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Why Communication is Key to a Long-term Relationship

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The older I get, the less I understand relationships. My boyfriend grows more distant by the day. I can’t seem to break down the large emotional barrier that he’s worked so hard to construct.

And the more I push for him to open up, the more defensive he seems to get. I try expressing my unconditional concern for him ⎯ and our relationship ⎯ but he just doesn’t want to hear it.

Though I love him, and can see us making a wonderful life together, I just don’t know if I can bare the emotional turmoil any longer.

Maybe it’s time I begin reassessing my life and our relationship, and focus on what’s best for me.

I’d hate to think I threw away five years of my life on something so simple as communication. But the more I ponder the idea, the more I realize how important communication is in a relationship.

I deserve to be loved. I deserve to be appreciated. And most importantly, I deserve to be happy.

Communication is important in relationships as it allows couples to share aspirations and concerns, to support each other, and to organize their lives in order to make decisions.

Good communication refers to the way couples talk and listen to each other and about their body language.

“People in most cases just don’t know how to talk to each other,” said Bill Malone, a couple’s therapist in West Chester, OH. “Usually the couple has spent years fighting or even avoiding problems, but then the inevitable occurs ⎯ someone reaches the end of their rope.”

COMMUNICATING CLEARLY

No matter how well you know your partner, you’re not a mind reader. So, talking through your issues is crucial. Communicating clearly to one another will avoid misunderstandings that could cause hurt, anger, or confusion.

According to Betterhealth.gov, here are suggestions to keep in mind when communicating with your partner:

- Be clear about what you want to communicate.
- Be clear about your message so your partner accurately hears and understands what it means.

NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION

When people communicate, a lot is being said without speaking any words. Body posture, tone of voice, and facial expressions all convey a message to the other person.

If the feelings don’t fit the words, then the non-verbal part is often construed as the person’s ‘true’ feelings on the matter. Make sure to take note on whether or not the feelings being expressed match those of the words being spoken.

SEEKING HELP

If you and your partner find yourself in a verbal stalemate in your relationship, then the next step might be seeking a relationship counselor.

Counselors are trained to recognize patterns in a couple’s communication that are causing problems, according to WebMD. The counselor can then suggest a plan of action that will help the couple break the current patterns that are poisoning the stream of communication.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

As hard as it may be sometimes to find the words to match the emotions, communicating with your partner is a crucial element to a healthy relationship. Burying the problems deep inside ⎯ hoping that they’ll just resolve themselves over time ⎯ will only make matters worse down the road.

Find your voice.

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