My husband and I have been married for quite a while and we still have some pretty bad communication issues. The problem is that he says things without thinking and I take him pretty seriously.
I end up getting my feelings hurt and he is unaware of what is going on. I am tired of this back and forth and getting nowhere. I have tried to tell him how I feel, but he just brushes me off.
I am not sure what you mean by quite a while. Most often I see couples with communication issues. I would say that good communication is the foundation of a good marriage. When we say something we need to be able to say it in a way that other people can understand. It may be that you have never worked on the issue. I don’t know.
However here are a few tips on communication:
Everyone has an opinion and everyone is entitled to share their opinion. The thing is that you are not entitled to have agreement on your opinion, it is just an opinion. Respect that part of communication.
No one can make you feel bad, it is really what you think that creates the way to feel a certain way. Make sure that you are attempting to be non-reactive when you are listening.
The Four Agreements book comes to mind: Be impeccable with your word. Do not take things personally (people do what they do because of them not you). Do not assume or mind read (ask questions if you do not understand). And do the best you can.
If you care for your partner, please find someone to help you with your communication. It helps to work on the same thing at the same time, so that you have the same information and can work on the same thing at the same time.
My encouragement is that you buy the “The Four Agreements” and read it together as that is a good start to doing some work. Tell your husband that you would like to work on your communication issues and not in a blaming way. Blame does not encourage agreement or good encouragement.
To submit problems, contact Juanita Sanchez, psychotherapist, by email at [email protected] or through High Plains Journal.