How Words Can Change Your Marriage


There are a hundred different ways to destroy a marriage. It is far easier to end a marriage than it is to recommit when you suddenly realize that the person who shares your bed has slowly become a stranger to you; a slowly dying marriage can be like a leaking air mattress that is undetectable until you wake up cold and flat on the floor.

Last fall, Kirk and I had nearly dripped our reservoir dry. As I visited my parents with the kids for nearly two weeks that October, I pondered which path would be easier and realized with marriage there is no easy path, so I returned home.

The easiest day of a marriage is the first. Every day following is intentional hard work, gratifying work, but hard just the same.

When I returned to OKC that chilly fall night in early November, I wasn’t sure how to fix all the damage we had created within those four walls. So we started with words.

Words have the power to destroy, but they also have the power to sustain and grow a marriage. And so we began to choose our words carefully, choosing words to engender new trust, words that bloomed into a vision of a new marriage and path together.

Seven years in, and we started over completely. At first, our conversations were stiff with obligation. But our continued efforts yielded new growth, like tiny buds in spring that begin to bloom imperceptibly.


So what were those words that saved our marriage?

It was a narrative that we told ourselves nearly ever day, even when we didn’t believe it, even when it seemed like our lives would never change. And this is what we said and slowly we began to believe:

We will always be honest with one another even if it hurts. I will learn to love you for exactly who you are if you will do the same for me. Your dreams are as important to me as mine are, and I will do everything in my power to support and encourage you. I will not allow our lives and marriage to stagnate, but to work hard everyday to craft a beautiful and true life with you.

And from there, we began to dream again. Dream of moving cross-country to the beach, dream of buying a travel trailer to see the country, and dreaming of leaving jobs we don’t love to pursue lives that make our souls sing.

And we’re doing it. One year later and our marriage isn’t perfect, but it is real and it is us. I believe that if we can dig ourselves out of the pit of nearly no return, then anyone can. This isn’t hopeful optimism, but the beautiful truth. Hear me out:

The simple truth is that our words have incredible, life-changing power.

Even if it feels like your marriage is over or that your marriage is perfect. Begin speaking that narrative to one another, in your words and in your thoughts. And then you will see miraculous things begin to happen.

How can you use your words, thoughts, and actions to intentionally support and grow your marriage?


4 thoughts on “How Words Can Change Your Marriage

  1. I think this is really wonderful!! Marriage is really easy for me compared to parenting, but that is because we’ve just always had this way of talking things out and working together as a team while our kids are still growing and don’t really know how to have full team work yet.

    I am at this point in my life where it seems that everyone’s marriages are falling apart and I wonder, “Why can’t they try to communicate better?” The hard times we had we saw as just a way to help one another through and not to break each other down over. I think it is just natural because we talked in our dating years of how to approach various things and to always try to help one another and see the other’s perspective. We did have a couple hard times, but we never thought, “Well, time to leave one another because this might be too hard to handle,” it was just, “Time to get through this.” . . and we did. That’s how we used our words. To see marriages that have blossomed after hardships is such a huge and wonderful thing!! I am glad that you two have been able to communicate and work together better in your marriage. I hope that you continue to have things work for the better!!!


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