Don’t Just Talk, Communicate! Advice for Couples
Communication is one of the most important aspects in a romantic relationship. Additionally, it is also one of the most common reasons couples seek out therapy. Communication is about expressing our needs, however, how we hear our partner when they express theirs is equally as important. As a relationship goes on we must constantly evaluate how we communicate with our partner. The absence of meaningful communication within a relationship can lead to miscommunication, fights, and resentment.
How many times have you thought about your partner “they just don’t get it”? The answer may not actually be that simple. It could be that you are not communicating in a way they can easily understand. If this is the case, they will need some help to really grasp what you are trying to express. Successful communication takes practice and does not come easy to many. Couples who are willing to put in the hard work to reach positive and healthy communication will likely thrive together.
I have worked with many Chicago couples in therapy sessions to improve communications skills. Communication is an ever evolving process that begins at birth and lasts our entire life. As children we learn to communicate from our parents or other adult caregivers. We pick up some of the aspects of their communication skills, both negative and positive. Over time we develop our own style of communicating with the world. When individuals enter into an intimate relationship they are faced with the task of merging their style with that of their partner. For some couples this is a challenge.
Difficulty communicating with our partner does not mean we are incompatible. Often times it means you come from backgrounds where you learned different communication styles. Differences in the way we communicate with each other can be incredibly frustrating, however, it isn’t all bad. Having a partner that you have difficulty articulating your needs to can actually help foster new experiences and bring you closer together. It is one of those challenges that you will have to navigate together as a team. Couples can emerge on the other side with a greater understanding of and appreciation for each other. Learning to communicate more efficiently will take consideration for the pasts you both come from.
Taking a deeper look at our families of origin can help couples further understand negative communication patterns. Most importantly, this understanding allows for couples to more thoughtfully practice communication together. The goal is to find a middle ground between their two original styles. With a little patience and willingness to work together, couples can learn to communicate with each other more effectively. This achievement usually results in a more fulfilling and positive life together.