In marriage, one partner “ties the knot” with his or her fiance. But as couples go along with their married life, this knot tends to become loose, and communication problems in marriage may arise. There are those who actually end up divorced and eventually remarry, only to experience the same marital problems again and again.
One of the things that greatly contributes to the loosening of this knot is not being able to communicate in your marriage.
Causes of Communication Problems in a Relationship
Yes, two people become one through marriage bonds. But these two people are still unique. They may have different priorities and opinions on important issues, and it’s important to talk through both the things you have in common, work through any issues together to find a solution both of you are satisfied with, and respect any differences of opinion. Some common reasons that communication in a marriage may have fallen apart include:
- They may be stressed, busy, or afraid to work on their marriage, and deep communication may be continually pushed aside for a “later” that becomes “never.”
- They may wish to avoid “prickly,” or emotionally sensitive subjects such as sex, finances, or setting long-term goals, and so they stop communicating altogether.
- They may fear that communicating will result in an argument that doesn’t accomplish anything, and want to avoid the conflict at all costs, no matter the toll it has on the relationship
You must learn how to communicate with your partner in order to fix the cause of your marital problems to work themselves out. If you want to stay together for life, you need to make the commitment to improve your communication, even if your spouse resists your efforts at first, even if it involves talking about painful subjects, even if it causes arguments.
Yes, it will probably get worse before it gets better, but a marriage without good communication is not a happy relationship, but a miserable co-habitation.
Here are some helpful tips to help you resolve or even avoid communication problems in marriage:
- Know when and when NOT to be angry. When your blood pressure starts rising, yelling is inevitable. But to make sure that you do not hurt the feelings of your spouse and damage your relationship, it would be better if you assess the situation first. Look at the cause of your anger. For petty reasons (e.g. your spouse forgot to run a specific), you should not yell at all. But if your spouse took your savings to enjoy and entertain himself/herself in Las Vegas, then you have the right to be angry. In other words, choose your battles carefully.
- Avoid using “absolutes”. Absolutes pertain to words like never, always, forever and others. Words like these tend to easily make any person defensive and angry. Take this as an example. Both of you agreed to help each other on household chores. You wash the dishes while your husband throws away the trash. This has been a routine that both of you have always followed. However, there was a time when you husband wasn’t able to do his assigned chore. When he comes home, there’s a possibility that you’ll yell at him, “You NEVER throw away the trash!” If you use the word, never (or any other absolutes), it will only make the person reluctant to be helpful and contribute to the relationship again.
- Always give your partner a chance to share his or her side of the argument. Active, non-judgmental listening is essential in communication. You have to allow the other person to give his or her point of view without interrupting and with an open mind, even if you believe you are right. Without being fair, your marriage will quickly deteriorate.
- Understand that you are not always right, and neither is your spouse. Arguments easily heat up because you refuse to consider the possibility that may your spouse is not 100% at fault. Accept partial responsibility when it is your due, and make it clear to your partner that you realize that your shortcomings may have contributed to the disagreement as well.
Communication problems in marriage are completely normal, but you also do need to work on reducing this marital problem. So, make sure you do keep these things in mind and work WITH your spouse to discover a solution, not AGAINST him or her. Don’t ever think of your spouse as your enemy, and you will be well on your way to communicating better with each other, for life.