MarriageorDivorce.com

How to Repair Damaged Communication, Part 1

How can you talk and actually communicate with your spouse so you can convey your thoughts, needs and emotions across effectively?

One of the biggest and most complicated problems that troubled couples face is the inability to genuinely communicate with each other. I call this growing trend “damaged communication” because 99% of the time, attempts at communication often results in emotional breakdown or some other form of aggression or estrangement.

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If you dread the idea of starting a normal conversation with your wife or husband, it’s possible that you or both of you are suffering from the effects of damaged communication.

Damaged communication can drain the very lifeblood of a relationship until both parties feel like dry, lifeless husks. A formerly loving relationship can lose all meaning if one or both parties stop communicating.

Why does damaged communication occur?

In the world of married couples, harmony is everything. When the natural harmony of two loving people is lost, things go awry – usually very quickly.

Damaged communication is often a reflection of how things have been going for the past few months or years.

This type of communication is actually the manifestation of the poorly designed defense mechanisms that people use to ‘protect’ themselves from emotional attacks, emotional blackmail, aggression, etc.

In short, damaged communication happens because people have a natural aversion to being hurt, even if the hurting is happening within a romantic or intimate relationship. If a relationship is on a rocky path, one or both parties may resort to communication strategies that may be doing more harm than good.

How can you begin repairing your relationship with your spouse through better communication?

Genuine and quality communication is the fuel that keeps a relationship going. When your methods of communicating with your spouse are working, you’re in a less-than-perfect relationship but you’re both happy, content and most of all secure with the relationship.

It’s very true that a loving relationship can act as a strong pillar that you can lean on in times of person turmoil. If the relationship itself is causing the turmoil in your heart, then there’s something wrong!

Here are some simple ways that you can begin improving your relationship through better communication:

1. Steer Clear of “Attack Words” – Attack words are terms that people use to make people feel bad about themselves. People often use words like “lazy”, “selfish”, “self-centered” and “obsessed” to chip away at another person’s self-confidence.

A person may rationalize such behavior by saying that he wants to “teach” his spouse the error of his ways. Often, the real intention is to dominate and control the situation and consequently, the other person.

Of course, no one likes the idea of being controlled, especially if the present situation has become volatile.

If you want your relationship to last, you have to find ways to express your thoughts and feelings without using “attack words”. They have no use in your relationship and they will never contribute to the rebuilding intimacy, romance or love between two people.

2. Avoid Negative Tags – “Negative tagging” is a behavior I’ve observed in married couples who seem to have taken a liking to calling each other really strange and awful names.

I’ve heard my fair share of words like “sexist pig” or “witch” to know that somehow, this unacceptable mode of communication can somehow become commonplace in a so-called “loving marriage”.

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If you find yourself exclaiming negative tags like the ones I’ve already mentioned, know that you are hurting your partner even if he/she seems to have become accustomed to your negative behavior.

3. Avoid the Accusatory Finger – Using an accusing tone is your express ticket to the city of arguments. Catch yourself before you let the bombs drop! The major indicator of an accusing tone is using the word “you” in your statements.

“You” is usually followed by hurtful things such as “you’re never home early, the kids are forgetting what you look like!” or “you are always spending hard-earned money on useless things!”

To avoid this fatal, relationship-killing scenario, you have to reframe how you express yourself, even if you’ve already reached the end of your rope.

Instead of saying “you’re lazy”, say something like “when I have to do most of the work at home, I feel very tired and have little interest in interacting with you or the kids”.

Often these vital modifications can help even the most resistant person understand what they have to do to make the relationship better.

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