Dr. Kisseadoo writes: The value of conversation in marriages and relationships

Good conversation is one of the basic needs expressed by males and females in all relationships, especially romantic or special love relationships.

Desire for conversation is also one of the important factors that distinguishes males from females. For example, while men desire recreational companionship (keeping them company during recreation or sports of different types), women desire more of conversational companionship (engaging them in lively conversation as an important part of any activity you do with them).

Conversation (spontaneous communication for lively interactions and fellowship) is very essential for the survival, growth, and productivity in any relationship.

I have observed that the level of communication and conversation must be upgraded along with the needs of any relationship.

Although women naturally talk more than men, women are naturally wired to be “creatures of the ear”, and therefore every husband or male fiancée must learn how to start a good conversation, which will elicit a conversation response from his wife or female fiancée, for a dynamic, lively, and sweet relationship.

Wives should learn to initiate good conversation too, if they need conversation at any time, especially when they happen to have husbands who would not usually talk much.

Some women are unique in being the quiet type, who will not say much, no matter how much the man tries to stimulate conversation; but such women must try to open up and engage their partners in lively chats.

Both partners must learn how to upgrade and enrich their communication and conversation — the volume, quality, and content — at different levels in the marriage or courtship.

You will notice that at later stages in a marriage when old age physiological, chemical, and physical changes do not allow the couple to enjoy much sexual activities as they used to at a younger age, the richness of their general communication and conversation will keep the romance still sailing triumphantly on the waters of marital love.

Every couple must therefore vigilantly look out for enemies that destroy communication and conversation in any marriage or romantic relationship.

I always cite wrongdoing (sin, disobedience) as the first enemy of communication and conversation. Why did Adam and Eve run away to hide from God in the Garden of Eden, and broke their communication with God for the first time?  It was due to disobedience (sin, wrongdoing).

Anytime any friend or lover is hiding from his or her friend or lover, and would not communicate when no conflict at all has occurred between the two people, then there is at least 90% chance that the one who is hiding his or her communication and is avoiding interaction, has something wrong or fishy to hide.

Any time a husband, wife, or fiancée does something wrong that hurts the relationship, hides the truth about a matter, tells a partial truth (or partial lie), or flatly lies to your face, then the insincerity and guilt begin to build a huge communication barrier in the person’s mind and heart, and will by all means block conversation between you and that guilty person.

The question of conversation initiation and continuation with a spouse or fiancée is a tough battle for many couples. Women naturally love nice words from men. Therefore most of the conversation and mind-sharing complaints are from the side of the women in all relationships.

It is common to hear the women complaining about the husband that he —-

1) “is too quiet”

2) “does not talk much”

3) “does not tell me his private matters or personal plans”

4) “hides things from me”

5) “does not give me full information about important things in our relationship”

6) “does not respond well to my questions or conversation initiatives”

7) “turns every conversation into an argument and a fight”

8) “spends most of his time alone doing his work, on the phone, on his computer, on social media, listening to radio or music, or watching television and videos without making time to chat or interact with me”

Sometimes the complaints are from the man. In that case if you realize that your wife is quiet most of the time, and is especially unresponsive to your conversation or statements, then find out if she truly has a quiet temperament, or is being quiet towards you due to:

1) a specific problem

2) a shocking or surprising discovery

3) unresolved offence

4) lack of happiness, joy, or satisfaction in the relationship

5) fear of being put down or downgraded by your comments or responses

6) shyness or inferiority complex

7) something she is hiding from you

8) silencing her with your spirit of domination and control

9) lack of trust

10) absence of real love and affection

11) refusal to listen to her views or regarding her inputs

12) lack of respect for you

I wish to make a few final points about conversation:

1) Lack of fulfillment in a marriage or love (romantic) relationship will always hinder conversation. You need to honestly and critically examine the genuine needs and interests of each other, and make every effort to fulfill them as much as possible in a reciprocal way.

2) Learn to say “sorry” very quickly as soon as you realize you have offended your partner. If it is a serious offence like fornication, adultery, neglect, physical abuse, financial cheating, revealing of an important secret to someone, denial of sexual or other need, domestic laziness, plunging of the family into debt or disgrace and shame with a scandal etc. then you need to make special time to give your mate all the facts in honest dialogue.

Make genuine confessions, and team up with him or her to resolve all the issues involved, and prevent future problems. Then show by your words and deeds that you have truly repented, and work hard to open up the active lines of conversation again.

3) Even if you do not see where you went wrong but your partner complains that you have offended him or her, be wise and humble enough to open your heart to God and the person, and sincerely say “I am sorry”, without allowing the devil and the pride of man to take advantage of the situation and develop a conflict or tension out of it, and hinder more conversation.

4) You must make a firm commitment to become a good conversationalist. Recognize conversation as a vital pillar for the survival and progress of your relationship, and learn how to initiate good conversation. Study to know the practical methods of engaging in meaningful, educative, edifying (building up), and heart-warming conversation.

Observe how others converse in order to learn from them, attend seminars and teaching sessions on effective communication, and read literature or do important web searches about good conversation.

Some factors that will enable you to initiate and sustain good conversation are:

1) Look for common ground.

For example the same or similar attire, same school, same opinion, same opportunity, same experiences, attended same school or work in the same town or organization etc., and even the two of you travelling to the same destination or having the same problem, could be used to initiate conversation with anyone, and transfer all the conversation skills to your home, marriage, or romantic relationship.

2) Develop a good sense of humour.

Learn to create or share healthy jokes at the right time, and respond to jokes and humour of your mate properly.

4) Avoid statements, questions, and behaviour that destroy conversation.

If someone does not feel intimidated or put down by your words, actions, and behaviour, the one will come closer to you without fear or concern, and enable you to initiate a conversation with him or her.

You should let wisdom and love control your words, deeds, and attitudes, so that your mate will desire drawing closer to you rather than being repelled by your words, actions, and behaviour.

5) Learn to be romantic and affectionate.

Good romance is an important catalyst to initiate and promote affectionate intercommunication and promotes warm and excellent heart-to-heart conversation between two lovers. Romance refers to your whole loving and affectionate attitude and actions towards a lover.

For example: gentle touching, smiles, good laughter, hugging, different types of kissing, loving looks and glances, gentle and affectionate approaches, sweet and loving words said with gentleness, tender treatment and affectionate gestures, little gifts given frequently and with meaning, enthusiastic giving of a helping hand, preferential treatment (allowing him or her to go first or take it first etc.).

6) Participate very well in sexual intercourse and sexual initiatives if you are married.

Your good sexual participation becomes a springboard for a conversation to roll. If your partner is sexually starved or unsatisfied, he or she will not desire to converse much with you, or give the right responses to your conversation initiatives.

7) Learn to share.

Unconditional and unselfish sharing of yourself and your resources will motivate rich conversation. The discussions about the resources and the sharing processes will even constitute lively conversation as well.

8) Show interest and be involved in your surroundings.

Develop interest in current news and needs around you. Get the latest information in town, look out for needs and concerns around you, and turn them into subjects of conversation.

9) Study your partner for appealing elements of conversation.

Every man or woman has specific subjects and interests that easily draw him or her into conversation in those areas.

10) Don’t talk too much.

We are to talk very well and converse very well too. But if you exceed your speech limit and go overboard in your conversation by being verbose and winding in endless talk, then the receiver gets tired of you, and would not want to converse with you anymore.

Learn how to engage in short term (casual) conversation, as well as conversing for a longer period of time.

11) Make good use of conversation opportunities.

Eating time, entertainment time, cooking time, studying time, shopping time, waiting time at a place (doctor’s office, bus stop etc.), both of you awake and lying in bed, time on the phone, doing work or project together etc., are opportune moments to initiate good conversation.

12) Don’t be boring.

Know when and how to change subjects of your conversation appropriately, otherwise, people will be turned off by your continual harping on the same topics in several conversations. Exhibiting a good sense of humour and showing liveliness in your speech and actions at expected times, will also make you more enjoyable to be listened to. Being unduly repetitive in making a particularly important point of yours also makes you sound boring, in addition to making you a bad talkative person instead of a good conversationalist.


By Rev. Dr. Samuel Kisseadoo. Professor of Biology. International Evangelist. Bible Teacher. Author. Conference Speaker. Relationships, Marriage, and Family Counselor. Founder and President, Fruitful Ministries International Incorporated (An Evangelistic and Teaching Christian Organization).

Dr. Samuel Kisseadoo

Rev Dr. Samuel Kisseadoo

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