In any relationship, communication is key. But many couples aren’t sure how to communicate properly, surprisingly. Just like everyone, all couples make communication mistakes. Effective communication means that both partners are able to openly discuss their thoughts and feelings while also being able to listen to one another. Often times, after being together for awhile, couples will fall into bad habits when it comes to communication. Do you identify with these 4 common communications problems?
1. Continuing to Talk After Things Have Escalated
The old adage, “never go to bed angry” is actually very wrong. When you or your partner get emotional during a conversation it’s almost impossible to listen effectively. Especially when you’re angry, you are likely to raise your voice so that the other person can “hear” you “better.” It’s essential that you and your partner recognize when the conversation is escalating so that you two can pump the breaks and take a conversation timeout.
2. Communication Blockers
You’ve probably said, “I don’t want to talk about this anymore” at least once during an argument. However, this saying is considered a communication blocker. It’s meant to change the subject or deflect from the argument. Some non-verbal communication blockers are actively ignoring your partner while they speak to you while you do another activity like watch tv, surf the web, or read a book.
3. Bringing in Another Person
It’s totally normal to seek out another person when you’re upset like your mom, friend, or confidant. However, this can cause issues within a relationship because that person usually only gets one side of the story. Not only that but saying something like, “well my friend thinks it was a bad thing for you to do” can add unnecessary stress to the relationship and argument. In the context of therapy, telling the therapist should never be used as a threat.
4. Playing the Blame Game
Effective communication requires each person in the relationship to want to solve the problem as a couple, not an individual. Finger pointing might seem like the easiest solution, however, it’s a really easy way to get stuck in a fight. It’s important that you step up and take responsibility for your behavior and your partner do the same. That way you two can move forward as a couple.
Communicating successfully in a marriage takes work. However, sometimes even the best couples need some outside help. If you and your partner are struggling to communicate effectively we can help. Our team of counselors are skilled in helping couples of all types talk out their issues. Call us today to set up an appointment.