Communication is key to a successful marriage. But many couples fail to understand that just because you’re talking doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re communicating. Effective communication means that both partners are able to openly discuss their thoughts and feelings, while also being able to listen to one another. Over time, it’s easy to get into a bad habit of communicating poorly. Here’s how to identify and break the bad habit of communicating poorly.
1. Communication Blockers
A communication blocker can be both a verbal and non-verbal blocker. A verbal blocker can be saying something like, “I don’t want to talk about this anymore”. Verbal blockers can also include name-calling, passive-aggressive comments, and condescending comments. While a non-verbal blocker can be an eye roll or ignoring your partner for your phone or tv when they’re speaking to you. These blockers let your partner know that you have no interest in considering their feelings and that never feels good for either person.
2. Continuing a Discussion After it has Escalated
It can be hard to break away from a heated discussion once it’s gotten so heated. When you and your partner get emotional it’s almost impossible to reason with one another. When you’re trying to discuss things while angry, it’s likely that neither of you are really listening to what the other person is saying. In fact, it’s likely that you’re merely reacting to what they’re saying, rather than actually hearing what they’re saying.
The blame game is super common because it’s super easy to play. It’s easy to place blame on your partner for whatever it is that is making you upset. Effective communication requires both parties to take responsibility for their actions and their words. Remember, there is no right or wrong when arguing, you’re not trying to “win” the conversation. You’re trying to resolve it. There’s no gold medal at the end of the argument, so quit the blame game and practice finding ways to resolve the issue together.
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been together for 20+ years or married for 6 months, effective communication can waiver and falter throughout the length of a relationship. Even the happiest of couples need a relationship communication tuneup once in a while. If you and your partner are struggling to communicate effectively, give us a call. We will be happy to help you and your partner identify what the issue is and how you two can learn to resolve them together.