Effective Communication in Marriage: Intro
Communication in marriage is crucial. Our newlyweds, Kurt and Jannelle, have known each other for over a decade, but have been married for a couple of years now. Communication in their relationship has evolved over time, but they’re still learning along the way.
Effective Communication in Marriage: Introduction
Myrtle Alegado (host): “Hello, everyone! For those joining us again we’re glad you’re back, and a warm welcome to our new listeners out there. I’m Myrtle Alegado, host of this newest podcast by INCMedia, Happy Life where we help newlyweds navigate through the first years of marriage. As for me, I have been happily married for over 21 years to my husband, Paul.
In our last episode, we left off on the topic of communication. Today, we’re kicking off the series on effective communication in marriage.
On the website insightpsychological.ca it states that lack of communication is the root cause of marriage issues and on www.marriage.com they state and I quote:
“Communication is crucial in marriage and not being able to communicate effectively quickly leads to resentment and frustration for both, impacting all aspects of a marriage. Poor communication is one of the biggest reasons for divorce.”
Stay tuned now as we talk about what communication is and look at some of the different methods.
Inspiration to make your marriage thrive, you’re listening to Happy Life.
Myrtle Alegado: On Happy Life today, I’d like to welcome our guests Jannelle & Kurt, from Delta, British Columbia, Canada. They’ve been married a little over 2 years now. Hey, Kurt & Jannelle! How are you both today?
Jannelle Quines: Thank you so much! We’re doing great, thanks!
Myrtle Alegado: Oh, that’s awesome! Kurt, how are you?
Kurt Quines: Pretty good. Hi, everyone!
Myrtle Alegado: So, before we jump into our discussion today, would you mind sharing a little bit about yourselves? You know, so we can get to know you a little. What do you both do professionally?
Kurt Quines: So, I’m a Structural Engineer at WHM Structural Consulting just outside of Vancouver.
Myrtle Alegado: Mmmhmm.
Jannelle Quines: And I’m a Digital Marketing & Communications Professional. I work within a tech company that focuses on video editing software.
Myrtle Alegado: Oh wow, those definitely sound like busy careers. I know from our last conversation together, I know you met when you both worked in retail about 9 or 10 years ago. But you only got married 2 years ago, right?
Jannelle Quines: Yes, that’s right.
Myrtle Alegado: So for you personally, what does good communication in your marriage mean to you?
Kurt Quines: So for us, it basically means speaking with honesty and respect.
Myrtle Alegado: Right.
Jannelle Quines: Yeah, definitely, being able to speak with honesty and like, you know, being unafraid of your spouse’s reaction. Also, having an open mind and an open heart to listen to what your spouse is saying or trying to say.
Myrtle Alegado: So, in the little over 2 years that you’ve been married, but you’ve known each other for a total of 10, so what have you learned about communication with each other over the years? And did that change a little bit, you know, after you got married?
Kurt Quines: Definitely. So, communication in marriage is a lot different from when you’re dating. It’s a new stage in your relationship, as well as your life, so there are new things you’ll learn about yourself and your spouse while living in the same space.
Myrtle Alegado: Oh yeah definitely, because you know you’re adjusting not just to being married but to living with each other, living together.
Kurt Quines: Exactly. We both came from living with our families so this was our first time living with anyone. And, basically, first time living apart from our families as well.
Myrtle Alegado: Yeah.
Kurt Quines: So it was challenging learning to live together while adjusting to living away from our separate families.
Myrtle Alegado: Yeah, I get that.
Jannelle Quines: Yeah, for example, there are times where you know, we felt like we couldn’t express ourselves, because it felt like, you know, when you express yourselves and you’re not used to being with somebody constantly, you feel like you’re being criticized or being questioned, like the methods that you’re doing in your everyday life is being questioned. And we were both used to, you know, avoiding that. So we would try to avoid as many arguments by keeping silent, but you know that never works out. And then, you know, because of that tensions build and things start to feel uncomfortable in the shared space that you have.
Myrtle Alegado: It’s kind of funny how that dynamic works, because I mean you’ve known each other for 9 or 10 years, and then you get married, and then it’s like walking on eggshells with each other.
Jannelle Quines: Yeah.
Myrtle Alegado: It’s almost like you’re trying to figure out, you know, when to bring something up or not.
Jannelle Quines: Right, totally. For sure, for sure. Like, I think It took some time, but we learned that the space that we share is you know, exactly that. It’s shared. So remembering that it belongs to the both of us, so it’s up to us to create that home together. It’s not like, you know, it’s only his space or only my space. It’s a space where we need to communicate our wants, and our needs, and our overall feelings in order for things to be more harmonious.
Myrtle Alegado: Okay, before we continue, let’s find out what exactly is communication and how do others define communication?
The definition of communication according to Merriam Webster dictionary is a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior.
There are 2 basic types of communication, being verbal & non-verbal. Verbal communication has two types. Oral Communication, which happens through word of mouth, spoken words, conversations like face to face conversation with your spouse, or you know phone calls; and of course, nowadays, we also have video chats and what not. And then, the other type is Written Communication, which happens through handwritten or typed medium, like text messages, instant messages, handwritten notes, or emails.
And then we’ve got Non-Verbal Communication. Any communication without word of mouth, spoken words, conversation and written languages are called Non-Verbal Communication. And it happens through gestures, body language or facial expressions
So, now that we have defined what communication is, Jannelle & Kurt, in your own words, why is effective communication important to you?
Jannelle Quines: I think communication is important to us because it’s taken us to another level of love and respect for each other. I think we understand each other much better, and we truly are partners in life. We’re in this together and that’s really comforting.
Myrtle Alegado: Yeah, in it for the long haul, right?
Jannelle Quines: Yeah. Yeah.
Myrtle Alegado: So,can you take us through a typical day for you two, you know, what you share, how you communicate with each other? How often? Is it throughout the day during work, or just in the evening when you finally get to see each other?
Kurt Quines: I think a good example is, because we work fairly close to each other, we usually carpool on the days when we have Church night.
Myrtle Alegado: Oh that’s nice.
Kurt Quines: So we have really good conversations while driving home or driving somewhere.
Jannelle Quines: Yeah.
Myrtle Alegado: What are the sorts of things you talk about in the car?
Jannelle Quines: Well, I think it’s good that we work close by. So, when we carpool back home we talk about how our day went at work, and sometimes you know, how we’re feeling. We mention things that happen, like funny things that happened during the day, current events, or what’s happening in the world right now. We discuss a whole bunch of different topics when we go home.
Myrtle Alegado: It’s kind of like anything and everything, huh?
Jannelle Quines: Yeah, literally. It’s kind of whatever is happening, that happened that day, we sort of chat about. Yeah.
Myrtle Alegado: So, it’s kind of like a catch up session but also you can bring up anything. That’s great.
Jannelle Quines: Yeah.
Kurt Quines: Pretty much, and then we talk about Church, mostly as well. Talking about our responsibilities and our duties. You know, we kind of coordinate our schedules in the car, pretty much. And, overall, quality time is really important to us, so even if we don’t talk and we just drive, and we’re just in the same space, we sort of can feel or read each other’s mood.
Jannelle Quines: Yeah.
Myrtle Alegado: That’s so awesome when, you know, that comforting kind of silence is there, like you don’t really have to say anything. You’re just happy being with each other’s presence. That’s so awesome to me.
Jannelle Quines: Yeah.
Myrtle Alegado: You mentioned Church duties. What are your duties in the Church Of Christ? Can you give us examples of how you communicate in order to fulfill them?
Jannelle Quines: So, I’m the head secretary at our local (congregation), so in the local (congregation) of Delta, and Kurt is the assistant choir leader, Buklod president and group overseer. So we have not just our busy schedule in terms of work, we have also quite a busy schedule when it comes to our Church responsibilities as well.
Myrtle Alegado: For sure, it sounds like it. You’ve got a lot on your plate.
Jannelle Quines: Yeah.
Myrtle Alegado: For those who aren’t familiar with the term you mentioned, Buklod, it’s the organization for married members within the Christian Family Organizations in the Church Of Christ.
Ok, so you both work full time, on top of that you have responsibilities in the Church. How do you manage? Like, really?
Jannelle Quines: Well, to be honest, there are times where we may feel really overwhelmed and like, juggling everything and managing deadlines. You know work, like after work you have to do your Church duties, or vice versa where you go do your Church duty and then you have to go to work. But, I think we do our best to keep each other informed about what our schedules are like for those days or the weeks coming by. We have like a shared calendar or we just verbally tell each other, “Oh, hey, just a reminder you know I have choir practice tomorrow, so you know make sure you’re ready to leave work on a certain time” or “I have a Buklod officers’ meeting tomorrow.” So you know, we need to make sure that whatever our schedules are like, we make time for that as well. Because, of course, our Church offices and our duties are important, so we want to make sure that we put those into priority and make time for those on top of our work schedules.
Myrtle Alegado: Right.
Kurt Quines: And we also like to eat and go out for dinners-
Myrtle Alegado: Who doesn’t?
Kurt Quines: -and that’s basically when we get down to like all our worries and start talking about it, and just, you know, just sitting down saying, “Yeah, I’m pretty tired today.” The fact that we understand one another and can empathize really helps.
Myrtle Alegado: Right.
Kurt Quines: Of course, we know that God will always help us to be able to do our regular work and also carry out our duties too.
Jannelle Quines: Mmhmm. Yeah.
Myrtle Alegado: That’s a great point and the perfect timing to actually bring in a minister of the gospel in the Church Of Christ, Brother Felmar Serreno in on this discussion. Welcome back to the show Brother Felmar!
Brother Felmar Serreno: Hello, Sister Myrtle.Good to be back, and congratulations on Episode 2 for Happy Life! Yay! And hello to Brother Kurt and Sister Jannelle. It’s nice that you’ve joined us on this discussion here on Happy Life.
Myrtle Alegado: So Bro Felmar, Kurt and Jannelle were just sharing some of their experiences. And today, since we’re kicking off our series on effective communication in marriage, Jannelle and Kurt, it sounds like for them, they enjoy having in-person conversations. But when it comes to communication as a whole, I’m just curious as to what is actually most effective?
Brother Felmar Serreno: Yes like you mentioned, Brother Kurt and Sister Jannelle do enjoy their conversations with each other. And kudos to them, right? Despite their busy schedule in their personal lives, in their duties as members of the Church Of Christ, they put in that big effort to always stay in touch with each other.
However, there is a kind of communication that really ALL people should be doing and that includes married couples. And what is it?
The Bible reveals to us the answer, here in Job, chapter 8, verses 5-7 in the New International Version:
“But if you will seek God earnestly and plead with the Almighty, if you are pure and upright, even now he will rouse himself on your behalf and restore you to your prosperous state. Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be.”
[Job 8:5-7 New International Version]
Brother Felmar Serreno: So while husband and wife, like Brother Kurt and Sister Jannelle, should be effective in communicating with each other, the Bible reveals to us that, above all, we ought to be communicating with God. Communicating with God through prayer is most effective—especially when it comes to marriage. What can those who are prayerful and upright expect? According to the Bible, “Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be.”
What guarantee does God Himself give to His people who pray to Him? In Isaiah 41:17, in the Good News Translation:
“When my people in their need look for water, when their throats are dry with thirst, then I, the LORD, will answer their prayer; I, the God of Israel, will never abandon them.”
[Isaiah 41:17 Good News Bible]
Brother Felmar: Now in the Christian era, our time, who are God’s people whose prayers the Lord God answers? They are the members of the Church Of Christ. Why are we sure? In 1 Peter, chapter 2, verse 9, in the Good News Bible, Apostle Peter says this to the members of the Church Of Christ:
“But you are the chosen race, the King’s priests, the holy nation, God’s own people, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God, who called you out of darkness into his own marvelous light.”
[1 Peter 2:9 Good News Bible]
Brother Felmar Serreno: Thus, as members of the Church Of Christ, we can be confident that as God’s people, He listens to our prayers and He answers our prayers. The Lord, our God Himself, gives that guarantee.
Did you know that even our Lord Jesus Christ has a guarantee for His disciples who are prayerful? Here in John 16:24, in the New King James Version:
“Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
[John 16:24 New King James Version]
Brother Felmar Serreno: Based on these truths we have read from the Bible, it is vital that husband and wife pray together on a regular basis. If husband and wife regularly communicate with each other, even more so with God. Why? Because when we constantly seek God through prayer, the Bible taught us, God will act on our behalf; even if we come from humble beginnings but our future will be prosperous. How else does the Bible explain the efficacy of prayer? Based on what we read earlier in Isaiah, even if God’s people are in dire need, God will answer our prayers! Even if we may encounter ‘desperate times’—and there’s plenty of that going on right now—people are desperate when it comes to their health; their job security; paying off their mortgage or other bills. And yes these situations and pressures can take its toll, even on married life. But what will be our advantage if we stay prayerful, even during these desperate times? The Almighty God Himself—the Almighty God Himself—guarantees that He will never abandon His people! As for our Lord Jesus Christ, what is His guarantee? We read it earlier, He said, “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
So if you and your spouse are already praying together on a daily basis, be even more devoted to that. If, as a married couple, you have not yet set your devotional prayer together, why not look at your daily or weekly schedule together now, so you can agree on a time that you can pray together. And remember, preparation is key. And we’ve been taught about this many times, right, Brother Kurt, Sister Jannelle, Sister Myrtle? We’ve been taught about this many times in worship services. So, please, to all our listeners out there, especially to the newlyweds, please ensure you give yourselves enough time to prepare, to dress properly, to pause and meditate, putting away the cell phones or any distractions, so that you as a married couple, can pray together—wholeheartedly, communicating with the Lord God your needs; entrusting to Him your plans; and asking help too from our Lord Jesus Christ.
Myrtle Alegado: That’s all really, really great and inspirational advice, Brother Felmar. Thank you for enlightening us and also for joining us again here on Happy Life.
Brother Felmar Serreno: Thank you to the Lord God and His precious words. Again, a pleasure to be with you all here on Happy Life.
Myrtle Alegado: Okay, Jannelle and Kurt, now that we’ve heard that inspirational and biblical advice, can you share how prayer has helped you as husband and wife in these 2 years of marriage?
Jannelle Quines: I think prayer has helped us a lot. I mean, knowing that God is there to listen to us, and that He knows already about our worries, our stresses, our concerns, it’s really comforting. We know He’s provided us with the solutions and even just giving us strength during the times we need it. So we make it a priority to have our devotional prayers together to ensure that we always have God on our side.
Myrtle Alegado: Mmhmm.
Kurt Quines: We are so thankful that God pretty much brought us together. We always pray that God continues to give us the patience, the open heart, and understanding that we need. Even though there will be times we don’t see eye to eye, we pray that our love continues to grow and that our faith remains intact and will continue to grow stronger.
Myrtle Alegado: That’s awesome and it’s wonderful to hear the important role that prayer has had in your marriage. So, thanks for sharing that. And you know, considering what we’ve learned so far and what we’ve discussed today, how do you plan to improve your communication together going forward?
Kurt Quines: Definitely a work in progress. So, learning how to communicate well is ongoing and we both know that it takes a lot of work and patience.
Myrtle Alegado: It never stops, to be honest.
Jannelle Quines: Never, no.
Kurt Quines: For sure, and developing good communication habits as well is a lot of trial and error. So, you know, hopefully like we’ll get through it and patience is definitely the key. We’re also learning not to take things too personally or like it’s a personal attack or criticism of each other. So, putting that ego aside when your partner is sharing how they feel or giving feedback.
Jannelle Quines: Yeah.
Myrtle Alegado: That’s a tough one to learn, but yeah that’s very true.
Janelle Quines: It’s definitely, it’s tough to learn for yourself. But I think another thing that comes to mind is assuming or expecting the other person “just knows” or “should know”, like putting that aside. I think that’s part of the ego aspect of it. It’s like you think, “Oh, you should know this,” but you know trying not to think in that sort of mindset is something that we’re still working on improving, even now. And I think that it’s a challenge for many newlyweds.
Myrtle Alegado: Oh, for sure. And this is actually another big part of communication, and that is managing expectations and being on the same page as your spouse.
And this aspect of effective communication in marriage will actually be the topic in our next episode. So, we’ll discuss the importance of husband and wife understanding and agreeing on each other’s expectations.
But for now, thank you so much to our newlyweds, Jannelle & Kurt.
Jannelle Quines: You’re very welcome. Thank you guys for having us.
Kurt Quines: It was nice to be here.
Myrtle Alegado: Well, you guys gave great answers, you know, great discussion. It’s always awesome, very nice, to hear first-hand examples of how married couples deal with their challenges, you know real-life kind of experiences. And in Jannelle and Kurt’s case they mentioned they continue to work on their communication with one another, and most of all they communicate & pray to God that He continues to give them patience and understanding and that their love will continue to grow. We hope that all newlywed couples out there had a great learning experience today in our first episode for this series we have started on effective communication in marriage.
Remember to tune in to our next episode as we continue the discussion and we tackle the topic of ‘Expectations.’
Well, that’s it for our discussion today. To learn more about Christian relationships please visit www.incmedia.org. Or if you have any questions or just want to send us a message, please do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject Happy Life. Please also share this episode with newlywed couples you think would enjoy or benefit from it.
Thank you, from all of us here on the Happy Life team. We’re so glad you joined us today, and God bless all the married couples.