Every relationship has its share of problems. You’d think that the worst things a relationship could face would be death, health issues, and/or money problems.
While those things are indeed challenging, therapists agree that poor communication is the number one relationship problem.
In an article in Self, psychotherapist Laura Young says, “The number one problem — though I prefer the word challenge — in marriage is indeed effective communication. This includes how to argue with your spouse and not threaten to leave the relationship during a fight, as well as how to recognise — perhaps remember — that the annoying behaviours you feel are now intolerable have probably always been there. Perhaps you even felt they were adorable at one point.”
You can learn how to be better at communicating, but being able to do it in the most effective way possible is easier if you do it at the start of a relationship. You set the foundation of good communication, and communicating becomes part of the way you interact with your partner. So, here are six communication mistakes you might be making in your relationship, and how to fix them:
1. You believe that talking is enough.
Just talking with your partner isn't good communication. In an article on Lifehacker, therapist Erica Curtis says that one of the biggest mistakes we can make is assuming that communication connects us to our partner. Talking does make women feel connected to other people, but for many men (and some women) this isn't true.
You need to connect before you communicate, and this will help to create open and effective communication. Try to connect on a shared activity such as playing tennis or cooking together. Don't forget that body language is another way to aid in communication.
2. You expect your partner to know what you're thinking and feeling.
Most people aren't mind readers; in fact, it seems as if the more they try, the further they get from what's actually going on with us. Never assume that you don't have to say what you want or how you feel. Say it out loud; your partner will appreciate you stating your needs directly.