Do you feel that you and your partner are growing apart? In some cases, difficulties in communicating and different communication styles can drive a wedge right through your relationship. Fortunately, you can learn skills and techniques to reclaim your relationship and grow together.
Some warning signs
Are you suppressing uncomfortable topics, feelings or thoughts because you are afraid of confrontation, or an angry response?
Have you felt judged or dismissed when you did try to broach an uncomfortable topic?
Have you told friends, yourself, or your partner that you are growing apart? If you suspect that you and your spouse are drifting apart just because you have trouble communicating, Dr. Mann may be able to help.
Men and women often communicate differently
Men often avoid being direct even about everyday issues. After promising, for example, to be home on time or to pay the utility bill – when a man is asked if he is indeed coming home on time, or paid the bill, he may sidestep and avoid the conversation entirely.
When a woman complains or gets emotional…
It’s not surprising that many women feel overloaded and overburdened from working in and out of the house. And, it’s not surprising that you might express this overload sometimes through complaining.
How does your partner react? Often, men don’t like to listen to their partners “complain” and will shut down. Do you tell your spouse that they are being “too emotional” or PMSing? A better, faster approach might be to provide just a bit of sympathy.
When a man gets upset…
Life can be tough, and modern life can be especially stressful. Men can be oriented to “fixing problems” and not being great listeners.
So, when your husband gets stressed, do you accuse your partner of being a bully? When your spouse focuses on solving a problem instead of listening to how you feel, do you get frustrated?
Differing communications styles can accelerate growing apart
When people in a relationship anticipate which communications avenues will cause stress, then they tend to avoid those issues. The next step is that only “safe” topics are discussed. As each partner has less freedom to speak and share freely, the partners start to drift apart.
As the strong connection with our partner weakens, the cycle builds. We suppress ourselves in our relationship even more, creating a bigger and bigger gap. The more we repress our relationship, the more that we feel lonely, angry, disappointed and just ignored.
As this gap grows, one or both of us may start seeking out other romantic partners, imagining a different relationship where we can be truly recognized.
Have you seen this in your own relationship? Have you gone from thinking “it will get better” to thinking “I’m not happy”?
Learn how to communicate your expectations and disappointments in a constructive way. Structured communication will help you feel safe sharing with your partner. Start to build intimacy. You can gain those skills and confidence and create a safe environment.
Get started today
Dr. Mann is here to help you on your journey of rebuilding the connection you and your partner once had. Call today or just fill out the contact form and press Send.