Practice Good Communication Skills

Communication Between Husband and Wife

It seems superfluous to say, but building an eternal marriage requires both marriage partners to practice good communication skills.  Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke fo the importance of communication in strengthening marriage.  Said he: 

"Good communication includes taking time to plan together.  Couples need private time to observe, to talk, and really listen to each other.    They need to cooperate--helping each other as equal partners.  They need to nurture their spiritual as well as physical intimacy.  They should strive to elevate and motivate each other.  Marital unity is sustained when goals are mutually understood.  Good communication is also enhanced by prayer.  To pray with specific mention of a spouse's good deed (or need) nurtures a marriage."  ("Nurturing Marriage," Ensign, May 2006, pp. 36-38)

President Gordon B. Hinckley once observed: 

"I hear so many complaints from men and women that they cannot communicate with one another. Perhaps I am naive, but I do not understand this. Communication is essentially a matter of conversation. They must have communicated when they were courting. Can they not continue to speak together after marriage? Can they not discuss with one another in an open and frank and candid and happy way their interests, their problems, their challenges, their desires? It seems to me that communication is largely a matter of talking with one another.  But let that talk be quiet, for quiet talk is the language of love. It is the language of peace. It is the language of God. . . . The voice of heaven is a still small voice. The voice of peace in the home is a quiet voice."  (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [1997], p.324)

The following is great advise from a wife in a good marriage about communication:

Communication is one key to a strong marriage. This information is hardly new, but still, communication—or, more correctly, the lack of it—seems to be a wedge in many marriages today.

One thing that my husband, Russ, and I have done to improve our communication is to try to be together often. We try to sit next to each other in sacrament meeting, to walk together at the store or elsewhere, to be together when we are at home, even if it means that I simply sit next to him and hand him tools while he works on a project.  This closeness helps us feel more secure, I think, at other times when communication might be more difficult.

It may be hard for spouses to be genuinely open when things need to be discussed that are not pleasant—financial difficulties, disagreements over dealing with the children, or other family problems. It is hard at times to admit that you were wrong or that his or her idea may work better than yours. Assuming you know what your spouse meant by a remark, keeping quiet and holding a grudge, or trying to manipulate a situation might seem easier at the moment, but these approaches usually lead to long-term difficulties. Russ and I have learned that although there might be unpleasant moments in communication, if we are kindly and respectfully honest with each other and make sure we understand what the other person is really saying or feeling, then the unpleasant moments are simply that—moments—and our days are generally brighter.

I believe communication strengthens marriage as faith strengthens testimony. Faith is not always easy to hold, but if we follow counsel from Alma 32:27—“yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you”—our belief will begin to grow and our understanding increase. I believe if we as couples can no more than desire to have better communication in our marriages and we let this desire work in us, day by day our marriages can become stronger and eventually able to endure for eternity.Camille Gold, Woodville First Ward, Shelley Idaho Stake   (In "An Eternal Marriage—One Day at a Time", Ensign, July 2002, pp. 36–39)


Dealing With Communication Disorders

Family -- including children -- Communication