How to communicate without fighting

Does it seem like every time you talk about church it ends up in a fight?

I had a client come to me and ask – how can I communicate without anger?

I remember being at a restaurant where we were talking church and faith transition. It was not pretty, even the waiter was uncomfortable. I chuckle now, but at the time no one was chuckling.

First, it is possible. Let me offer you a few ideas to help if this is your pattern of behavior in your relationship.

Get curious about why are are angry. Do you feel attacked? Or defensive? Or both? Why do you feel attacked or defensive or afraid? Sometimes anger is what surfaces when we are sad. Many people respond to sadness with anger, as anger can feel better than sadness.

Stop blaming. Often our first response to a fight is to blame the other person. Its their fault for saying ____, or doing_____ ,or looking at me a certain way, or speaking in a certain tone. Brene Brown says, “Its so much easier to cause pain then to feel pain.” Blame is a way we deflect our own pain or emotional turmoil onto another . It makes us the victim and our spouse the perpetrator. It makes us powerless. It solves nothing.

Take responsibility for your emotions. This is BIG. This is also often a new skill for many of us. My youngest is in kindergarten and he is taught so many emotional coping skills . If your education was like mine, that was NOT part of your kindergarten curriculum These are things I am just figuring out 40+. Taking responsibility means to allow yourself to feel your feelings. Allow the sadness, the hurt, the frustration. Emotions are not problems, They are not to be ignored or discounted. They are to be felt and to be experienced. This does not mean you need to ACT sad or hurt or frustrated. Feeling and acting are different. Feeling is key to dealing with life and communicating effectively . When we are emotionally flooded and not actively feeling the emotions we turn off our pre frontal cortex and act like animals. Literally we are now being run on flight/fight/freeze. this is why so many of our conversations about church end up in a fight. We stop thinking rationally and let our limbic system take over.

Do you need help to stop fighting about church. I did. let’s talk and see if coaching is what you need to stop the pattern of fighting in your mixed faith marriage.

In my group coaching program – Strengthening Your Mixed Faith Marriage – we talk A LOT about communication, emotional responsibility and how to really stop blaming. When you get these things figured out, you have so much space to just enjoy your marriage. Get on my calendar and schedule a free call with me to see if you are good fit for coaching.


Talk to you soon,

Brooke Booth, JD
Certified Life Coach