Communication in a Relationship

Communication in a Relationship

Are you struggling to have clear, open and honest communication in your relationship?

Communication is an integral part of any relationship. It is one thing that can help you create a healthy and enjoyable relationship or fill it with confusion, misunderstandings and fights. Therefore, it is worth investing time and effort in improving your communication with your partner. So, you can develop a deeper emotional connection and resolve the problems you may face along the way.

In this article, you will learn what is effective communication in a relationship and how use it to create a healthy relationship that you enjoy.

What Is Communication in a Relationship?

Let’s have a look at what communication means according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

  1. The act or process of using words, sounds, signs, or behaviours to express or exchange information or to express your ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc., to someone else.
    A process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behaviour.
    Personal rapport.
  2. Formal : a message that is given to someone : a letter, telephone call, etc.
    Information communicated : information transmitted or conveyed
    Verbal or written message
  3. The ways of sending information to people by using technology

Now, that we are clear on what we mean by communication let’s explain what is effective communication in a relationship.

Effective communication is the ability to express and listen to each other to have an understanding. Clear and effective communication is essential to navigate your relationship and maintain emotional connection.

Effective communication will help you avoid problems and allow you to have a healthy and loving relationship.

We don’t always like what we see, and we may ignore the issue altogether. It is ok for a holiday fling or a casual relationship. But, if you are serious about making your relationship work in the long-term, clarity is a must.

Couples that coexist do a lot of things together without too much communication. Body language is responsible for much of our communication. So, you end up receiving a lot of messages from your partner’s body language. When you are next to your partner, you can feel when something is not right.

Hence, sometimes you don’t need to say out loud when things are fine or not. Particularly, when things are not right in your relationship, you will notice it straight away.


Why Communication Is Important in a Relationship?

When your communication is effective you can express clearly, understand your partner, and work out issues in your relationship.

Effective communication is a cornerstone of any relationship. Partners who can communicate effectively form successful relationships based on trust and understanding. Couples who don’t have good communication experience many misunderstandings, problems and unnecessary arguments that could ruin your relationship.

There are four main reasons why effective communication is essential for a successful relationship:

  1. Clear communication helps you have an understanding with your partner.
  2. Honest communication allows you to maintain an emotional connection with your partner.
  3. Open communication makes it easier to navigate your relationship.
  4. Good communication can help you resolve issues, problems and conflicts that you encounter during your relationship.

Open and honest communication is the foundation of your relationship. It allows you to share your feelings without fear of judgment or criticism.


What Is a Healthy Communication in a Relationship?

Effective communication allows you to maintain a healthy relationship. Poor communication creates confusion that leads to unnecessary arguments.

Clear communication allows you to develop an understanding with your partner. You can express yourself, hear each other, and make your conversations interesting.

By practising effective communication, you also contribute to your self-development, as you can apply these communication skills to various aspects of your life.

Having an understanding with your partner will allow you to hear your partner’s feelings and needs and help them in the right way. In a relationship is important to feel emotionally connected. You can get physically connected but without emotional intimacy, your relationship won’t develop in a healthy way.


How to Communicate in a Relationship

To create a healthy relationship and grow as a couple, you need to know how to communicate with each other. Both you and your partner need to be able to express and listen to each other.

You need two things to communicate effectively clarity and understanding. Lack of clarity leads to assumptions, misunderstandings, and conflicts. It is one of the main reasons relationships fail. Sometimes we are afraid of getting clear because clarity means facing the truth.

We don’t always like what we see, and we may ignore the issue altogether. It is ok for a holiday fling or a casual relationship. But, if you are serious about making it work, clarity is a must.

If you are having a communication breakdown in your relationship, express yourself in a way that your partner can understand you better.

Here are three steps to help you communicate effectively:

STEP 1 – Get your partner’s attention.

When something comes to your mind, you may feel the need to share it with your partner. But they might be having their own’ very important’ thoughts.

First, check that they are listening. Ask your partner if it’s a good time for them to hear you out and pay attention to what you have to say. If it is not a good time, tell them you would like to share something with them. Agree the time that would work for both of you.

STEP 2 – Say what you need to say.

Saying too much or too little can be a problem. It’s easy to overthink before saying something. By the time it comes out, we already gave it so much thought and importance.

By overthinking, we worry about our partner’s response. We question ourselves if we should say something or keep quiet. Converse with your partner without having all these worries and fears. Express whatever is on your mind, knowing that your partner will understand what you mean.

Express yourself clearly and make sure your partner understands what you mean

STEP 3 – Check your partner heard you

You strongly need to share and who is better to do it with than the person closest to you, the person you trust. Your partner cares about you, but it doesn’t mean that they care about everything you say. Don’t continue talking for over 2 minutes without a response.

Don’t accept ‘uh-huh’ as a confirmation that they got what you are saying. Ask your partner to repeat what they heard you say and see if it matches your intention. Observe their body language and facial expressions to see if they are paying attention and are responsive to what you say.

For example, if your partner looks at you with their body facing in your direction, it means they are paying attention to what you are saying. On the other hand, if they are looking somewhere else with their body away from you, their focus and concentration are probably is on something else.

You may spend a lot of time talking, but it doesn’t mean that your partner is listening. To test it, ask your partner what did they hear you say. You may be surprised to find how little of what you are saying is getting through to them.

It will give you an idea of how much attention your partner is paying to you at the time. If they can’t ever repeat what you are saying, you need to reassess your relationship.


Communication Problems in a Relationship

If you don’t have effective communication, it can lead to problems. Unresolved problems can lead to resentment. Growing resentment can create many issues in your relationship. This in turn can weaken your emotional connection.

All of this can happen silently unless you talk about the doubts, worries and concerns you have at the moment they arise.

The only way to break from this cycle of blame and resentment is to talk about your thoughts and feelings openly and honestly with your partner. Otherwise, this blame will spark resentment and make your relationship toxic.

Effective communication will help you avoid problems and allow you to have a healthy and loving relationship.

Here are some common communication problems in a relationship:

  • Arguments
  • Not listening to each other
  • Not expressing yourself clearly
  • Not sharing your feelings which can get on the way of emotional connection.
  • Saying things that don’t make sense to the other person
  • Text messages with short cuts and grammar mistakes can lead to confusion.
  • Not spending enough time together to feel connected.
  • Talking too much or not enough.
  • Not talking about meaningful things that matter.
  • Not taking the time to hear the other person’s point of view.
  • Boring conversations can make your relationship dull. After a while, you lose interest in talking to your partner.
  • Having unresolved arguments
  • Lack of communication and silent treatments
  • Forgetting to create the right space and time for the conversation
  • Not sharing your feelings which can get on the way of emotional connection
  • Not checking that the other person understood you in the way you intended
  • Not having frequent dates where you enjoy each other’s company and feel connected

Here are some reasons for communication failing in a relationship:

  • Lack of trust
  • Inability to listening
  • Inability to express yourself clearly
  • Not paying attention to your partner when they talk to you
  • Lack of empathy and respect
  • Lack of physical connection
  • Lack of emotional connection
  • Money issues
  • Cultural difference
  • Language barrier
  • Different values and beliefs

Relationship Communication Red Flags

Lack of communication is a sign of an unhealthy relationship. There are two reasons why you may feel that you don’t have enough communication in your relationship.

One reason is that you may interpret that your communication is not enough because you want more, to feel closer. It could mean that you are starting to feel disconnected from your partner.

Another reason is that now you communicate less than before. It can be a sign that you are growing apart, which can happen when you are loosing interest in each other or you are taking each other for granted.

Silent treatment shouldn’t exist in a healthy relationship. Silent treatment doesn’t help you resolve problems and doesn’t contribute to a healthy relationship. Being quiet doesn’t help you solve the issues, only creates emotional distance. Either work out your differences or end your relationship and move on.

When your communication is unhealthy it will manifest in your relationship and your personal life. Once an unhealthy relationship has been going on for a while, it becomes more damaging.

Here are some red flags your relationship problems haven’t been addressed and are going to become toxic if not addressed very soon.

  • Silent treatment
  • Not having sex as a sign of power after an argument
  • Violent language during your arguments
  • One of you being controlling, wanting to tell the other one what to do and what is right
  • Feelings of resentment towards your partner

How to Fix Communication Problems in a Relationship

How to Improve Relationship Communication

Without good communication, problems will pile up, and your relationship will become a struggle.

Effective communication can help you find the source of your problems. Once you know the cause of the problem, you can find the solutions.

If you have a break down in communication with your partner, try the following:

  • Identify what is causing the problem. Is miscommunication, the frequency, quantity, wrong timing?
  • Discuss this issue with your partner.
  • Together with your partner agree on ways and frequency of communication that works for both of you.
  • Remember to express yourself as clearly as you can.

Without good communication, problems will pile up, and your relationship will become a struggle. Effective communication can help you find the source of your problems. Once you know the cause of the problem, you can find the solutions.

Relationship Communication Skills

Effective communication in a relationship is your ability to talk to your partner in a way that you understand each other.

To reach this understanding, both you and your partner need two skills: expressing yourself clearly and listening to each other. These are not an inherent qualities, but you need to learn them and put them into practice.


Conclusion

It is common to have communication problems in a relationship. Particularly when you haven’t develop the skills to be able to communicate effectively.

Without effective communication, it can lead to problems. Unresolved problems can lead to resentment. Growing resentment can create many issues for your relationship, which in turn will weaken your emotional connection.

All of this can happen silently unless you talk about your doubts, worries and concerns at the moment they arise.

The only way to break from this cycle of blame and resentment is to talk about your thoughts and feelings openly and honestly with your partner. Otherwise, this blame will spark resentment and make your relationship toxic.

Your ability to express yourself and hear your partner is a key to making your relationship work. Effective communication takes time and conscious effort to develop. But with it, you can resolve most problems. Effective communication will help you develop understanding and maintain emotional connection.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the problems in your relationship, and your communication and understanding aren’t good enough. But, you want to address your issues in a healthy and loving way consider getting professional help from a relationship coach.


Help and Advice with Communication in a Relationship

Tips on How to Deal with Communication Problems in a Relationship

When you communicate to your partner, as a general rule:

  • Don’t use sweeping generalisations like you “always” or you “never”. If something is bothering you be specific about the behaviour and how you feel about it.
  • Avoid the silent treatment when you have misunderstandings or arguments . Address the problems as soon as they arise and try to resolve them in a loving way that benefits everyone.
  • Express yourself in a way that your partner can understand you better.

If you don’t know how to improve your communication and need professional help and advice, we’ll be happy to help! Check out our coaching options here.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can relationship work without communication?

Communication is an essential component for a healthy relationship. So, relationships can only work when the communication is clear and effective.

What happens to a relationship without communication?

Couples who don’t communicate will start growing apart and eventually the emotional connection could be lost. When couples don’t communicate effectively, misunderstandings and arguments are frequent. Problems tend to accumulate and the relationship turns unhealthy.

How much communication in a new relationship?

You should have enough communication to be able to let your partner know your likes, dislikes and establish healthy boundaries. There is no point to talk for hours about nothing. It’s best that whenever you communicate, you talk about things that are important for each of you and for your relationship. You can leave the chit chat to be only a small part of the time you spend together.

What is good communication in a relationship?

Good communication in a relationship is when both you and your partner feel comfortable, expressing yourselves open and honestly without holding back without the fear of being judged. While knowing that you would be heard and understood. The ability to listen to each other is equally important. It originates from the basic caring and being interested in what the other person wants to share.

What to do when communication breaks down in a relationship?

Find out the reason for the communication breaking down. Was a specific event that impacted your communication? Or degraded gradually because you are not interested in the same things? Or Are you not feeling close enough to share your thoughts and ideas with each other?

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