Communication Problems In a Marriage or Relationship
Good communication is the key to a successful marriage or relationship
This seems an obvious statement but most couples struggle with this at some point. One of the biggest threats to a relationship is the lack of communication because communication affects almost every aspect of your marriage. You might go through the motions - your mouth opens and you speak. But, communication is more than talking. Respectful and constructive communication is important. Some people shut down or don't make an effort to speak at all. Some spouses don't stop talking but don't really say anything. Neither one is going to help your marriage.
Here are some tips to help you with communication problems in a marriage or relationship:
1. Make an appointment
It sounds silly but one way to insure that you both are heard is to set aside a time each day. Make a point to talk over dinner. Talk about your day and really listen! Talk about upcoming events or schedules. Or, if you are not together for dinner, take a few moments before bed. It is important to have time each day to connect and make sure to have some meaningful conversation.
2. Treat each other with courtesy and respect
Everyone deserves basic courtesy and respect. No one wants to be screamed at, dismissed, talked down to or belittled. Your marriage or relationship must have an underlying foundation of love, admiration and respect. Successful couples know how important it is to maintain respect for one another. Love and respect should prevent you from saying things that they don't really mean, hurting the other person out of spite, or doing things you might regret later. Words do hurt and nothing hurts more than harsh words from someone you love.
I admit it - sometimes I am not paying attention to my husband and what he says goes in one ear and out the other. Of course, he does the same thing to me. This only creates misunderstandings and arguments later on when he insists that he told me something when I don't think he did and vice versa. Or, one of us misses an event or appointment because we really weren't listening.
This is a two way street. If your spouse is talking to you, you need to stop and listen to what they are saying. However, if you are talking to your spouse, you also need to make sure that they heard you. Don't initiate a conversation if the other person is the middle of something. It isn't fair to expect them to drop everything and pay attention to you (see #1 above) and you can't assume that they digested the information that you gave them.
4. You don't always have to be right
Maybe you are and maybe you aren't. But, that is not the point. Communication shouldn't be a battle where someone has to "win" but if you approach it from that standpoint, it will be every time. Everyone wants to feel validated and to know that their opinion counts. Life isn't always black and white and compromise is an important part of a marriage. Sometimes you have to just agree to disagree and move on. The process is the important part so that both partners know that they can express their opinions and their feelings will be taken into consideration.
5. Negotiate and compromise
Not every discussion involves a decision to be made. However, when it does, you need to have the right mindset. You should accept that conflicts are going to happen but you should approach the situation in a calm and rational manner. You need to focus on creating a positive outcome. In order to do that, you need to discuss all possible resolutions and be willing to compromise. One solution does not fit all and you can creatively work through the problem in a way in which both partners can be happy about.
6. Learn how to fight
This is the most basic of skills that many spouses never master. Every couple has fights and disagreements. It is important to clearing the air and making sure that both spouses are heard. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to fight. Focus your argument - talk only about the dispute at hand and don't bring up the past. Many couples fail to stay focused and every argument becomes an argument about every argument you have ever had! This is exhausting and counter-productive. Hear the other party out without interrupting (see #2 above). Consider the other person's feelings and opinions. You may not resolve the dispute but at least both of you can feel satisfied with the process.
There can be no greater skill in a marriage than communication. The importance of this cannot be stressed enough and the root of most problems in a marriage can be traced to this basic concept. To avoid bigger issues and communication problems in your marriage or relationship, follow the tips above to the path of good communication and a great marriage.
About the Author
I am a divorce attorney with 18+ years of experience. I feel that I am very qualified to give advice as to how to save relationships. I also can tell you how to deal with broken relationships from my many years of experience. I pretty much know all there is to know about what causes break-ups and the do’s and don’ts of relationships in general. Even though I deal in divorces, I feel that this should always be a last resort and I often wish that I could see people earlier so I can help them avoid a divorce.