Why Good Communication Is Hard In Relationships (Even When You Love Your Partner)

Why Good Communication Is Hard In Relationships (Even When You Love Your Partner)

He’s telling you another white lie, and you know it’s a lie. She’s obviously angry, but her passive-aggressive voice keeps insisting that she’s fine. This is the unfortunate tango so many couples dance.  The person who once represented perfection seemingly transforms into the semblance of an enemy. But how did we get here? And why do we keep coming back?

Why Most Of Us Struggle With Good Communication

First of all, it’s because good communication is hard. It’s hard with strangers, it’s hard in the workplace, but, often, it’s hardest with the people we love the most.

Fear can block healthy communication. Fear reminds us of the twisted tales of rejection and insecurity and unlovability. Fear convinces us that we’re acting crazy or overreactive or stupid.

Often, we manipulate our language to seemingly ease these fears. We lie and minimize and intellectualize, and we expect our partners to read our minds. We say what we don’t mean, and we giggle or cry or yell over using our words. We struggle to identify what we want, and when that happens, we tend to lash out, freeze, or change the subject. In other words, we resort to childish tactics to “get our way.”

We don’t like feeling out of control. And when there’s conflict in a relationship, we inherently experience a feeling of powerlessness, of helplessness, and most of us don’t like these feelings.

We know we should set our boundaries and expectations (and respect the ones our partner has set for us), but when times feel tough, it’s hard to put them into practice.

How To Improve Communication In Relationships

The foundation of good communication can start by identifying the strengths. When do you two share the best conversations? When have you conquered difficult discussions in the past? What skills or techniques did you practice?

Then, it starts with tackling the weaknesses. Which frustrating issues continue to resurface? What feelings do you experience when you find yourself in this cycle?

Moreover, how does your partner interpret the communication? Where would your partner like to see improvements? What does he or she need from you?

Remember that fear can easily stunt our ability to communicate. That said, it can also drive us to irrational decisions, and keep us in a helpless victim stance. We want to be loved. At the same time, our desire to be right or keep the peace sometimes surpasses this desire for love.

Good communication in couples takes time. It takes persistence and dedication and a willingness to want to do better by your partner. It isn’t just about completing a few, simple exercises in a self-help book, and it isn’t about a special date night once a week.

It’s about honoring a commitment to a new way of coexisting. This is a commitment towards mutual respect with the intention of harmony.

All healthy relationships have conflict, and all healthy relationships struggle with communication at times. It’s not so much about managing the bad times- it’s more about navigating the good ones.

How Couples Therapy Can Improve Communication

The decision to enter couples therapy isn’t always straightforward. You may not necessarily be on the brink of divorce, and you may not be struggling with infidelity or emotional abuse.

That said, if you feel like you can’t “get on the same page” with your partner, sitting down with a trained professional can make a profound difference in your overall satisfaction. Your therapist isn’t interested in taking sides; instead, he or she will guide both of you into a mutual path of respect, healing, and connectedness.

Therapy creates a safe place for discussing mutual fears, desires, and dreams. It also creates a place to practice new ways of thinking about one another- and new means of good communication.


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