communication in marriage


I had something to tell Mr N and it wasn’t something pretty. It was a long list of complaints about things he did and didn’t do the previous day that enraged me. I was hurt and I was trying to find the right words, to channel my feelings to him. I didn’t want my complaints to lead to a quarrel like it has before. After scribbling my list of grievances, I read through it and saw that there was no way this wasn’t going to start a fight.


I decided to implement the wisdom I had read in a quote by Mary Kay Ash. It says,

Sandwich every bit of criticism between two layers of praise.

So I  went back to the top of my message and added a sweet line, “Thank you for being the amazing man you’ve been.”
Then I went to the bottom and added, “Love you still.”
Doing this, wasn’t as simple as I have written. I was bubbling with anger and all I wanted to tell him was how angry I was! But I had to take a moment to breathe and allow the Holy Spirit work through me. When I read through the message again, it sounded much better. The first version sounded like it had come from a person who was just mad and giving up. The second sounded like it came from someone who so much loved her man despite the odds. It made a whole lot of difference.
By the grace of God (and only by the grace of God!) I continued with business as usual at home, not acting like someone who had been hurt. After Mr N saw the message, he came to me, hugged me and said he was sorry. He explained the reasons for his actions but still maintained that he was sorry. This doesn’t happen all the time.
Too many times, I have hurt my marriage by saying words that shouldn’t be said. By exploding in the heat of anger. By saying words that were garnished with bitterness. The results were far from pretty. Scripture says, our speech should always be seasoned with salt:
“Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you should know how you will respond to each person.” Colossians 4:6
I cook food a lot and one thing I have learned is no matter how many ingredients you put in a meal, if there is no salt, it will be lacking. Salt is what gives life to a pot of beans. So our speech being seasoned with salt means our speech should always have some life in it. It shouldn’t be bland and bitter. It should be properly seasoned with the right choice of words.
This doesn’t just happen. You have to work consciously towards it. You have to decide to say the right things at the right time. You have to choose to see the glass half full rather than half empty. You have to restrain yourself from saying all the things you think of. Not every thought deserves to be spoken because the Bible says, “the heart is deceitful above all things.” In fact, it says only fools vent all that is in their hearts:
“A fool uttereth all his mind: but the wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.” Proverbs 29:11
You gotta love King James!
So the next time you want to say something not-so-nice to your spouse, take a deep breath and sandwich that criticism between layers of praise. Start your vent with something positive and end on a positive note. I remember Mr N telling me one day after we had an argument that he still loves me, in spite of everything. That was a defining moment for me. Each time I think of it, I am certain of his love and commitment to me.
May we say words to our spouses that reassure them of our love and commitment to them.



  1. What a beautiful write up. I wish i read this a long time ago. I think i vent till i would have emptied my entire bile only then would i stop. I thought i was being wise but now i see how foolish that made me because it only adds to the existing problems and venting in that bitter manner has never brought anything good to me. Thanku Presh for the wise words. God bless

  2. You are welcome, hun. Venting in bitterness hardly helps anything. It can be so draining.
    It's never too late to make a fresh start. God bless you too sweetie.

  3. Thanks sweetie. I just realized this a few weeks ago. This makes a lot of difference. We need to let the holy spirit have its place even when we are angry. That way he can fix our problems because it is not the quality and quantity of our anger that make our men see with us. We need the Holy Spirit to intervene and give us the right words and gestures. Men don't like to be attacked but they want their women to compliment them even if there is a problem . We need the salt. Thanks again my dear. Keep it up.

  4. Exactly my dear. We all need the salt. Nobody wants to be attacked with a list of their inadequacies. May the Holy Spirit continue to work in our hearts.

    Thank you for reading!

  5. This is really deep! Got me rethinking some things I've done lol. I need to do better

  6. Lol there's always room for improvement.

  7. This was spot on Precious! I totally concur. Words hurt so much especially if they come from someone you love. I totally agree with the sandwich criticism approach and I even blogged about it HERE

    Well done for this – I need to work on it as well, because oh boy, I do know how to flip and say the wrongest things – and then go back to being sweet half a second later. But may times, damage done already! Lol
    4 Perfectly Do-able Traditions for (Young) Couples

  8. Great write up dear! I often stay quiet and talk when I am calm. Thanks for the tip, sandwich with two layers of praise!

  9. There are so manyyyy words that are really better left unsaid. I wish one had the knowledge earlier. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Wow. This hit me hard. Thank you precious.

    Striving for positivity all the way!

  11. Very true. Thanks for sharing.Respect and honor for our husbys will always cause us to choose so well our words and season with salt. Thanks again sis.

  12. You're welcome Amaka. Positivity rocks!

  13. Indeed Gloria. Some words just have to die with our thoughts.

  14. You're welcome, hun.

  15. LOL! It's so easy for our tongues to wander to the wrong places in the heat of the moment. I love the sandwich approach!

  16. You're welcome, my sister.

  17. Nice Post Presh! From experience i know how words can hurt me deeply, so i do my best to not burst out if i'm so angry. Sorry does not erase words, so we have to be careful. The only time i may get crazy with my mouth is when PMS is driving me cray cray. lol

    Nelo's Halo Blog
    Look what PMS made me do

  18. I am definitely committing this to heart for when the time comes.

    CHAPTER 10 of Wrong but Right? is here again! Enjoy! Pamilerin drove without any clear direction. He didn’t really care where he was headed; he just wanted to get over the seething anger raging inside him and driving had always proved to be a soothing exercise for him. He knew he had a volatile temper – where he got it from was still in question – and had over the years, mastered putting a rein on it. Continue here

  19. Anonymous

    I had learnt to keep quiet when angry to avoid saying things I would regret later. May God give us the wisdom needed to make our relationships/marriages crises free. Thanks for this Presh. God bless your home. Bola

  20. OMG! I needed this because I can vent for Africa to my husband and I will start with vex and end with vex but this makes so much sense and just..thank you.Afterall there is always something to appreciate in a person no matter how badly they hurt you!
    God bless you.

  21. I'm glad you could use this, Cheechee. God bless you too.

  22. That's the way to go, Bola. Keeping the mouth shut when angry really helps because death and life are in the power of the tongue. When we are angry, we'll likely spew death.
    God bless your home too dear.

  23. Words are seeds, dear. Once we plant them, uprooting them is difficult. That's why scripture says if we can control our tongue then we can control our whole body.
    Thank you for stopping by!

  24. Hmmmm when i'm angry I try to just keep kwayet but after a while I lose it and everything comes out! I would like to practice this more

  25. Ha. Keeping kwayet when angry is not easy at all oo but very doable (by the grace of God!).

  26. Words of wisdom and the sandwich approach is very good. Its like bitting and blowing a soothing raspberry where you bit 🙂 Words truly do stab so it is always wise to season them with salt. I hope I remember this one day some day in future 🙂

  27. The sandwich approach really works, sis. Not just in marriage but in our everyday relationships.

  28. Okay, making a mental note for when I become a Mrs. I admire the openness in this post Mrs N!
    Laitanbee Blog

  29. Awww thanks sweetie.

  30. What I love most about this post is the fact that solution was in the Word of God. It being there ever since. Yet we really find it hard to go back to it when ever we have issues. I am blessed by Jesus Christ in you

  31. Exactly, Betina. We hardly go back to God when we have issues. May our response always be Him first rather than other things. Thanks for reading, sweetie!

  32. Thank you soo much Precious. I needed this. I struggle with communication but today I have learnt something new. Thank you and may God continue to bless you, may He continue to use you as a shining star and a light to bring his people out of darkness.

  33. Not only do you give us good recipes, but u equally give us good tips on how to keep our relationships moving. ur the best ,thank u.

  34. Amazing advice right there. It will save us a lot of malice and bad blood in the long run. Plus you feel better having handled it maturely and don’t end up apologizing for the angry words you said.

  35. What a lovely and heartfelt message!

  36. My dearest sister Precious, it’s not so easy to control ones anger when that moment presents itself, that’s when adrenaline collaborates with the devil the most. But this one tip that you have shared will change my life when Mr anger comes calling. I shall come out a noble with this tip. God bless you for the good work you are doing.

  37. i find it so difficult to stay calm when am angry but was once told that when am angry i should put my words in writting and after go through it to see how disastrous it was .thanks for this words of wisdom will try to put it in practice

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