How to Communicate… When things aren’t going right

As a couple’s therapist, I often get asked, “what should we do between sessions when things come up?” Of course, the answer to that is very layered, but for the sake of this article, I wanted to help couples who may be in distress on how to communicate.

I know how hard it is to be in a relationship that is not going in the right direction. But this is your person, and all you want is for the relationship to work. And even after all the efforts, it is somehow not working. However, life must go on, and you need to communicate with them. So, the question becomes: how? When we try to communicate, and it goes wrong, it is called an attachment injury. In EFT we identify attachment injuries as anything that results in an emotional wound in your relationship. Over time, too many attachment injuries could lead to couples being disconnected. None of us wants that. I get it. If you can relate to this, it is a good indicator that you could benefit from couple’s therapy. But in the meanwhile, you can use this article as a guide on how to communicate when things are rocky already.

Communication Tips:

Be honest & Don’t force it

If you’re mad, say it! One of the worst things you can do in your relationship is not being honest. You may feel that you need to lie or cover up your feelings to protect your partners, but I’m sure that’s not helpful. How we feel often can be manifested into specific behaviors that can be off-putting to our partners. They know when you are upset, even though you think they do not. So be clear. Don’t force it if you need some space or don’t want to talk about something! But let your partner know so that space can be made for you to calm down, have an honest conversation, and have a better understanding of one another.

Go Slow

If you both have been having a hard time communicating, chances are you have a lot to learn about how to do so. And that is fine! However, a lot of the time, I hear people say things like, “we’ve been together 100 years. We should be able to communicate better.” Unfortunately, simply being in a relationship does not mean that you all are great communicators. In addition, it is a lot more challenging to communicate with our partners than, let’s say, our friends. So, take your time with the conversation, don’t place too many expectations on yourself or your communication skills.

Make Space for Communication

Are you both free to talk? Not distracted by your phones? In a tolerable mood to talk? If yes, then great! But if not, wait until the time is right. So put the phone down, make eye contact, even physical contact, and have a conversation.

Lastly, Be Open, Take Responsibility, and Listen

Conversations are just that, people exchanging words, ideas, and thoughts. How would you want someone to communicate with you? Chances are you would like them to listen, respond, and not cut you off when talking. Try it. Yes, you have a point, and you want to get it across, but you are not the only one in the relationship. Make space for a full and robust conversation with your partner.

If you and your partner are having issues, with communication, you may want to seek the services of a couples therapist to assist you in getting to the core issues. You can contact us today in order to find out more about our couples therapy services both in Houston, Tx and Online!