Communication is one of the essential components of any successful relationship, but it can be especially challenging for couples. While communicating with a partner may seem straightforward, many factors can make it complicated. Couples often come to counseling to help with communication and do not understand what is getting in the way. Here are a few obstacles that trip couples up when communicating.
Different Communication Styles: One of the most significant challenges in communication between couples is different communication styles. Each partner has their own communication style, language and lingo. The couple has to learn how each other communicate and figure out how to understand the differences. If they do not learn how to see and understand the differences it can lead to misunderstandings, frustration, and hurt feelings.
Unresolved Conflicts: Unresolved conflicts can also make communication challenging between couples. If a couple has unresolved conflicts, it can be difficult to communicate effectively because both parties may feel resentful or defensive. This can lead to arguments and misunderstandings, making it challenging to move forward with productive communication. One of my favorite pieces of information to share with couples is that 69% if out conflicts are not solvable which means we have to become great at listening to understand, keep returning back to conflicts that are repetitive, and learn how to truly compromise with one another.
Lack of Trust: Trust is another essential factor in effective communication between couples. If one partner does not trust the other or their intentions, they may be hesitant to share their thoughts and feelings. This can lead to a lack of communication or even dishonesty, making it challenging to build a strong and healthy relationship.
Differences in Perspectives and Beliefs: Differences in perspectives and beliefs can also make communication challenging between couples. Each partner may have their own values, beliefs, and experiences that shape their perception of the world. These differences can lead to misunderstandings, miscommunication, and conflict. Couples have to focus on not changing their partner's perspectives and beliefs, but choose to be curious and desire to understand them. I tell my couples often that if their goal is to make their partner like them, they are going to fail and they already have lost.
Poor Listening Skills Effective communication is not just about expressing oneself but also about listening. Poor listening skills can make communication challenging between couples because one partner may feel like they are not being heard or understood. This can lead to frustration and resentment, making it challenging to build a healthy relationship. Couples need to learn the art of listening to understand and not to respond.
Communication is essential for any healthy relationship, but it can be challenging for couples. By acknowledging these challenges and working together to overcome them, couples can build stronger, healthier relationships based on effective communication.