Connection Impact


“Active listening in marriage means dedicating your undivided attention to your spouse, not just hearing their words but also grasping their emotions, desires, and concerns. It involves empathy, respect, and genuine interest.” Laure Adley

Active listening, as defined above, can have a significant positive impact on your marriage. Here are four ways in which the habit of active listening can benefit your relationship:

  • Both of you feel heard

When you make active listening part of your conversations as a couple, it means that you understand that, whenever you communicate, two different realities are fighting to be heard. In the world that we’re living in, we’re taught that the focus should be on me, myself, and I. For many of us, it therefore doesn’t necessarily come naturally to consider other people’s realities, especially when these are directly opposed to our reality. By creating a space for both of your realities, you are indirectly saying to one another that your different experiences, emotions, and perceptions have value and that you are interested in getting to know and learning more about each other’s worlds.

  • A safe space in which to communicate

Showing interest in one another’s realities automatically leads to the second benefit of safety. The moment you show interest in one another’s realities and give one another space to express your thoughts and feelings, you create a safe space within which you can communicate. As a result, you’ll become more willing to share, more deeply and intimately than before. You’ll find it easier to be open and honest with one another and you’ll likely find that you no longer sometimes apply a filter when you communicate. 

  • Deeper levels of trust

Knowing that you are heard and safe will, in turn, increase the level of trust in your relationship.  You’ll both have peace of mind that you have each other’s best interests at heart. This will encourage you to make yourself more vulnerable because you are assured of your spouse’s love and protection. Whereas your previous insecurities or even dishonesty might have erected walls between you that prevented you from growing in your relationship, you will now be in a better position to achieve your goals as a couple. Having a vision and hope for the future will inject new life into your marriage. 

  • Intentional conversations

The fourth and last benefit is that by engaging in active listening. you will be more intentional in your conversations. There are several aspects to this. Firstly it means that you’ll carefully choose the time and place for having conversations about important issues, instead of discussing these at random times that may be inconvenient, compromising the quality of your discussion. 

Secondly, it means you’ll allow one another to share without interruption.

Thirdly, it means you won’t read between the lines and come to conclusions about what your spouse is saying without first checking with them what they mean if you’re unsure. 

Fourthly, it means you’ll pay attention to more than your partner’s words – you’ll be sensitive to their body language, tone of voice, and emotions as well. 

Like any other habit, active listening takes practice. It may take some time to make it a natural part of your communication as a couple.  However, it’s undoubtedly worth the effort. A whole new world will open up in your marriage, bringing new depth to your relationship.

Questions to think and talk about:

  1. What can we do as a couple to become better at active listening?
  2. Are we transparent and safe in our conversations as a couple? Why or why not?
  3. What are the things in our relationship that prohibit us from applying active listening?

Kobus Pauw
Connection Impact

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