Communicating Effectively for Couples
Communicating effectively is one of the main concerns I see in my psychotherapy private practice. Communication issues are very common for couples and are the number one concern I see in my work with couples.
Many couples I work with want to stay together and are committed to learning how to move toward communicating effectively for a long lasting relationship. But don’t know how to change things between them and need help.
Communicating Effectively Instead of Avoidance
It can be difficult for couples to communicate. And for some couples, either one partner or both partners might crave peace instead of confronting particular issues in the relationship. There can be many reasons for this that couples therapy can help with.
Keeping the peace and not rocking the boat might be helpful at times but in the long run, it can be damaging for relationships. Couples that don’t know how to communicate effectively with one another can, over time, start to create distance between them that can be difficult to mend without professional help.
When Both Partners Avoid
For couples that don’t talk about issues of concern it can be incredibly lonely and isolating. Neither person in the couple knows how to communicate with the other in ways that unite and connect. Over time, this can cause emotional disconnection that can be hard to overcome.
For couples that have been avoiding for a while in their relationship, couples therapy can help. But both partners must be committed.
When One Partner Avoids and One Wants to Work Things Out
It can be difficult for both partners. When one person wants to work on things. And the other partner might minimize its significance in an effort to not make waves.
This can start a cycle of pursue and withdrawal.
Pursue means one partner continues to go toward the other with the hope of connecting. With the hope their partner will hear and understand them. That they will turn toward them.
And as they are seeking to be heard, their partner is trying to keep the peace. This can then lead into the pursuer trying even harder to get their attention. And sometimes, this can include raising their voice, name calling or criticizing in an effort to be heard and responded to. Which can then continue to escalate their partner into shutting down or physically leaving the room.
Withdrawal means one partner starts to go inward and shut their loved one out. Or, as I mentioned above, they can physically remove themselves from the situation. Similar to the pursuer, partners that withdraw are doing so in an effort to connect through not escalating a situation.
Good news is, when couples stuck in this pursue withdrawal pattern realize it is the pattern that needs to be broken…and can being to identify the dance they are stuck in…versus feeling as if their relationship is hopeless…couples can begin to unite against a common cause. And have hope that their relationship can be different.
Communicating effectively is possible. If you feeling stuck, call today.
*Blog intended for educational and informational purposes only.