Communication Problems: #1 in Relationships


Communication problems are the #1 reason couples seek therapy.

Communication problems are the most common reason couples seek help for their relationships. Tragically, many couples can’t successfully talk through their issues, conflicts, or hurt feelings. Stuck and unable to communicate successfully, partners grow apart. Trying to talk things through and come closer only makes matters worse.

Over and over again, couples can find themselves stuck or making matters worse by desperate attempts to reach each other. This situation can be beyond frustrating, distressing, and confusing. Even worse, the partners can often talk easily with other people, but not each other.

This is because strong emotions often lead to misunderstanding.

Why is this? In contrast to less significant relationships, partners are highly emotional with each other. Emotions are intense because partners rely so much on each other. Couples depend on each other for everything from financial security to daily living to childrearing. Beyond that, most partners rely exclusively on each other for their sexual and most intimate emotional needs.

For this reason, partners register conflict of any kind as a significant threat. Emotions can arise instantly. Efforts to appear calm on the surface or manage emotions often signal more danger. Negative emotional messages can drown out the superficial issue at hand and become overwhelming. Communication can quickly spiral out of control.

In these situations, partners must work through their deeper emotions to become unstuck. These are separate from and more important than the issue at hand. Unfortunately, many people don’t have the tools to talk directly about their deeper emotions and soothe each other.

If this is your situation, you're not alone, and there's help.

If this is your situation, you’re not alone. Many couples are in the same boat. Unfortunately, however, there may be no simple or independent fix.

The best solution is often to find a therapist you both like. It’s crucial to choose a therapist specializing in couples work. A Hold Me Tight® couple workshop can also be a good option. If you can’t find a workshop in your community, try one online.

If you’ve recovered from communication problems in your relationship, please share!

Photo by Christiana Rivers on Unsplash. Hold Me Tight is a registered trademark of Dr. Sue Johnson.