4 Tips for Effective Communication in Relationships

Communication is a crucial part of any relationship. From friends and family to romantic partners, being able to connect and share your thoughts and feelings is essential. Effective communication in relationships, however, is oftentimes easier said than done. In this episode of Decide It’s Your Turn™, Dr. Betsy Guerra joins Christina to give you 4 tips to improve communication in your relationships.

In any relationship, poor communication can lead to misunderstandings, frustrations, and fallouts. We’ve all been there and know how easy it is for words to get twisted due to lack of clarification or understanding. Having good communication skills will not only help you get your message across in a concise manner, but it will also help you learn how to be a better listener too!

Dr. Betsy can help. She uses a framework called F.U.S.E. to teach her clients to learn how to communicate more effectively. F.U.S.E. stands for:

F – Filter

U – Unconscious Triggers

S – Style

E – Expectations

Join us on today’s episode to learn more about this acronym and how to implement it in your own life. You are less than 1 hour away from knowing how to build better relationships through effective communication. Stay tuned!

P.S. If you’ve listened to some of our previous podcast episodes, you might realize that Dr. Betsy is a recurring guest! She joined us a couple months ago to talk about her journey and how she used F.A.I.T.H. to rise above adversity. Check out that episode too!

In this Decide It’s Your Turn episode, you will learn:

  • Navigating change and personal development with your partner
  • Creating time and space to process
  • How to reconnect to your promise to each other
  • The F.U.S.E acronym for communication



Betsy is very fond of relationships, marriages, and fulfilling relationships because she believes God is in her life and no one can be against her. One of the reasons she has been able to rise and heal in such a way is because she had her man by her side supporting her. Marriage is everything to Betsy. She always says that God is her first priority, followed by her husband.

You Are Not on the Same Page


When you grow in personal development and spirituality, you evolve and think you’re leaving people behind. According to Betsy, relationships should start with humility, and that’s one of the most important virtues in any relationship. Accountability is when we assume responsibility for our parts. This is a lifelong journey; it’s an everlasting work in progress. You start with accountability with a similar responsibility, putting yourselves in the other person’s shoes.


Betsy gives an example as his husband said to her: “put yourself in my shoes.” Betsy was like, “but he’s in the wrong shoes. Doesn’t he know that I don’t have the power to do that to him?” She operates from judgment, not humility. It took her two days to realize that putting herself in his shoes meant thinking like he thinks and believes what he believes so that she could understand that her actions hurt him.

Making a Marriage Work


Besty suggests having a marriage workshop. You can do two things to reconnect with the idea of eternity and forever. View your spouse as part of you. If you think of your spouse as your arm, then you’re willing to do whatever it takes to fix it.


For Betsy, she would have been divorced a few times in her marriage because they’ve had their seasons. Her husband says that divorce is illegal. If he gets divorced, he goes to jail and doesn’t want to go to jail. No amount of therapy is too much for them to save that part of themselves.

Possessing Humility and Accountability


The best way to bring the person to your side is through modeling. We are showing them what has worked for you and how you’ve been transformed. She does a lot of couples therapy with one person. She recommends a 40-day challenge during which one person is doing all the work. When you’re doing that, the other person is watching, and we are human beings who are trained to react and respond to our environment.



Betsy conducts research and tries to understand more deeply how people interact, relate, and communicate, especially in couples relationships. She uses the acronym F.U.S.E. which means Filter, Unconscious triggers, Style, and Expectations. She chose F.U.S.E. because we tend to have a short fuse, especially in our marriages, when people take us off or trigger us, and it’s hard to contain that.



We all have a filter through which we interpret information. Anything that happens in our surroundings, in our environment, or even something we think or feel inside of us goes through that filter. It’s supposed to leave the contamination there. Our prejudices or biases are the things that don’t have anything to do with that message is supposed to go through there, clean it, and then come out on the other side clearly so that the person we’re communicating with, or the person that’s communicating with us can can experience the correct message, how it was intended to be conveyed.

Unconscious Triggers


Unconscious means that we’re unawareness. Triggers are those intense vulnerabilities or buttons that when people push them, we explode. Triggers are developed through life by experiences we’ve had in our childhood with our family of origin that have then continued to be reinforced with other experiences in life.



Style is how you feel most connected through communication, love, interactions, everything. It has a lot to do with our preferences, like being introverted or extroverted. Styles may further hinder or support relationships and communications. Becoming aware of your style and sharing it with your partner is a good place to start.



A lot of our struggles and challenges into relationships are not really something the other person did, as much as an unmet expectation. If you have that expectation, then you need to communicate clearly with your partner. Expectations are to be either shared and clearly stated so that you can set the person up for success.


Love Language


You need to find ways to convey this message that you’re trying to get in ways that your partner can understand. Maybe there’s an opportunity for you to create off time that feels fun and re-energizing to your partner. They’ll eventually join if you create quality time outside of work in an irresistible way. When you do that for yourself, you remove the pressure, and the other person is drawn to you.


You’re modeling for your partner how you should be treated because you’re treating yourself that way. Betsy recalls having couples therapy wherein it brought her to a small epiphany that she realized what God wants for her may not always be the same as what the church says is right or what she thought was her destiny.

About Dr. Betsy Guerra:

Dr. Betsy Guerra is a trilingual psychotherapist, professional speaker, and author of Hurt 2 Hope. She is a devoted wife, mother of four, and, above all, a woman of faith.

She has been in clinical practice for over 20 years, but when her daughter died unexpectedly in 2013, her business was transformed. She went from elevating couples to embodying hope for people grieving and training coaches to support them wisely.

Betsy combined her clinical expertise with her personal experience of pain (and a sprinkle of faith!), to create the most powerful approach in helping clients rise above adversity. She teaches how to use even the most excruciating pain as the path to healing and joy, rather than remaining stuck in suffering as a destination.

Regardless of the challenge, Betsy has a gift for helping you transform your hurt into hope, as you become the better version of yourself God created you to be.

Follow Betsy on Instagram or visit her website for more information.

Show notes for 4 Tips for Effective Communication in Relationships:

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