In this short video, I describe what I see are the 3 most common couple communication problems that I see in my work with couples.
I also give you 3 tips to avoid these communication issues in your relationship.
Here’s a written summary of the most common couple communication problems:
1. Couples that don’t reflect on the message they are receiving
Often these couples have fast interactions between them with little time to pause and reflect on the message.
Make sure you pause before you respond and let your partner know what you heard.
This will help you both slow down and reduce the reactivity between you.
2. Couples that criticise each other
Couples that separate have been shown in research to have high levels of criticism between them.
Criticism erodes good will in your relationship and over time often causes large rifts to form between you.
Make a point to take responsibility for your communication and avoid blaming and judging your partner. Use ‘I’ language to help reduce the blame.
3. Couples being defensive with each other
When you are defensive with each other, it’s not possible for you to start connecting and truly hearing and understanding what you’re each saying.
Stonewalling – the silent treatment – and completely ignoring your partner are often responses to feeling defensive, but all incredibly destructive to your relationship.
Notice if you feel defensive and work to reduce defensiveness and stay open and available to your partner.
If you need to, take some structured time-out for you to each cool down and reflect, so you can come back and start the conversation fresh.
Watch the video below to see my explanation of these three communication problems.
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photo credit: Michael Heilemann