explain “female” communication styles and “male” communication styles. My husband is very poetic and uses a lot of words to communicate. Me, not so much.
    I am frustrated because I try to communicate my feelings but he states I haven’t told him my feelings or that is not how i really feel. He invalidates my feeling or my thoughts and opinions. That is why I don’t feel like he is listening.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Dear Brittany
      Although there are no absolutes when it comes to human nature there are ways to bridge the gaps in your communications which will then feel amazing. But there could also be an “expectation” problem(very easily solved) between the two of you, as it seems both of you are feeling unfulfilled.
      Try this; as your husband speaks to you, no matter how trivial, stop what you are doing and look at him while opening your heart. See if you can feel him, more than understand him. Also, when you wish to express something to him, ask him to hold your hands while you speak, again, even if it is just a random question. Tell him you want to feel him…see if that helps things. Then, as you see how much that alters things, start reading “lessons” or Breaking The Cycle…that way you will understand the science behind my suggestion.
      If this does not push the needle, write to our counselors…I think you two are fine, but somewhat confused, not more. You will be fine.

  6. Amanda De La Cruz Reply

    My husband is giving me the cold shoulder we don’t really talk or communicate. Sometimes I feel like he doesn’t love me and doesn’t want to be with me. He is here he still works and comes home but he changed like big time. What should I do? Confront him?

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      I am not sure why you think confrontation will work. Nearly every time someone tries it we hear that it backfired one way or another, and we have never heard of a time it has worked. So it is better to work on having a better marriage without saying anything, and see how he responds.

      • Hayden Reply

        My wife and I had a hard conversation once and she said that she wasn’t happy and hadn’t been for awhile. I was often asking her how she thought we were doing and she would say ok. So when she said she hadn’t been happy, I asked her about all those times I asked and she said I should have noticed she wasn’t happy and that she shouldn’t have to say anything. But in my mind, everything was fine because she kept saying it was ok. I need help.

        • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

          It is not for her to have to tell you what is wrong. It is up to you to do what is right. Start to get a feel by watching our videos (youtube themarriagefoundation) but also get the course for men.

  7. Nina Reply

    21 years of “the cycle.” He is a workaholic in love with his work which brings him fame and validation because he feels gets recognition from and feels a “duty” to the scientific community. It’s certainly easier and more gratifying than emotional intimacy. Yes, I’m jealous that I am a low priority–after the work, after the kids, after his family, the tv, the bills and anything else he can find to put ahead of me. He is happy if I cook and provide logistical support for his career which involves overseas travel 30% of the time. He has no sex drive. Reentry after a trip is always hard..he is controlling, highly reactive and in charge. I’m lonely, and craving intimate connection. He doesn’t know the difference between thoughts and feelings. He stonewalls and closes me out. He does not plan to retire. I don’t see a future in this.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      The way you condemn your husband is very hard to take. This is the man you promised to love and cherish, not criticize and demand. Your future is up to you. Get one of my books, at the very least. You need to see the possibilities!

  8. Tina Edwards Reply

    Me and my boyfriend have been together for four months an thing’s are up an down with us, the age difference is 9yrs apart. I do thing’s he wants but it’s like it’s not enough…our communication is not well, i need help

  9. Paul S Handford Reply

    Can a volatal marriage with 26yrs age difference (the husband being the older) be wonderfully successful if both were to just learn to effectively communicate?

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