Common Relationship Communication Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

relationship communication pitfalls

When we’re in a relationship or in a marriage with someone, communication is always key. Not communicating with each other and keeping distance can spell the end of a relationship, but so can communicating the wrong way.

With a marriage, there are many ways that you can mess it up, and we’re here to bring up some common problematic communications that are known to occur, and what to do about them.

1.  “You” Language

When you’re upset at your partner, you may use language that uses plenty of “you” in it. For example, you may say “You’re always” when you are pointing out an undesirable trait they have. This does not work. It can hurt your partner and make you seem like the bad guy. Instead of “you,” change it to “I.” If your partner is doing something you don’t like, point out how you feel about it. Your partner will usually be much more open and empathetic to this concept.

2. Half-Listening 

Have you ever half-listened to someone? You may nod your head, say “uh-huh,” and make
other gestures to indicate that you’re listening, but once your partner asks what they said,
you’re unsure. We’ve all been guilty of this, but learn to do better. When your partner is
talking, listen. If you’re not in the mood, just ask for some space.

3. Miscommunication on Chores

Miscommunications happen a lot in a relationship, with one of the biggest offenders being
what chores need to be done. For instance, you may tell your partner to take the garbage out, but you don’t specify when that task needs to be done. Your partner may write this off as a task to be done later, but you wanted it done ASAP. When you see your partner hasn’t taken it out yet, you get upset. Specifying during communication can save you a lot on grief, so make sure to do it. This way relationship communication pitfalls can be handled.

4. Yelling or Raising Your Voice

Nothing ever good comes from this. While it can feel relieving, it usually just makes your
spouse more upset, which then makes you upset too. Instead of raising your voice, take some time to cool down, then speak when the both of you have cool heads on your shoulders. Never yell or raise your voice, unless you’re at a concert or other loud location.

5. The “Past” Pitfall

Have you ever had an argument with your spouse and you bring up something that happened in the past? Whether it was something your partner did that annoyed you, or bringing up an old argument that got resolved, doing this is just going to upset everyone. Instead of bringing up the past, try to focus on the present. Unless what you’re bringing up is relevant to the conversation, don’t use the past to one-up your spouse during an argument. This isn’t a dirty political debate.

6. Being Mindful of Your Body Language

When you’re communicating with your spouse, you should be mindful of your nonverbal
communication in addition to your verbal. You may be someone who didn’t mean anything
nefarious by your words, but your body language could indicate something else. For instance, not looking your spouse in the eye, or having a rude face when you’re talking. Make sure your body language is up to task, and if you have problems with nonverbal communication, it should be known.

7. Arguing When Tired 

Don’t argue before coffee, or when it’s bedtime. This is going to make emotions fly even
faster. Few people want to argue after work as well. If you have a disagreement, try to bring it up whenever the both of you are feeling better. Arguing when you’re exhausted or when you didn’t get much sleep last night can make it difficult for you to get any point across. This creates relationship communication pitfalls.

8. Bottling it Up

Another communication pitfall is bottling up your emotions. If something upset you or made you angry, bottling it up isn’t going to help anyone. Instead, you’re going to feel like you’re about to burst, and you may end up exploding on your partner when there’s a straw that breaks the camel’s back.

9. Not Allowing Yourself to Understand Your Spouse’s Point
of View

We get it. Every argument, you want to be the one who is right. However, even if you believe you’re right, empathizing with your spouse and trying to see it from their point of view is recommended. Not only can this help your spouse feel like they’re being listened to, but it can also allow you and your spouse to come up with common ground solutions.

10. Not Thinking Before You Speak

If everyone thought before they spoke, the world would be a better place. Everyone has been guilty of this in one way or the other. We blurt out the first thing that’s on our mind, even if we have a strong filter and try to be mindful of our words. Sometimes, you have to stop and think. Try to put your words into something nicer, and you’ll have less drama.

11. Not Seeking Help

If you’re having constant communication breakdowns, then seeking the help of a counselor or therapist is what you need to do. Don’t think of a couples therapist as someone who is trying to salvage a broken marriage; think of a therapist as a person who’s tuning up and maintaining a stable relationship. If you’re always busy, there are some solutions to this, such as online therapy. Try it and see what it can do for you. These are just some of the many communication pitfalls that can happen. In order to ensure a happy, healthy relationship, be mindful of them, and seek help should your relationship have its problems.


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