Physical IntimacyRelationshipsFriendshipDatingRelationship ProblemsBreakupsSocial Skills & EtiquetteGender and SexualityRelationship AdviceLoveCompatibilitySingle Life

Resolving Communication Problems in Your Relationship

Updated on May 29, 2017

Some people feel that they are unable to express their feelings and emotions to their partner. If that is your case, you are not alone. Communication problems are very common among all types of relationships. There are many reasons why people can't communicate clearly or directly, which will be discussed further below.

What we know for sure is that communication problems leave you drained and you lose hope in the relationship; for that reason, you need to learn how to cope with those problems. Keep in mind that communication is a gift and it should be viewed as such. Once we begin to understand its importance in our relationships we can begin using it in a healthy way to have more loving and fulfilling relationships.

I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to become educated on the things that affect their lives and especially their relationships.

Communication in Relationships
Communication in Relationships

What Are the Main Communication Problems

Communication problems vary from person to person, we all begin to learn to communicate when we are children. Our parents became the first role models of communication at an early age for us. It is likely that you have the same communication issues that they had, so blame them (it's a joke) for your problems. However, not all is lost, we can learn to communicate better and we can eliminate those bad habits we learned from mom and dad.

There are basic communication problems that in general tend to affect relationships. Below is a list of some of those problems.

  • Lack of assertiveness - the person is unable to be firm in their point of view and lacks the ability to express clearly what they feel or need
  • Inability to listen attentively - the person hears the words coming our of your mouth but does not listen to comprehend
  • Using disrespectful language - the only form of communication known is through disrespectful and offensive language, which also involves yelling and the slamming of things
  • Contempt or silencing the other's voice - the person wants to be listened to but refuses to listen to others, they view their partner's opinion as less valuable

Which one of the communication tips do you find most helpful?

See results

Tips for Better Communication

1. Communicate Regularly

Don't wait for the conflict to arise to determine how you would react. Make it a regular part of your day to communicate with your partner. You don't have to say much, begin by asking simple questions and encouraging your partner to answer in a way you can understand. Take turns in talking, by doing this you begin to learn to respect each other's point of view and you practice your listening skills.

2. Listen Attentively

Give your partner your undivided attention. Make sure that noise in your surroundings is kept to a minimum, turn off t.v., put away your cell phone, in general, you want to disconnect from anything that will distract you. Pay attention to details, your partner will give you "keywords" that will help you understand. Listening attentively is a great way to show love and respect.

3. Be Assertive

You must express yourself clearly and concisely, but also firmly. Your partner needs to know exactly what it is that you mean. Avoid vague words, and remember that if you can't understand yourself your partner will not be able to. You must first know exactly where you stand, and then try to convey that in a clear way.

4. Avoid Contempt

How you view your partner is associated with how you communicate with them. If you can't see them as valuable or worthy of respect, it is likely that when you communicate with them you will be disrespectful. If this is your case there may be an underlining issue affecting the relationship and you may need more than just these tips. Look into therapy sessions or relationship coaching.

Something valuable attracted you to your partner and although feelings change, the worth and value of a person does not change. When you communicate with your partner remember that you are both different and have different values, but that each of you is valuable in their unique way.

5. Don't Communicate With Anger

We all know that when we are angry we say things we don't mean. Often, those words we say while angry cannot be taken back, and they have already caused a damage hard to reverse. You want to avoid communicating while angry, especially if you tend to let your anger out through offensive words.

How you view your partner is associated with how you communicate with them.

So You Have Given Me Great Tips — How Can I Put Them to Work?

These are some ways in which you can begin implementing the above tips.

1. Communicate Regularly

Tell your partner that you are interested in doing things a bit different. Explain exactly what your goal is (better communication) and how you plan to achieve it together. Make an agreement to have a coffee date at home or at the park, and let that be the beginning of communicating regularly. Following that, make sure you both set aside a block of time to talk about your day and the things going on in your lives. Talk about your feelings, don't forget to say those things that make you uncomfortable because it will help your partner get to know you better. Don't assume that because you are married to someone for years that person knows you fully. In fact, there are plenty of things that you have yet to open up about. So, go on and begin sharing those things. Remember that this is part of your intimacy. If necessary put a timer on your phone to remind you of the block of time you have set aside for your partner. Please do not do this when you are doing other things, don't make it a part of your multi-task functions of the day (or whatever).

2. Listen Attentively

This generation is blessed to have such great advances in technology, however, it has affected how we listen to each other in a negative way. Recently, I heard someone say that technology has gotten us closer to those that are far away and has gotten us away from those that are close. It is truly a sad reality. You don't want this to be the case in your relationship. Whenever you speak to your loved one you must give undivided attention. This may sound crazy but it may require that you turn off your phone and other devices that will catch your attention. For some people listening attentively comes naturally, but others need an extra push. Talking regularly to your partner will help you identify what type of listener they are and they will help you figure out what type of listener you are. You must be committed to listening attentively to your partner's needs. If you followed the first tip, you already have time set aside to listen to your partner, you may now need to develop an environment that is welcoming and relaxing to help you listen better.

3. Be Assertive

In being assertive you must keep in mind your partner's emotions and needs. You need to express your point of view while respecting their view. However, you don't need to feel guilty for wanting more romance or wanting a time alone. There should be no shame and no guilt in wanting things your partner does not want or need.

If you followed the first two tips you now have the base upon which you can now build sincere and direct conversations. Tell your partner exactly what you want. I had to put it in bold so that you can understand me. Don't assume your partner is responsible for knowing all the crazy ideas that go on in your head. Once you express your needs and emotions clearly, be firm but also be willing to compromise. Remember that you are in a relationship with someone else, not yourself. Assertiveness does not give you freedom to be selfish.

Communication in Relationships
Communication in Relationships

Communication is to relationships what breath is to life

— Virginia Satir

4. Avoid Contempt

It does not matter what type of relationship you are in — that person you have chosen to share your life with deserves respect. If you implemented the above tips it is likely that you are already giving your partner love and respect. What you want to do often is reflect on the way you are treating each other and the value that you place on each other's role in the relationship.

Do not silence the voice of your partner! What your partner has to say is valuable and should be respected even if you don't agree.

I probably should have said this before, but you should also often remind your partner how appreciated they are. Say it in words!

5. Don't Communicate With Anger

Anger can get things out of you that you had no clue existed. What you want to do is ask your partner for a break. Suggest that you will have a conversation at a later time when you find it appropriate. If you or your partner feels the need for a timeout, don't be pushy. Respect the fact that your partner has chosen to calm down before talking. Don't make the break too long, as your partner may interpret that as being given the "silent treatment". Your partner should never feel ignored. This is exactly why you should practice regular communication so that when a moment comes that communication is not possible, your partner will know what to expect.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Matty Fernandez profile image
      Author

      Matty Fernandez 5 months ago from Passaic, NJ

      @dashingscorpio I agree with you. Thanks!

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 5 months ago

      Matty, I applaud the work you're doing with couples.

      My point was in line with your comment below:

      "Communication problems are real. Many relationships have a real concern about it, not because they can't get their way, but because {a simple conversation leads nowhere}."

      What I was saying is many people confuse "communication" with "action". In other words if things don't "change" or (lead to anywhere) it means there is a "communication problem".

      Just because one does not get what they want or asked for doesn't mean {they were not heard or understood}.

      That's the point I was making.

      We're either "growing together" or "growing apart".

      Communication is the GPS for relationships which allows us to determine which direction we're heading towards. In essence it allows us to verify if we are on the same page or still want the same things for the relationship. It also allows us to express how we (feel) about various things going on as well as get input about our mate's feelings and what they would like.

      Communication is establishing an understanding/clearing the air.

      Sometimes it may lead to change and other times it may not.

      There's a difference between {incompatibility} and "communication problems". One man's opinion!

    • Matty Fernandez profile image
      Author

      Matty Fernandez 5 months ago from Passaic, NJ

      Communication problems are real. Many relationships have a real concern about it, not because they can't get their way, but because a simple conversation leads nowhere. I do agree with you that all communication is not bad, but this Hub is specifically for those having a communication problem. The tips I mentioned, I have used in my own relationships and have helped other couples as well. The first thing I say to couples I have had the opportunity to coach/counsel is that having a misunderstanding is not a bad thing as long as you are willing to work it out. I encourage them not to be stressed about talking. As I mention in the Hub, good communication requires compromise, so I also teach them that communicating your needs does not equal getting your way. However, even when you are willing to compromise saying things in a good way is not always possible simply because you don't know how to. Thanks for your input.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 5 months ago from Oklahoma

      Great advice.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 5 months ago

      Communication is nothing more than one person expressing a thought or idea and having another person acknowledge they heard and understood what was said.

      Too often people confuse communication with (action).

      If they're not getting what they want or asked for they assume they have a "communication problem". Not necessarily so.

      There are two basic reasons why someone in a relationship with you would not give you what you have asked for.

      1. They don't have it to give. ( In other words it's not who they are.)

      2. They don't believe (you) are worth the effort to give it to.

      Depending on what it is you wanted you have to decide whether or not it's a "deal breaker" if you don't get it.

      If your mate heard your request and (understood) what you said not getting what you want isn't a communication problem.

      You ever notice when two (strangers) start dating everything seems perfect! It's only after they've been together for a while that they start having "communication problems".

      That's almost the equivalent of moving to a (new city) and not getting lost until after you have lived there for a year or more!

      In some instances "communication problems" is really code for wanting one's mate to "change".

      There are only two ways to experience joy and peace of mind in relationships: We either get what we want or we learn to be happy with what we have. Accept them (as is) or move on.

      Generally people only "change" when (they) are unhappy. Most people want to be loved and accepted for who (they) are.

      Having said that it's not so much what one says but how they say it that effects how a listener responds. Being yelled at rarely causes anyone to react in a "positive manner".

      Some folks feel if they express that they're hurt it's a sign of "weakness" therefore lashing out in anger makes them feel strong. Nevertheless the listener needs to remember:

      "Anger is the Mask that Hurt wears."

      Knowing that your mate loves and cares deeply about you should cause you to know that most "hurts/slights" committed by them are "unintentional". No one "in love' wants to hurt you.

      Last but not least the word "communication" has gotten a negative connation. When it's referenced in relationships it's usually done with regard to {complaining} about something.

      Saying "I love you!" and "I missed you" is also communication. And yet no one feels the need to say: "We need to talk" before saying those statements. Those words alone can put some people on the defensive. It might be best just to pick a time and place to simply ask for what you want without the "set up".

      Being assertive just means being firm and sticking with your point it doesn't mean yelling, pointing fingers in someone's face, throwing things, slamming doors, or issuing threats.

      “While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions” – Stephen R. Covey

    • threekeys profile image

      Threekeys 6 months ago from Australia

      Always good to to read tips on relationships.Cheers!

    • Matty Fernandez profile image
      Author

      Matty Fernandez 6 months ago from Passaic, NJ

      Thank you!!

    • profile image

      Tamara Moore 6 months ago

      Excellent and informative post! It seems that when we do at least one, or two, of these tips, the rest all sort of come along, too. These are wonderful tips, and so useful!

      Hugs,

      Tamara