Every marriage counselor will say that communication is the key to every successful relationship.
Without open and honest communication, you will never know each other’s expectations, frustrations, and needs!
Perhaps you both have bottled-up emotions that continue to build because neither of you will talk about them.
Eventually, these emotions will spill over into a big disagreement and the possible end to your relationship. This isn’t necessary!
The pressure that you feel should be discussed as soon as you start feeling it.
Healthy communication comes in the form of being respectful and positive towards your significant other, while discussing something that concerns you in the relationship.
Below are 10 signs that your relationship has communication problems.
1.) One of You Talks More Than You Listen
Do you ever find yourself thinking of the next thing you are going to say, as opposed to actively listening to what your partner is saying.
Or perhaps your partner talks and talks – leaving you feeling unheard and frustrated!
You absolutely need to have a conversation about this.
When one of you doesn’t feel heard in the relationship, this leads to resentment and anger. It makes you feel unloved and unwanted.
Sit back and focus on listening to your significant other. Give them the floor and let them talk – make them feel heard!
If your spouse is the talker, bring it to their attention and ask them to work on actively listening to you.
Communication is not a competition! You are a loving team – where both members need to have their voice communicated and heard.
2.) You Have a Fear of Confrontation
You are terrified of bringing up any constructive criticism because you are terrified of having a disagreement.
The thing is, confrontation is incredibly healthy – when done in the proper way!
Allowing relationship problems to go unresolved will almost always lead to relationship problems!
Your fear of talking through your fears and concerns will lead to bottled-up emotions. As a result, your insecurity will grow and escalate your fears for the future of your relationship.
If your fear of confrontation is truly overpowering, consider writing your spouse a letter voicing your concerns.
Written communication can be a great way to start building your “confrontation skills”, while allowing you not to do it face-to-face.
Eventually, you will feel confident enough to discuss your thoughts in person.
3.) You Assume You Already Know What They Are Feeling
Assuming you know what someone is truly feeling is a dead-end street!
Your intuition may lead you to the problem, but you can never know exactly what they are feeling (especially in the beginning of your relationship).
You should never hit a point where you think you know your spouse well enough that you don’t need to talk about a relationship problem.
You must have a conversation to truly fix the problem!
If one of you feels this way, you will notice an atmosphere of resentment and “being taken for granted” growing in your relationship.
It is time to sit down and have a BIG conversation – one that covers every aspect of frustration in your relationship.
4.) You Talk To Friends Before Your Spouse
When you feel frustrated in your relationship, do you tell your friends about it before you tell your spouse?
This is a huge no-no!
If your spouse finds out, they will feel betrayed and deeply hurt that you would talk to other people before having the decency to discuss your concerns with them!
(P.S. This is not talking about having a support system of friends and family that you can lean on for good advice. This is referring to making it a habit to tell other people about private parts of your relationship).
Stop being a BIG MOUTH!
You do not need to tell anyone about your last argument, your spouse’s weird habits, or any other private facts that they wouldn’t share with anyone other than you. By doing this, you are betraying their trust!
Long after you have forgotten what you disclosed to others, they will still remember and may hold it against your spouse.
Make privacy a sacred part of your relationship. You should always know that your partner is someone you can always trust, no matter what!
5.) You Don’t “Really Talk” like you used to
Do you remember back when you use to talk about everything? You felt like you could have talked forever!
Are those days gone? Do you feel lonely?
Open and honest communication makes most women feel deeply loved and cared for. It is a huge source of security!
Conversation is a bonding experience!
While dating, most people make an effort to have genuine and interesting conversations. They put their best foot forward, so they can impress the person they are dating!
However, once they’ve “got the girl/guy”, this effort may dwindle, creating a life of frustrating boredom.
This needs to stop! This means, put your cellphones down and turn the TV off!
On a daily basis you should find some time to sit down, look at each other and give your undivided attention to a conversation. It is an important part of a healthy and happy relationship!
Related Article: 7 Signs He Is Not the One God Has for You
6) One of You Is Passive Aggressive
When confronted with constructive criticism, does one of you get passive aggressive?
Pouting, silent treatment, eye rolling, hurling insults, blame-shifting, etc.
This behavior is utterly childish and cringe-worthy!
When passive aggressive behavior is rampant in a relationship, it is impossible for there to be a healthy balance of anything.
The person who exhibits this behavior must realize that they are destroying a key part of the relationship.
They are making their partner feel like they can’t communicate their concerns, which will always grow into resentment!
Passive aggressive behavior must be acknowledged and worked on.
Before your next conversation, let your partner know that you are not personally attacking them. You simply need to communicate your concerns, so that you can build a healthier and lasting relationship.
Related Article: 9 Things You Should Never Say To Your Significant Other
7.) Nagging Has Become the Norm
Constant nagging is like the sound of someone’s nails scraping down a chalkboard.
It is irritating and has an eroding effect on every relationship!
Think about it. Do you find yourself always picking apart or talking negatively to your partner?
Or do you feel like your partner is always trying to push your buttons and make you feel inadequate in some way?
Moral of the story: nothing is ever good enough and there is always something to improve on.
This is the perfect recipe for a relationship disaster!
No one wants to live their life with someone who makes them feel like they are never doing good enough!
Think about it. Who do you gravitate towards?
The people who tear you down or the people who empower you?
If you are constantly talking down to your partner (or vice versa), they will find their source of respect and admiration elsewhere!
Make an effort to start noticing all the areas that your spouse exceeds at! (Sit down and write them out). Ask them how their day went and let them know that you appreciate who they are.
When it comes time to give some constructive criticism, they will respond much better if they know that you are their biggest fan and main supporter!
8.) Gratitude Is Rarely Expressed
Communication goes both ways!
You have to voice your concerns to your partner, but you also need to voice what you love about your spouse!
If you never give any words of affirmation to your partner, they will never know what you mean to them.
The absence of caring words will leave your partner feeling inadequate and uncared for.
Never assume that they know how you feel about them.
They may actually feel like they aren’t good enough for you, that you don’t notice their effort anymore, or that you simply take them for granted.
Related Article: 5 Tips on How Not to Be a Negative Person
9.) You Don’t Ask Questions About Each other’s Day
“Hey, Babe! How was your day today?”
“Is there anything that you did today that made you feel accomplished?”
“How did your meeting go with you new boss?”
They are simple questions, but they mean the world to your partner!
You need to show a care and concern for your partner’s day-t0-day life. Otherwise, who else are they going to talk to?
You are supposed to be there for the highs and the lows. The boring moments in life and the moments that make you want to jump up and down!
Make this simple question a regular part of your day. It is a great question to build on to start a meaningful conversation.
10.) Every “Critical Conversation” ends in hurt tears
When you or your spouse needs to voice a relationship concern, does it always end in hurtful tears?
Although tears aren’t always a bad thing, they can be harmful to a constructive conversation – especially if the person talking is being hurtful!
Crying in the middle of an important conversation will take attention off what is actually important and put it on the person who is shedding tears. Basically, they are hijacking the conversation.
Although constructive criticism is never enjoyable to give or receive (at least not to most people), it should also be done in a way that is respectful and kind to the other person.
If you are the crier, try not to take everything personally and let your emotions take control.
If someone is being hurtful or mean to you, try not to cry! Confront their unfair behavior as level-headed as possible.
On the other hand, if they are simply trying to give you some helpful criticism, don’t cry! Allow them to lovingly help you and try to be open to changing your behavior.
Your relationship will greatly benefit from it!
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Healthy communication takes effort on the part of both people involved!
Sit down with your spouse and commit to being more honest and open with your opinion.
If you find that your communication is suffering due to the excess use of electronic devices, make it a priority to turn everything off and give 100% of your attention to each other.
Communication should be made a priority. Without it, your relationship will slowly wither and die.