I have many links back to web sites that no longer exist and the content and reference point is lost to me and others reading my writing. I have decided to start including content in my posts, with links back to the original, so that doesn’t happen anymore.
I loved this article as it explains one side of a situation perfectly. I of course, have provided an other side, based on my own experiences and discussion with people in similar circumstances.
Relationship Requirement No 1: Communication – DR NICHOLAS JENNER
I sometimes read forums and websites concerning relationships and inevitably come across people who are asking advice and commenting on break-ups. While there are many ways a couple can break up, there seems to be many instances when one of the couple just leave suddenly without warning and breaking all communication with their partner afterwards. As you can imagine, this leaves the “left” partner with more questions than answers and can lead to a long, drawn-out process. It is hard to believe that someone would leave suddenly (if no abuse was present) without something going on in their mind for a time before. They probably have just not communicated it. It is my firm belief that lack of communication between partners is just as much a relationship killer as infidelity and the like. The reasons for lack of communication skills can often be traced back to childhood and the way communication was handled in the family setting. If you had parents who never allowed the children an opinion or didn’t allow communication, it is hard to see this as an effective form of interaction. Even worse, if parents were the “do as I say and not as I do” type, the children would see no point in trying to communicate and would internalize their issues. In adulthood, they would believe that communication was “pointless” or even “dangerous” and might avoid telling partners how they really feel. However, without an effective communication strategy, the relationship could be doomed from the start.
Communication is something we all know is necessary to keep any relationship strong and loving, and although we are aware of the importance of this, many people in the heat of the moment still seem to be clueless about what exactly good communication really is. Being open to better communication and avoiding the “who is going to win” scenario keeps a relationship healthy and once a couple start becoming more familiar with their communicating styles, they are better able to work as a team in making the best of the relationship.
The first step in achieving better communication that will really work, is to take a look at yourself first.
People always tend to turn to their partner when things are not running so smoothly in their relationship. They automatically start pointing out what their partner is doing or not doing, as well as how their partner is not listening to them. This may all be true depending on particular situations, but it is important that you take the responsibility in reviewing actions and communication from you first, before anything can be pointed out in your partner. Remember, it is very easy to see other people’s mistakes, but when it comes to looking at personal communication, it is much harder to accept criticism, even from yourself because no one wants to be wrong. This is where there is a need to get real about things. Communication is not about who is right or wrong, but instead about helping each other see things from each other’s perspective, so that both can be on the same page and avoid any misunderstanding that will cause unneeded arguments.
Get winning out of your mind.
So many couples claim to have tried communication, but it does not seem to work. If this is the case, the best thing would be to slow down, calm down and take a few steps back. Perhaps communication is not working for the relationship, but what is the method of communication being used? Communication itself cannot be the problem or the ineffective ingredient, because communication is the main key to a healthy relationship, so it must be the way the method is being used. When couples talk to each other, do one or both of talk to win the conversation, or to actually reach a level of understanding of each other’s needs and wants? Believe it or not, it is very common for people to focus on being right and trying to convince their partner to see things their way, instead of just sharing what they think and feel so their partner can understand what they mean and what they need. Communicating using your own autobiography is destined to fail.
Listening is so important…
… if a couple truly wish to accomplish good communication that will improve a relationship. Is active listening happening or are one or both sides planning the next move? Listening may sound like an easy enough thing to do, but many confuse it with hearing. Hearing what your partner is saying versus listening to them are indeed very different. Listening involves true dedication and full attention to the words your partner is serving up to you, as well as the tone of voice and expressions that go along with those words. Listening means that interest is there to learn more about what the speaker is making an effort to say and making the emotional connection needed in order to achieve relationship goals together. Keep in mind that when in a relationship, all communication between partners has to be open, honest, non-judgmental and patient, if success is to be had in maintaining a happy and healthy relationship.
Communication is not so complicated…
….once understanding is found concerning the correct way to communicate, and of course, what methods of communication work for the relationship best. Effective communication cannot happen on its own or with the efforts of only one person. Both partners have to be open and willing to work as a team on improving communication, so that both can enhance relationship skills and build a relationship where both have an understanding of who each are as individuals and what both need and want.
Relationship require reciprocation – Rougedmount
When you addressed the dissolution of a relationship when a person feels they have been blind sided by their partner leaving without warning, quite often I have found that it is not because they have not communicated their needs or even their intent to their partner, but it is their partner who has refused to listen to them or actually believe what it is they are hearing. So when the unhappy partner, who has spent years trying to communicate their needs, finally does decide to leave, it does seem to come as a complete surprise to the partner left behind. It’s because they chose to be willfully deaf and blind to the needs of their partner for years.
This dismissal of a partner’s need to communicate leads to resentment. It leads to years of trying to communicate, trying different paths and approaches to have their basic need to interact on an intimate basis with their partner, met. These efforts at communication can be met with tolerance or even the pretense of engagement, which is designed to appease the upset person. The partner who is ignoring the needs of the other, might attempt to make minute changes that may have been suggested and they will do so for a limited time, simply to ensure they can say ‘they tried’ before returning to their continued absence from the relationship.
This is a cycle of emotional abuse that is instigated by one partner trying to communicate their needs to the other and having those needs dismissed by someone who refuses to listen to them. The exact same conversation repeats itself month after month, year after year and always with the impression by the offended party that it is the very first time in recent history that they have been made aware of the concerns of their partner. They fail to address the history of neglect that their dismissal of their partners needs of communication have been built upon.
Eventually, knowing that the cycle of anger, communication, effort, dismissal will return, the partner who feels unheard, will stop trying. It might take the other person, months or years to realize that things have changed. They truly live in a world where they believe that because their basic needs are being met, that their partners needs are as well, simply because they no longer try and fight to save the marriage by communicating their needs to their partner. By this time, they are finding those needs met by another source: friends, Councillors or an affair partner.
By the time these people walk away from their partners, with no recent communication between them, their truth is that they haven’t been listened to, for years. They see no point in further talking to someone who refuses to communicate. It is easy for the offended party to try and blame the dissolution of the relationship on a partner who failed to communicate with them, as like with everything else in the marriage, they fail to be accountable for their part in the breakdown. When you dismiss someone constantly, they eventually search out others who will listen.
When you live with a person who refuses to communicate and listen to their partners concerns, the sooner that person is pushed into seeking out therapy, the better. They truly believe they have no issues and they find no fault with how they were raised. They live in a world of simplicity where if you ignore everything, then everything is fine. They will never seek out therapy on their own because they are content with focusing on their job, their garden, their kids, discussion about the house and the bills, their hobbies. They have no interest in the maintenance of a marital relationship as simply being married, should have been enough.
When one person suffers the painful experience of a partner walking away with seemingly no warning, the truth of the matter may be, they are the only one who believes they were unaware that their marriage had major communication issues. Their long road to recovery from being abandoned without warning, might be because they refused to listen or to hear what was being said to them. They chose to pretend all was fine in hopes that their partner would eventually stop bothering them with their needs. Chances are, even if it works for a little while, they are eventually going to decide they have had enough. They will make a conscious choice to stay and cheat or to simply walk away.