10 Barriers to Healthy Communication in Marriage

1. Avoiding conflict - There is nothing wrong with conflictÖ. when itís done in a healthy way! It can even bring you closer and create more emotional (and physical) intimacy. Most couples are afraid of conflict. Itís normal to have conflict when you have two people, brought up two different ways, living under one roof, and many times raising multiple kids.

2. Mind reading - This one is dangerous- this is when you believe you know what your partner is thinking or feeling and you base your reaction on your belief. Itís dangerous because you are assuming that you are right and may respond or react based on your belief and not what they are actually thinking or feeling.


3. Sandbagging - Whatís sandbagging? Itís piling on one complaint after another, causing your partner to feel overwhelmed and frustrated. Itís important to stick to one issue or concern at a time. Bringing up too much at once can make the conversation get too heated and your partner may feel they canít see the forest for the trees so to speak.


4. Black and White Thinking - This is when someone thinks about things in extremes. They are not willing to see or think about the gray. When partners canít see the gray, it can cause negative thinking and lack of compromise. Itís important to not get stuck in this type of thinking.


5. Not really listening because you are focusing on what you are going to say next If you are formulating your answer or thinking ahead of what/how you are going to say something, you are not truly engaged in what your partner is trying to tell you.


6. Interrupting - This is the same thing- if you are interrupting, then you were thinking about what you were going to say and not listening. Besides that, itís rude!


7. Thinking everything must be resolved and you canít agree to disagree Many times when problems canít be resolved, couples need to just listen, validate or empathize with their partnerís feelings, and agree to disagree or agree to come back to it another time.


8. Feeling you always have to be right and prove your point Itís okay to admit you are wrong sometimes, even admit your partner be right for a change, and even keep it to yourself if you are right. No one enjoys talking to a know-it-all.


9. Leaving abruptly either physically or emotionally. Itís true- sometimes things get heated and you need a timeout. It is okay to do this as long as you designate to your partner why you are leaving, when you will be back, and that you are willing to continue talking when you return and cool off. It is not okay to just leave the house and slam the door behind you because you are mad. Or to just cut off the conversation because you are ďdoneĒ and donít want to talk anymore, and then going a week without talking to your spouse.


10. Bringing up old issues as weapons - If something has been worked thru in the past, it is hurtful to keep throwing it up in your partners face. Itís not helpful. If you still have an issue with something from the past, it is not going to be productive to bring it up when you are in conflict over something else.