Communication is important within relationships. Without effective relationships communication, it can easily break down to the detriment of the couple. If you do not know what your partner is telling you, or vice versa, little misunderstandings can quickly become big problems.
Many people believe that you can sort out the basis of relationships communication by making a regular time to discuss the state of the relationship. This might be good practice, but it is only a partial solution.
One of the keys to a great relationship is compatibility. Part of this is how compatible you both are at communication. All people have a different style of communication, which you can categorize in the following ways:
- How much you talk
- How much you listen
- Your understanding of body language
- How deep you can talk comfortably about a subject
- How much you expect others to understand your meaning
Remember there are no correct, or incorrect, ways to communicate with your partner. As long as you both understand your preferences and can each cope with the other’s communication methods.
Think of the opposite ends of the communication spectrum as:
- Talking incessantly about deepest feelings
- Talking little and uneasy sharing personal information
Putting two people from the opposite ends together is a recipe for a disastrous relationship, but also identical matches can also cause couples problems. The key is to realise which you are, and work towards an acceptable compromise that works for you.
Men and Women are not Created Equal
In general, men and women communicate in different ways. These do not apply equally to all men and women, but you do need to be aware of the differences and willing to work to resolve any problems that it causes. You should try to avoid using these differences as a scapegoat for any relationships communication problems.
If you understand what the differences are, then it makes it easier to account for them within your relationship. The gender differences can cause communication problems that you need to work at, just like any other problem in a relationship. When you understand and appreciate the gender gap in communication you can forgive your partner and try to work through it.
A couple of great, non-sexist, books that discuss the gender differences are:
- Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus
- Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps
Both these books detail the physiological and behavioural differences between the genders and are well worth a read if you are interested.
Resolve Communication Issues
Relationships communication problems can be complex and often take a great deal of time and effort to resolve. No quick fix exists, so do not go expecting a three-step process or quick fix. More often, the communication breakdown is a symptom of an underlying issue in the relationship that you will needs to address before you can progress towards a solution.
If you are unable to communicate with your partner, it might be worth using a mediator to help you both work through the issues. These professionals can help you to overcome your communication issues either by working individually with each partner or together as a couple. This help is available from many sources, including psychologists, counsellors, and trained mediators.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to find a paid professional, or gather the money together to pay for their services. In this situation, you might be able to get a trusted friend or family member to help you, but this can lead to problems in your relationships with the friend. You should really only use this option as a last resort.
If your relationship suffers from poor communication, it might only appear as cracks on the surface, but these cracks can hide major issues in the relationship. Depending on the depth of the problems, it might not be possible to save the relationship, so it is always best to work on minor communication issues before they become a major problem.
Relationships communication problems can afflict even the closest-seeming relationship. From the start of the relationship, work on communication with your partner and aim to resolve any issues before they can become much worse. The worst thing that you can do is ignore the issues because they will not just go away.