Don't Ignore These Signs That You And Your Partner Have Poor Communication

Fighting with your partner is bound to happen during the course of your relationship — when you commit to someone, you get the bad with the good; you don't get to choose just one. And one of the main causes of arguments and separations in relationships is communication, according to Marcia Mediation Group. For instance, you may want to discuss something that's been upsetting you, but your partner never wants to talk about it. On the other hand, maybe they have a grievance they'd like to discuss, but you're the one turning away.


In both scenarios, it's clear the communication between you and your partner is causing some problems. It's possible that you've never really given any thought to the specifics of the communication levels between you, but they're a crucial part of any healthy relationship. To prevent a messy breakup, be sure you and your partner both recognize the signs that you have poor communication before it comes between you. If you see any of these warning signs in your relationship, it's time for you and your partner to work together to improve your communication skills.

Getting defensive whenever there's an issue

If you or your partner immediately get defensive when a problem arises, there are poor communication skills at play. After all, not every issue is a personal attack. But if there are accusations thrown your way, you might even feel like your character is being insulted as well. When this happens, you're more likely to lash out and say things you don't mean instead of actually listening to the other person's concerns. You focus on their accusations instead of the problem at hand, which only makes things worse.


This is where "I" statements come in handy. When discussing an issue you have with your partner, no matter how big or small, it's crucial you start your sentences with an "I" statement such as, "I feel ..." or "I believe ..." rather than statements like "You always ..." or "You are doing ..." By approaching a problem this way, your partner is more likely to listen instead of feeling like they're being attacked and going on the defensive.

Assuming you and your partner are on the same page

Even though you might consider your partner your other half, you are still two different people with two different thought processes. It's highly unlikely you'll be on the same page about everything, which is important to keep in mind — especially if that leads to an argument. You can't expect them to agree with every idea you have or every decision you make just because you're partners.


For example, your partner might want to reach out for external support about a relationship issue, but you prefer to keep things private. If you never communicated this desire and just assume they are equally private about your relationship, you might find your close friends suddenly know something about you that you wish they didn't. Your partner didn't spill your secrets maliciously and may not understand why it upset you so much when you confront them about it; when they don't express remorse right away, it makes you even angrier.

The whole incident might have been avoided if you hadn't assumed they would keep things quiet and they hadn't assumed you'd be fine with reaching out for support from friends. Moving forward, it's a good idea to explain and discuss important expectations ahead of time rather than assuming you both will always have the same views. You won't — and as two different people, that's okay, provided you don't let those differences become unpleasant surprises.


Assuming things will get worse by talking about them

In some situations, people assume if they talk about an issue, it might make things a lot worse — but it's really the opposite. Yes, you might not want to delve deeper into an upsetting problem because you're afraid you'll say something you don't mean, but trying to ignore it will only exacerbate the problem. Opening up that can of worms needs to be done; the key is to communicate in a healthy way.


Before you speak with your partner, take a moment to figure out what you're going to say and consider how your partner might react. Practicing your response prevents you from spitting out whatever comes to mind, and you can omit things that may not be relevant to the conversation to focus on the things that are. Remember, the goal of the conversation is to come to a resolution, so it's crucial you know what you want to get out of the discussion. Always have an end goal in mind — otherwise, you might be talking in circles and never fix the problem.

Giving them the silent treatment

Some people prefer to work things out immediately after an argument or problem arises, but you may not be ready to discuss the issue right away — and that's okay. Just make sure you communicate that to your partner. In your head, you might think turning a cold shoulder to your partner won't do any harm to your relationship, but that's where you're wrong. According to Hey Sigmund, giving someone the silent treatment can cause them to feel hurt or ignored, which only exacerbates the issue. It's essentially like wounding them internally; you're creating scars no one can see.


To ensure they don't feel like they're being ignored, calmly explain to your partner you need some time to yourself to collect your thoughts. Try something along the lines of, "I want to talk about this, but I'm not in a good head space at the moment. If you can give me some time to think things through, I'd really appreciate it." This way, they won't feel like you're shutting them out, and you don't have to worry about saying things you don't mean. 

Hopefully, your partner is receptive to this and gives you the time you need. Once they know this is how you prefer to handle arguments, you'll both have a better understanding of how to navigate future fights.

Expecting your partner know what you're thinking

Your partner isn't a mind-reader; they can't guess what you're thinking unless you say it out loud. You might get upset because you expected them to clear their weekend for more time with you — but did you communicate that to them? You had expectations they didn't meet, but not because they didn't want to; you just never mentioned it. With proper communication skills, you can avoid problems like this in the future. Even if you think your partner knows what you want, it's always good to speak your needs out loud.


The same goes in reverse — they're also responsible for communicating their wants and needs to you. Every relationship is a give-and-take, which means there needs to be communication on both ends, not just yours. If either of you are afraid to speak your mind, have a meeting to discuss what each of you could be doing better in the relationship. This is a great way to bring up any issues without starting a fight.

Bringing up past fights

Have you ever been in an argument where your last line of defense is to bring up past arguments that have nothing to do with your current situation? Maybe your partner has done the same at some point during the relationship. In any case, this does nothing but reopen old wounds, which diverts the conversation to something that's already been dealt with — what started as a fight about the issue at hand has turned into one about something that happened months ago. You aren't solving anything; you're just making new problems by revisiting old ones.


Instead, try to stay on track during an argument. Make sure everything you're saying is actually relevant to the conversation you're having at the moment. Don't start grasping at straws when you feel like you're starting to lose the fight. There is no such thing as winning or losing an argument; the goal is to solve the problem, make up, and feel close to your partner again.

Arguing via text

Even if you're afraid of face-to-face communication, you need to put down the phone and work things out in person. When you argue over text, you can't read the person's body language or their inflections. You may assume your partner was being passive-aggressive when they were actually being sincere. This is why it's so important you ditch the phones and sit down with them to work things out. You're less likely to misread what they're saying, which totally changes the game when you're having a sensitive conversation.


It might seem awkward or intimidating at first, but a relationship isn't always 100% comfortable; that's what growth is all about. As you practice working out your issues IRL, you'll eventually become more comfortable with it so that your first thought isn't to pick up the phone and send them a text. If you really need to express a concern and can't do it face to face, your next best bet is calling them. This way, you can at least hear each other's tone.