Relationships are a beautiful part of life. We’re talking about long walks on the beach, movie night, laughing till your sides ache at your favorite joke.
But of course, relationships involve hard work too! The best relationships are those where both parties are willing to put in the work and show their commitment to moving forward. And one of the top blocks to moving forward- Relationship communication problems.
Relationship communication problems can leave you both feeling frazzled and frustrated. Sometimes it seems like “they” don’t get you. Or maybe you’re wondering why you can’t tackle that one thorny issue without it descending into a fight.
Whenever I attend events in which men and women come together and discuss relationships topics, a breakdown in communication is always one of the top three reasons both men and women say that relationships fail.
In fact, numerous studies have identified communication (or a lack thereof) as one of the top reasons for couples therapy, as well as one of the top reasons for break-up and divorce. The single, best predictor of divorce is when one or both partners show contempt in the relationship.
Contempt, the opposite of respect, is often expressed via negative judgment, criticism, or sarcasm regarding the worth of an individual. In communication studies, this is known as being “tough on the person, soft on the issue”. Contemptuous communication works like poison – it destroys the health and well-being of a romantic relationship.
Whether you are married or dating, here are some suggestions to build a stronger bond between you and your significant other:
1. Give your partner your full attention: Don’t text and talk. Whether your significant other is telling you a joke or revealing a deep family secret, you should be giving them your undivided attention.
2. Don’t interrupt your significant other: Being interrupted is the quickest way to escalate an argument. When communicating with your partner, it’s important that both parties feel they have a chance to speak and to be heard.
3. Consider creating a neutral space to discuss differences: Communicating differences of opinion is difficult enough so why make matters worse by arguing in a not so “neutral” space like a relative’s house, and any public place?
4. Make the time to speak face to face: One of the best communication skills in relationships you can use is always speaking about important topics face to face. Texting is certainly not the avenue for having serious relationship conversations or for making big decisions since the tone of voice cannot be determined through text messages.
5. Be honest: Being honest means telling your partner when you feel there are issues that need to be talked about. It also means admitting when you were wrong and apologizing instead of making excuses. Not only does honesty help foster genuine open communication between you and your significant other, but it also helps build trust.
6. Talk about the little things: One of the great communication skills in relationships is when you and your significant other can talk about the little things as well as the big things. You can strengthen your relationship by talking about your day, your thoughts, or share stories from your week.
Last but not least…make communication fun!
Share funny stories, dreams for the future, and share deep conversation. These are the moments that create a deeper emotional connection.
Communicating is how you talk about everything: family and financial matters, problems and their solutions, and how you and your significant other make decisions.
Always make time to check in with your significant other verbally, whether the conversation that follows is serious or silly!
Just Keeping it 100,
Picture Courtesy of @itsbrookelynne