What Does it Mean to Struggle to Communicate?

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Couples counseling is known for its ability to help couples communicate. But many couples, even those that are struggling, avoid Long Island couples counseling because they feel as though they already know how to communicate, and that their real problems lie elsewhere.

But communication is not just about whether or not the two of you can talk. Communication runs so much deeper than that, and often couples – even those that do a good job holding conversations – struggle to communicate in ways that even they do not realize.

How to Know When You’re Struggling to Communicate

Often if you have a struggling relationship, it’s because you’re not communicating correctly. The following are examples of what it means to have trouble communicating:

  • You Can’t/Don’t Share Feelings
    This is the most well known type of trouble communicating, and it’s when you simply don’t feel like you can safely tell the person what’s on your mind, what your worries are, and more.
  • When You Assume Reasoning
    Couples in struggling relationships often believe that the things their partner says have ulterior motives, and they try to figure out what those motives are instead of treating them like a conversation.
  • You Fight in Your Mind
    If you daydream about arguments with your partner, and imagine what they are going to say or think about what you say (and it’s not good), then you’re having trouble communicating, because you are allowing how you feel about your partner to cloud your thoughts.
  • You Perform Defensive Listening
    Defensive listening is when you are listing to a conversation in order to figure out how you’re being attacked, or how your partner made a mistake that you can correct.
  • Power Through Volume
    You may also find that you don’t necessarily try to speak clearer. Instead, you try to speak louder. Couples that are having problems communicating often try to win arguments through volume, not through the words.


These are not the only communication problems possible, either. Another is body language. Rolling your eyes, for example, is a form of communication that hurts the relationship. Silent treatment is also a form of negative communication. Some couples also try to find the most hurtful thing they can say in an argument.

These are all examples of problems communicating, and they’re the reason that Long Island couples counseling can be beneficial – because it provides you with an opportunity to learn better communication strategies and to have an unbiased party available to listen for problems and provide guidance along the way.