5 Communication Habits of Struggling Couples

One of the most common issues affecting couples today is communication. But it’s also one of the most misunderstood. People think that “poor communication” simply means that the couple is not talking about their problems. But communication is so much more than that, which is why some people don’t even notice that their communication has broken down until it has become a serious problem.

If you’re in need of help with your relationship, call me today at (516) 732-0273. I’m a marriage counselor in Long Island that is happy to discuss your relationship’s needs. For those that want to learn more about communication habits, the following are some of the most common ways that couples ineffectively communicate when they are struggling.

Poor Communication Strategies

  • Defensive Listening – This is one of the most common issues associated with couples that have been struggling. Defensive listening is when you are only listening to find ways to defend yourself from an attack – or worse, you’re looking for offensive statements even though your partner is not necessarily making any criticisms. Defensive listening opens the door for fights, and rarely creates any meaningful relationship change.
  • Louder Talking – “Who can talk the loudest” is a war that some couples have with each other, where the loudest speaker is the one that wins the argument. As with defensive listening, nothing is usually accomplished with this type of shouting, other than escalating a conversation in a way that scares children.
  • Insult Generator – Couples that are struggling to communicate sometimes find a way to hurt the other person, going back in time to talk about something other than the topic at hand to insult or hurt their partner. For example, during an argument over dishes, one partner may bring up a topic that is purposefully hurtful that has nothing to do with dishes, or the problems at hand.
  • Silence – Silence is also the go-to choice for many couples that are struggling. One partner – or both partners – will simply walk away, and no longer be a part of the conversation. You may also find that you or your partner continue to be silent or hurtful even after the issue has died down simply because you want the partner to feel bad. Silence isn’t communication, which is why this is so common in struggling couples.
  • Indifference – Finally, even though it may feel less stressful, indifference can be one of the worst communication issues. When one partner or both simply no longer seems to care, their ability to treat each issue like it is important for their relationship is often hampered.

These also only refer to verbal communication. There are many forms of body language that couples demonstrate when they are not communicating well, and these can also hurt the relationship further.

If you worry you might be struggling with communication problems and you’re in the Greater Long Island area, call me today at (516) 732-0273.