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Communication problems in the couple

At the slightest spark between you, it is the dispute assured. You feel misunderstood, not on the same wavelength to the point of doubting the viability of your couple. Sometimes you even get to a point where your words exceed your thinking. You end up personally attacking your partner who ends up feeling hurt by your words. The clash is then inevitable between you and you no longer know how you are talking, it becomes a vicious circle. You need to take a step back and the communication as you practice it no longer works. It is normal for a couple to argue, it is even heathy , it is, in a way, proof that the couple is alive. Communication problems in the couple, how to remedy it?

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What do the majority of conflicts have in common? A communication problem. (Communication problems in the couple)

But not all couples have the same approach to conflict. While some seem never to argue, others, on the contrary, spend their time doing so. But to silence one’s anger often results in putting the other at a distance. And this often leads to growing indifference, a decrease in desire and sometimes resentments. The problem is that it is often the case that everyone sticks to their guns. There is, however, a time when you have to put your ego aside and reconnect for a real exchange. It is then up to everyone to admit their wrongs. And to admit that the conflict has been resolved. Because arguing well is also learning to turn the page. The argument can be healthy, silence, no. Not to talk to each other, not to exchange, not to say what we have on our heart, what touches us, annoys us, hurts us, is to break the communication in his couple, yet essential and take the risk of breaking the harmony that there is with the person we love. While by agreeing to communicate, most couple problems can be solved.

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Be in good conditions for good communication in the couple

When we live a love story, when we are in a relationship, when we live together, we share many things on a daily basis. The goal is obviously to share positive things but also to be able to count on the other in case of bad news, annoyance, problem. Knowing that one can count on the other, on his listening, his understanding, his support, is an essential basis for the viability of his couple. (Communication problems in the couple)

At the same time, we must not forget that even if we are in a relationship, we fortunately retain our individuality, our own identity. We are two distinct entities and it is for its originality, its uniqueness that we fell in love with our partner. So we must also know how to deal with his faults, his manias, and accept them, like him or she accepts ours. We must know how to recognize when it is not the right time to talk to each other, when the other is not receptive, when trying an exchange will only worsen an already tense situation.

There are aggravating circumstances for good communication in the couple, such as contextual enemies that must be taken into account. Thus, we put all the chances on his side to unblock the situation, settle the conflict and find each other. Here they are:

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Enemy #1 of good communication in the couple: Noise / The environment

It sounds a bit silly to say that way, but it is nonetheless essential. To discuss, you have to be in a quiet environment. Serious things are not discussed anywhere, in any way, in a public place, in the midst of indiscreet ears. You all know the expression “you do not wash your dirty laundry in public” and well, your neighbors, the customers of the restaurant or your best friends who invited you to a barbecue do not have to enjoy in spite of themselves your exchange which, in such conditions, is likely to turn at best into a quarrel, at worst into a real non-productive settling of accounts. Avoiding being disturbed, avoiding noises or disturbing elements in order to benefit from a quality moment for two is the best way to communicate well.

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Enemy #2 of good communication in the couple: Fatigue (Communication problems in the couple)

As we all know, when we are tired, after a gruelling day at work or an exhausting day caring for children, the last thing we want is to hear “We have to talk”. In this case, even if we do not want to argue, our brain automatically goes off or on the defensive, we are absolutely not receptive. It sends the other a negative message, the one that says that you do not care about his moods, his pain, his annoyance or his concern when it is just that you are not able to communicate well at this precise moment. 

Then this is understandable, and so the best is to just take the time in two sentences to explain it to your partner. “Honey, I know we have to talk to each other to solve this problem and I want it too; but here I am washed out. It’s not that I don’t care, absolutely not on the contrary, but can you just give me time to disconnect from my day so that we can talk to each other serenely? » (Communication problems in the couple)

Enemy #3 of good communication in the couple: Anger

As you will have understood, you should not talk to you when you are angry. Whether it is he/she or you, starting a discussion in such circumstances is doomed to failure from the outset. No matter what reason for your anger, whether it is directly related to the conflict or whether it also comes from something outside your relationship, it will not bring anything constructive to your exchange. Wait until the other is calmed down and also soothe yourself on your side before meeting again to exchange. Otherwise, you will only shout, speak with violence or contempt, have words that exceed your thinking and potentially regret it afterwards. Take some time to relax on your own before talking to each other.

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Once these conditions are met, communication becomes possible. But be careful, being in a serene environment to talk is important, taking the time too, but the way of communicating is even more so. Indeed, the aim is not to blame the other, to say who is right or wrong, but to exchange to get out of a conflict or settle a situation. Ego problems must be the first thing settled in a couple for communication to be possible and for the couple to be balanced.

Learning to communicate well in your relationship

What if communication was the key to a relationship lasting?

This is one of the theories defended by the American specialist in psychology and romantic relationships, John Gottman, author among others of “Seven principles for marriage to be a success”. According to him, there are “4 horsemen of the apocalypse” that would be traps in communication and that could be fatal for the couple, four communication errors to banish for the survival of the couple.

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1/ Be on the defensive

It makes sense but it’s important to remember: being constantly defensive creates a real barrier between you and your partner and prevents you from hearing what they have to say. In these moments, you feel a bitterness that cuts off any desire to discuss. As mentioned earlier, the ego has no place in good communication. If your only goal is to be right to the point of turning you around and becoming a wall, ending it as soon as possible or winning a conversation with your partner, then the exchange is immediately doomed to failure. You have the right to be angry, but the goal is precisely to express yourself on this subject healthy and serenely; being in permanent attack will not solve the conflict in any way.

2/ Contempt (Communication problems in the couple)

Irony, cynicism, sarcasm or mockery, sometimes even insults, are major obstacles for a couple to last. “Contempt is toxic because it carries with it disgust. It’s impossible to solve a problem when your spouse gets the message that he or she disgusts you,” says John Gottman. Despising the other is a form of manipulation to demean the other, incompatible with respect, and with love. To love someone is first and foremost to respect them and to instil confidence in them.

3/ Criticism

One can obviously complain to one’s partner in his relationship but be careful not to fall into what is called “easy criticism”, a criticism that attacks the person more than his behavior. One can criticize the other for what he has done or on the contrary badly or not done, but not for what he is intrinsically. It then becomes a judgment and it is incompatible with good communication and with the very desire to solve the problem. You chose him that way, you love him that way, so you have to accept what he is, questioning his behavior but not his entire personality.

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4/ Indifference

Shielding oneself to the point of becoming indifferent to the other is the fourth pitfall to avoid in the communication of couple. Everything your partner tells you goes over your head, but you don’t say it. You do not feel assaulted but you are not at all interested in the topics discussed. Even with an effort, your mind flies away and you are not receptive to dialogue. No longer listening to one’s partner, disengaging completely from the relationship to avoid conflict are behaviors that lead to emotional exclusion from this relationship. In the latter case, it is important to ask the right questions about this emotional indifference and therefore about your feelings.

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How to re-establish healthy communication within the couple?

John Gottman’s research shows that it is not differences in opinion or values that hurt a couple, but rather the way couples overcome those differences. (Communication problems in the couple)

But then, how do happy couples get past these differences? “They intuitively understand that these problems are inherent in the relationship, much like chronic health problems are inevitable with aging. (…) Even if we do not like these problems, we must accept them, to prevent situations from getting worse, and to develop strategies and routines that allow us to adapt to them”, deciphers the expert.

These are simple things to integrate to learn to communicate well in your couple and thus maintain a beautiful complicity:

1/ Get to know each other well

In order not to turn, offend or even hurt your partner, you have to get to know him well. This seems perfectly logical but it is not always effective within couples.

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2/ Say “I” rather than “you” (Communication problems in the couple)

To avoid arguments, there is a way of presenting things; use “I” rather than “you”. Example: Don’t say “You don’t make any effort” but rather “I need you to help me”.

3/ Listen carefully to what the other says

When your partner speaks to you, instead of thinking about your answer, you should put all your efforts into understanding what they are saying. There are 2 important and yet simple questions to ask your partner to avoid misunderstanding or clash, “Did I understand correctly?” and “Is there anything else?”. If the answers are “yes” and then “no” then your partner will feel understood and the exchange will have been fruitful.

4/ Maintain complicity

This is essential if you want to reduce tensions in your relationship. Your way of communicating has a primordial influence on the result you will get. You need to address the topic while reminding your partner that you are there for him or her. This should not call into question his trust in you. In this way and regardless of the difficulty of the subject, your partner will know that you are part of the same team as his. In this way, you will have the opportunity to live the present moment in a positive way despite everything with your partner, to find a favorable outcome for both of you and to experience understanding, compassion, admiration and of course love.

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5/ Don’t forget yourself: identify your own feelings

There is an essential component to any fulfilling romantic relationships. This is the level of security you feel in your relationship. The safer you feel with the other in the couple, the more likely your relationship is to thrive. Trust and respect are two essential pillars to your relationship and therefore to good communication. Tell yourself that there is indeed the right time to find, the best conditions and the best way to communicate to the other your feelings, but that if you feel this feeling of security then you can tell your partner everything. Do not put aside your feelings and emotions, communication is done in pairs and for your common well-being.

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Accept the faults of the other, do not close, listen to each other, question ourselves, accept to be wrong, do not lie down by remaining on a conflict, defuse the situation, relativize, de-dramatize. So many keys to good communication in the couple, to live a healthy and fulfilling relationship, serene and complicit. (Communication problems in the couple)

To tell oneself, to listen to oneself, to share one’s tastes and desires, one’s joys as well as one’s sorrows. This is the secret of a lasting love agreement. But with the stress and lack of time that wear us down on a daily basis, really communicating with each other is often easier said than done. So take the time, really. Good external conditions for a constructive exchange, a good internal disposition to communicate well, a few simple rules to make communication an asset in your couple and your disputes or differences of opinion will no longer be sources of conflict.

And then, ask yourself the right questions: Do we always want to surprise each other? To spend time together? To love us? Do we want to go some way together?

If the answer is yes, then don’t let badly said words or unspoken ones spoil and break your couple. Talk to yourself, exchange in kindness and respect and you will see that indeed, the idea that “we argue to better reconcile afterwards” can be a beautiful truth!

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