Communication in a healthy relationship

Breakdown of communication in a relationship is the key problem which inhibits any solutions to all the other problems or issues a couple may experience. Resentment, guilt, suppressed anger and tendency to blame either oneself or one’s partner – all those things arise when we feel we are not expressing ourselves or when our feelings are not known or acknowledged by the other half.

While issues of any relationship can only be solved by ongoing commitment and dedication from both partners, there are still certain things to be aware of. Often we involuntarily contribute to the break-down in communication, even when what we are trying to do is to find a solution to a problem.

If you are interested to find out more about the possible ways to express yourself better, or at least to keep the communication more open on your part, you may be interesting these Top Tips provided by the Marriage & Relationship Counselling Services website.

• Respond to the other person’s feelings in what they are trying to say. In arguments people often dwell on facts rather than feelings. Don’t interrupt and not listen to your partner.
• Keep to the issue in hand – don’t change the topic / drag up previous disagreements or bring in other people’s opinions to back you up.
• Don’t make generalizing complaints: you always – you never… Replace blame / criticism with wishes e.g. ‘You never do the ironing’ to ‘I wish you would share the ironing’
• If you’re angry about something, recognise and admit it. Identify its source e.g. have you brought anger home from work and taken it out on your partner? Understand why you are angry – differentiate between what is reasonable and what is not – don’t assume the person affecting your anger is doing it on purpose.

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