Some of the best marriages probably break down because of problems in communicating. There are couples who are so in love and committed to each other but who don’t appear to get along because their communication is awry.
And to top it all off marriage counselors often cite a lack of communication in a marriage as being one of the biggest deal breakers in marriage so, understanding what communications failures you might experience in your marriage and seeking to correct them is well worth the effort, don’t you think?
Here are 12 most common communication failures
1. Listening, but not listening
One of the biggest communication failures we experience is our incredible ability to listen, but not really listen.
If only we all just realized that this was a huge cause of problems in marriages and we can all be guilty of it. Take time to practice developing your listening skills to bring some peace to your marriage!
2. Focusing only on what you need to offload
Most people in a relationship can recall a time when they just offloaded onto their spouse without any interest in hearing what’s happening with their spouse.
We all know that all take and no give is not healthy, and we’ve all probably been guilty of this occasionally. Avoid this communication failure by checking yourself regularly.
3. Speaking without checking yourself first
Oh, this is one communication failure that we can all trip up on from time to time.
Make it a practice to check in and think before you speak, and you’ll save your marriage some trouble and strife!
4. Not checking the tone of your voice
Dr. John Gottman claims that he found in his research that how you start a discussion is how you end a discussion. So checking your tone of voice to make sure that it’s not going to set things off on the wrong tone is something that we could all start doing.
This way we’ll avoid this communication failure in the future.
5. Non-verbal communication
Don’t let your non-verbal communication be the communication failures that let down your marriage. Your facial expressions and gestures and even eye rolls will all be registered for the good or the bad.
Blame is a frequent communication failure that occurs in marriage.
The saying familiarity breeds contempt is appropriate here. Try to remember this and project kindness, gratitude and acceptance toward your spouse before you start stepping into the blame game.
7. Degrading your spouse
This communication failure is a definite no-go it’s not ok to degrade your spouse. Instead, focus on building each other up and admiring their good qualities than focusing on their bad qualities.
8. Making assumptions
Making assumptions is a typical communication problem that many of us have, we often assume that somebody is a certain way, or will behave or react a certain way.
Which means that when we communicate, it doesn’t matter if your spouse is not responding how you expect him or her to respond you’ll still assume that they are going to, or that they are thinking it.
Which can lead to insecurity and uncertainty on your part and frustration on your spouse’s part?
9. Projecting your own insecurities onto your spouse
We often assume that everybody thinks in the same way that we do, but they often don’t. A classic example of a person projecting their insecurities in a marriage is when one spouse is unusually quiet (usually the male).
Their spouse might start to assume something is wrong, in particular with the marriage or how their spouse perceives them.
In this example, this situation occurs because the perceiving spouse might be afraid that one day their marriage might hit the rocks or their spouse might find them unattractive as they grow older. This can lead to arguments, confusion, insecurity, and unnecessary blame.
10. Not expressing yourself to your spouse
Some people have a hard time showing themselves.
They find it harder to communicate how they feel. Which can lead to feelings of frustration or of not being understood. This classic communication failure is easy to resolve; you just need to open up a little bit more to your spouse and let them ‘see you.’
11. Having unrealistic expectations on what a marriage should be
Society teaches us that there is a specific way that the ideal marriage or even lifestyle should be, but we are not all able to fit neatly into society’s little boxes.
So if you have built an expectation that your marriage will pan out as they show in the glossy magazines, and then get mad with your spouse for letting you down, then you’ve just fallen foul to unrealistic expectations.
Unrealistic expectations are regular culprits for causing communication failures.
Remember to check what your spouse expects from the marriage, relationship, lifestyle, and you’ll give yourselves the opportunity to negotiate and create realistic and mutually satisfying expectations together.
12. Talking together but not talking
So you chat regularly, about nothing too important but nobody is addressing the elephant in the room, or nobody is expressing their needs, dreams, desires, fantasies, and expectations.
Which means everything in your communication is superficial.
This communication will set you on the fast-track to drifting apart if you allow it to and all you have to do is open up and trust each other more.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.