Why is Communication So Hard?


Couple pictured wondering, "Why is communication so hard!?"

Often when people call for counseling and I ask them what is the matter, most of the time I hear, “We just can’t communicate.”

This is a catch all phrase that means we don’t understand each other and it is hard on both of us. I get this, especially since I have been working with couples for 20 plus years.

Feeling Folk Often Wind Up With Thinkers

I know that there is a person who feels very deeply about life and another person who thinks almost exclusively in their head. I have seen this in every couple I have ever counseled.

If you are a feeling person, then I understand how frustrating it is to want to be met by your person in a deep way, but this is foreign land to them and I bet they just wish that you would just speak in practical terms so they can understand you.

I can tell you there is nothing wrong with the way people are wired. And there is something very mysterious about head-thinkers getting together with body-feelers and vice versa.

Thinkers and Feelers Have Occasional Misunderstandings

And yet, that is the way it is. And there is often disappointment when one can’t explain to the other and the other can’t understand what their beloved is talking about. I have experienced this in my own relationship. I start talking about feelings and emotions and my husband can’t follow. He is very smart, but that doesn’t connect him to what’s inside of his body.

But this is what I have learned. We are very different people. We are wired the way we are wired, and we love each other. I do not get mad at him for not understanding what I am saying, I just try and adjust it so he can follow me. And when I see a friend of ours and he asks me if I asked them for various types of information, I tell him I didn’t even think of those questions.

It is OK to be different. Please learn to accept your partner for who they are. They are not trying to piss you off because they think the way they think. And don’t forget to remember that they love you with all their heart, even though they aren’t able to tell you that.

Your Partner Knows and Loves You

I read a quote recently that says our longing to be known is much stronger than the longing to be loved. You see it is very, very human to want our special person to know and understand us. We need this as people. So, when there is a gap, we wonder if we’ll ever be known.

The truth is your partner knows you. They know what they see, feel, and absorb. They may not be able to tell you in the way that you want them to, but that does not mean it isn’t there.

Have faith, faith that you picked well. Have faith in your relationship that it is right, and if you need something that you aren’t getting, well ask them for it. You can even say, “Do you love me with all your heart today?”

And I bet their answer will be a resounding, “YES!”


Ready to Improve Communication with Your Partner?

Read a Book About How to Communicate with Your Spouse

'Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship.' A book by Linda Nusbaum.

Can’t make it on Monday? Learn more about how to communicate with your spouse by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It has conflict resolution strategies, tips for feeling heard, and suggestions on how to express your love and celebrate your relationship. Give it a read.

Get Couples Counseling

Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.

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