Better Communication, Better Love: Speaking the Truth in Love


When emotions are running high, it can be challenging to communicate with your spouse in a calm way. Sometimes, it can even feel difficult to speak lovingly. We’re at a higher risk of being harsh with one another when we’re angry, upset, or trying to make a point.

Last week, we kicked off our Better Communication, Better Love article series by talking about becoming a better listener. But listening well is just one part of the equation. We must also be able to speak the truth in love at all times, especially when we’re resolving a conflict.

You and your spouse have likely faced many ups and downs in your life together already. Don’t work against each other by leaving the most essential component – love – out of your communication. Let’s make sure you’re able to stay on the same team and face external difficulties together, in a way that helps you feel stronger on the other side.

Ready to jump in? Let’s go.

Empathize Before You Speak

You’ve probably heard “think before you speak” more times than you can count. Anyone can form thoughts; after all, thoughts lead us to our responses. But have you ever thought about practicing empathy before you speak instead?

Empathizing before speaking allows you to take an important pause to consider how your spouse is feeling in the moment. It’s one step further than simply thinking through your words and potential consequences. Empathy allows you to truly dive deep into your spouse’s position on the matter and “take a walk in their shoes,” so to speak.

Flip the Script First

Now, flip the script. If you’ve decided on what you want to say, ask yourself: How would I feel if my spouse said this to me? Be honest with yourself. If you would feel hurt or offended by hearing it, maybe it’s time to pause.

Sometimes, you’ll have to address difficult or upsetting topics with your spouse. It’s understandable that they might become upset if you’re confronting them about a problem, for instance. But it’s important that even then, you take time to consider how you’re delivering your message.

Stay on Track

Sometimes, painful conversations can escalate into all-out conflict. However, it’s always best to find a quick, loving resolution to issues. If you need to have a difficult conversation with your spouse, staying on track with specific talking points can help to prevent you from veering into a more upsetting discussion.

We suggest making yourself a small notecard with shorthand or talking points that will help you stay on topic. Knowing what you want to say beforehand goes a long way toward keeping your communication as loving as possible. If you need to, write a little reminder to yourself that speaking the truth in love is the ultimate goal.

Make an Effort to Focus on Loving Topics

It can be tempting to get bogged down in negative or conflict-oriented conversations. That’s especially true if you still feel as though a particular issue is unresolved. While it can take a while to solve some problems, that doesn’t mean you should focus solely on the issue until it’s taken care of.

You’ll need to focus on loving and positive topics of conversation to lighten the heavier times. If you’re having trouble figuring out what else to talk about with your spouse, we’ve got you covered. Our book, Love Talk Starters, is filled with conversation prompts so you’ll never run out of things to talk about. Take a look and get your copy here.

How do you and your spouse practice speaking the truth in love? Share your experiences in the comments.

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