Poor communication is one of the biggest reasons for divorce or an unsatisfactory married life. If you constantly deal with a lack of communication, its effects in marriage could be devastating. How exactly does a lack of communication affect your marriage, and what can you do about it? Let’s find out!
Same Problem, Different Day
For starters, relationship experts believe that most marriage problems stem from a lack of proper communication. Failing to participate in active communication can have many consequences. For one, it can build up emotional distance. If you don’t address the problems head-on, you could end up sweeping them under the rug for a long period of time.
In fact, communication issues could manifest themselves in your daily life. They could leave a huge impact on how you and your spouse spend time together. You could constantly engage in arguments, experience wrong assumptions, failures to compromise, and even verbal abuse.
Plus, poor communication will not only impact you personally. It can create a negative and unproductive environment that can set a bad example for your children. What’s more, it can harm your self-esteem and change your outlook on the world. If you can relate to some of the issues mentioned above, then it’s definitely time to reconsider your communication and try to tackle your issues.
Silent Treatment or Cold Shoulder
A lack of effective communication can also lead to silent treatment. Giving your spouse a cold shoulder means that you’re refusing to engage in meaningful conversation. It’s sometimes okay to create a boundary, take a timeout, and stay silent though. For example, if you want to cool off after a heated discussion or take some time to think. However, intentional silence can become damaging if people use it as a power/control tactic.
When a partner refuses to talk, pouts, or sulks, they are actually attempting a tactic that shuts out their partner. They also make a conscious statement to avoid the conversation or neglect their responsibility. Moreover, it shows that a partner simply doesn’t care about the other person. It’s not a healthy choice since it can confuse the other partner. It doesn’t guarantee that the issue will be faced later on. Overall, it’s a passive-aggressive way of avoiding issues, and it can actually do more harm than good since those issues can eat away at your relationship.
Going to Bed Upset
While many couples think that going to bed angry is no big deal, it’s actually a highly toxic pattern that can do a lot of damage in the long run. In fact, doing this will not allow you to “sleep it off” or get a better perspective.
Namely, going to bed in a state of anger can actually leave a lasting impression on your long-term memory. Then, it can make you associate your bedtime with that negative experience. That way, your anger and resentment will intensify. When you wake up, you could feel distant, exhausted, and more likely to snap at colleagues or loved ones during the day.
Also, going to bed together should be about intimacy. If you don’t resolve your issues and go to bed angry, you might end up associating your bedroom with that negative experience. It may not be a space in which you could feel vulnerable, accepted, and cared for anymore.
You Feel More Lonely
In relationships, communication isn’t only about solving problems. It’s also about offering support, sharing some intimate moments together, expressing your individuality, and growing together.
However, insufficient communication that leads to constant arguments or silent treatments can contribute to increased feelings of loneliness. It can have a devastating impact on a partner’s social life, communication skills, and self-confidence.
The reason? Well, the inability to solve issues can make a person feel inadequate. Conversely, a partner who constantly gets a cold shoulder from their spouse can also feel like they are simply “not good enough.” Then, people can feel unloved, unheard, and simply disconnected from their partners. If your partner avoids active communication, it could also have an impact on how you express your individuality. If they are not interested in talking, you could seek solace in alone time while never truly feeling happy or understood.
It Can Lead to Bigger Problems
There are many other major issues that can be caused by the absence of communication. It can lead to low morale, misunderstandings, conflict, missed opportunities, mistrust, money problems, and so on. It can also be the cause of sex and intimacy issues or even infidelity.
Ultimately, poor communication can make both partners grow distant, and it can turn them into total strangers over time. Plus, one of the most serious problems linked to poor communication is emotional and verbal abuse. That can involve aggression, humiliation, intimidation. In turn, that can harm a partner’s dignity, self-worth, purpose, and identity. Even if the marriage leads to divorce, the person will always be impacted by those issues.
How to Fix Communication in a Relationship
As we’ve said, poor communication could be the source of all your marriage problems. Fixing it is not easy, but if both of you put in the effort, you could change your communication and therefore improve your marriage.
Firstly, you’ll need to start with a lot of empathy and patience. The trick is to listen, understand, and try not to be judgemental. You can reach good communication by avoiding hostility and passive-aggressive tactics. Experts believe that if you do this, your partner will mirror you. Another trick is to forego your individual needs and deal with your problems like a team. For this, you’ll need to look at things from your partner’s perspective and truly listen to their thoughts on your marriage.
There are many other tips, like using open and friendly body language, dedicating time to talking every day, analyzing your partner’s emotions, giving them compliments, etc.
What’s more, couples with communication problems are highly encouraged to try counseling. Visiting a marriage therapist is one of the best marriage tips, and research has shown that it actually works for approximately 70% of couples. If you’re stuck on your communication, a therapist can analyze your relationship from a different perspective, and they can give you the right tools to help you solve your issues.
Solving communication problems in marriages is not always easy. However, if you’re dedicated and you love your spouse, it’s definitely worth the effort. So start talking today or reach out to a marriage counselor! Good luck!