Words Are Not Enough: The Real Cause Of Communication Problems

By

Relationships: Cause Of Communication Problems In Relationships
Not talking the way you used to? Find out why.

Most couples experience communication issues at some point in their relationship. I see this all the time at The Couples Center; they've tried to talk about something important and get stuck in the petty details. Or worse, they get into a fight and end up feeling misunderstood and resentful. So they conclude that they have communication problems, try to learn better techniques and seek out resources that they think will help.

These are well-intentioned steps, but they don't touch the root of the problem. While your communication skills may indeed need a tune-up, simply getting advice on better ways to talk won't solve your relationship problems. At its heart, communication is about connection.

 

Remember when you started dating? Communication flowed easily, and you were able to talk for hours. How was this possible? Your level of connection was high, and both of you were doing your best to maintain it. You probably enjoyed more spontaneity together, focused more attention on your partner and felt open to learning all about the wonderful new person in your life.

This is normal in a new relationship. Over time, though, life together becomes more challenging. We settle into a routine, do fewer things that make us feel connected and insist more on the things we want. All of this can lead to arguments.

When partners feel connected, communication usually flows well even if you don't always say things in the right way. Without connection, every word or gesture can be misinterpreted. Connection equals attitude plus action.

On a scale of 1 to 10, ask yourself: "How close do I feel to my partner?" Feeling connected comes from a healthy combination of concrete action and a loving attitude. If your number is lower than you'd like it to be, do something to increase it before you talk about an issue with your partner. Here are two steps you can take:

  1. Do Something to Make You Two Closer. A thoughtful gesture, nice dinner or generous compliment are all actions you can take that deepen connection. Taking steps to connect to your partner daily will turn your communication — and your relationship — around before you know it.
  2. Empathize With Their State Of Mind. Once we settle into a long-term relationship, we tend to get caught up in our own needs. Next time you're trying to get something across to your partner, pause for a moment and try to imagine what they're feeling or going through. The more you can understand your partner's experience (without losing sight of your own), the more you'll feel connected to them — and you just might be surprised to find that your communication starts to flow like it used to.

These are crucial skills that will help you get the most out of your relationship. Want to learn more? Get free access to secrets of successful relationships or follow us on Facebook.

More on Relationships on YourTango: 

Article contributed by

Gal Szekely

Marriage/Couples Counselor

Gal Szekely, MFT

Gal is an expert couples tharapist and marriage counslelor in San Francisco who has helped hundreds of couples create thriving relationsihps. Gal is also the founder of The Couples Center, a marriage counseling and relatiosnship education in San Francsico Bay Area. He is an experienced speaker and workshop leader. 

The Couples Center

 

Location: San Fransisco, CA
Credentials: MA, MFT
Other Articles/News by Gal Szekely:

Is He REALLY Just A Friend? 5 Signs You're In An Emotional Affair

By

Successful relationships require safety and trust—and a betrayal of that trust can derail a partnership before you know it. Both in the media and in our personal lives, we tend to associate such betrayals with physical affairs; however, emotional infidelity, even without sex, threatens your relationship just as much. What is an emotional ... Read more

He Said, She Said: Why You Each See Your Fight SO Differently

By

Jack and Betty come to their second couples counseling session obviously tense. "So what happened?" I ask. Jack sighs and Betty says, "You were so mean to me last night! You were angry and raised your voice and told me you didn't want to talk to me." "What?" says Jack, surprised. "I was just busy. I tried to tell ... Read more

What Women REALLY Want From Men (Wink-Wink)

By

Guys, you know how in the beginning of a relationship, there's a magical feeling between you and your lady? You feel close to each other, and passion is always in the air. She's really into you, too — and ordinary interaction easily becomes sexual (and you two end up in bed). Fast-forward four or five years later, and now your ... Read more

See More

 
My Videos
ASK YOURTANGO MORE QUESTIONS
Must-see Videos
SEE MORE VIDEOS
Most Popular