“My marriage is in crisis because of a communication problem.”
“When I try to talk to my spouse I feel like I am constantly defending my position.”
“I gave up trying to communicate because my feelings just get hurt.”
I hear these statements frequently in my counseling office.
This may be a hard pill to swallow, but the spirit behind most communication problems in marriage is selfishness!
If your marriage is in a communication crisis, the problem could be you!
When you shut down in silence or blow up in anger, it’s because you are allowing your emotions to rule.
In anger, your focus turns toward being heard. You end up not listening to anything your spouse is saying. Instead, your focus is on self-defending your position to feed that selfish desire to win the battle. This method allows a spirit of selfishness to invite in spirits of anger and pride.
Conversely, if you are easily offended your approach may be to sulk in silence because your feelings are being hurt. This is still a sign of a spirit of selfishness at work because instead of staying in the conversation, you are focusing on your hurt feelings. In this scenario selfishness invites in spirits of self-pity, depression, and rejection.
Why is your communication in crisis? Because you are selfish!
I recall hearing a teaching at an Andrew Wommack conference. It was like being in one of those 3-D movies where the projected image is talking only to you! I could feel the conviction right down to my toes when he said, ” Whenever you are hurt, your flesh wants to magnify the pain and focus on self.”
I went home from this conference reeling over this revelation. It seemed so simple but so far from my recognition. That same evening at dinner a couple my husband knew from work sat in the booth behind us and began talking to my husband over my shoulder.
Five minutes elapsed and my husband had not yet introduced me to this couple. I could feel my feelings getting hurt as he continued to talk to them. After ten minutes of this, I gave my husband a cue that he should introduce me. He did not.
Fifteen minutes later, I wanted to turn around and say, “By the way, my name is Phyllis, and we have been married 33 years.” But before I could blurt out this comment, I heard in my head this comment from Andrew Wommack: “You are selfish because your pride has been wounded.”
I made a conscience choice to let it go. Eventually, my husband introduced me with beautiful words. I still don’t know why it took him so long, but I sense this was a test for me to recognize a spirit of selfishness at work.
In his book, “Self-Centeredness: The Source of All Grief, Andrew Wommack states: “As God’s redeemed children, self provides an inviting beachhead for the devil’s invasion plans. It is his preferred landing zone!
5-Steps to Improving Communication with Your Spouse
- During conversations make your spouse your focus. If you are more concerned about the other person, you will hear with God’s ears. You will discern the root issues clearly with the right perspective. Generally, things are very different from what they look like on the surface.
- Never assign blame. Determine that you will not feed that spirit of selfishness, regardless of who started the argument. Make it a point to forgive your spouse and walk in love. Andrew Wommack uses the analogy of “no-fault car insurance” being the same as “no fault relationships.”He states: “No matter who is at fault in the car accident, the insurance company will make sure your medical bills are paid. Similarly, in no-fault relationships, you choose to walk in love and forgiveness toward other people no matter how they treat you because God’s “coverage” is up to seventy times seven (Matt:18 21-22).
- Stop Self-Defending! Futile efforts to self-defend expose what’s really lurking in your heart. Put down your own efforts to fight for your rights, let God lift you up to the dignity of his presence. (James 4:10 The Mirror Bible). In other words, you can sink in selfishness or be raised up to see Gods face!
- Ask God to reveal the condition of your heart. I like how the Mirror Bible translates James 3:13-15: Humility advertises wisdom; it shows in the quality of your conversation and actions. This distinguishes you with the reputation of someone who is acquainted with knowledge and skilled in understanding.If there is any hidden agenda secretly driven by bitter jealousy and contention you have nothing to be proud of. Your big talk sounds superficial and offers no disguise. This wisdom does not originate from above but is reduced to a kind that is earthly, ruled by the senses and dictated to by demons. Ouch!
- Get help! Deliverance is a direct route to removing this spirits of selfishness and pride that corrupt your communication. Remember, the one in the marriage who is the most mature will be the one who humbles themselves and reaches out for help first.
Take these steps, your marriage is worth it!
*More Ways to Enjoy This Post*