Communication Malfunctions

Posted 03-22-2013 at 07:01 AM by Krista

I think most of us would agree that communication is the key to a successful relationship. I don’t think I ever realized how hard it could be before getting married. It’s strange, because once upon a time J and I communicated fine. Better than fine, actually. That’s part of the reason we fell in love. I could hear him out and offer kind, well intentioned advice. Now…

Well, you know how some conversations go. Everything comes out wrong. One of the advantages of marrying young is that you literally get to grow up with your spouse. One of the setbacks is that you change so much through the years, and we definitely have. With it our communication styles have changed, and as a result we often talk and talk but no one hears.

It’s almost comical, sometimes we will talk about a subject twice, and then we think we have reached an understanding. Then one of us will go and do the exact opposite of what our partner thought we’d agreed on. Ever hear the expression sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying? That pretty much covers how I feel about it.

It got me to wondering though…a lot of times I feel like, hey, we’ve been married eight years. We should have this thing down by now, right? So I was wondering if anyone else has this problem? Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated!

Filed Under: General

Comments

9 Responses to “Communication Malfunctions”

  1. mibarra on March 22nd, 2013 9:25 am


    Oh my goodness yes. All the time. If things are really logistically important I get my DH to repeat back what he thinks by asking him questions like “So, what was the plan for X again?” I just try to be as clear as possible, but it doesn’t always work, and you have to allow for some miscommunications no matter how good at communicating you and your partner are. :)

  2. Krista on March 22nd, 2013 9:39 pm


    Thanks for sharing this makes me feel so much better!

  3. Pixi6s on March 24th, 2013 4:05 pm


    We have conversations that we both come away thinking we came to different decisions. It does suck. If its an important topic at all, I usually try to recap the solution at the end, the solution I think we came to (or that I didn’t think one was reached at this time). Sometimes I will ask what conclusion he thinks we reached. I try and make sure its stated. it still falls down sometimes but it helps.

  4. Krista on March 24th, 2013 10:13 pm


    Thank you ladies for letting me know I am not alone!!

  5. colin-mylilguy on March 25th, 2013 12:29 pm


    Definitely not alone! I think I couldn’t have written your post! Sometimes we laugh (because we want to cry) and wonder how did things get so difficult?! For one thing, we saw a counselor and they helped us see that we were actually so familiar with each other that we thought we knew what the other was thinking and we were assuming a lot. We were also not listening well because of the same reasons… we thought we already knew. We have really been practicing listening, as in, the person who is talking has the floor until they literally say “Ok, I’m done.” Then the other person can talk or ask questions. This has really helped. We also make lists (well, mostly I do lol) and we share them with each other. Part of our problem was that we were (are) assuming that the other person knows our expectations. They don’t. But they assume they do and it just gets muddier from there. lol So, I make a list for what I want to accomplish during the week and put it in priority. Then, when DH sees that X didn’t get done, he understands because it wasn’t near the top of the list. And if he wants it near the top of the list, he needs to tell me in advance (beginning of the week when he first sees “the list”). That’s just one example, of course. There are so many ways to miscommunicate. lol AGH!! But we keep trying and I think the most important thing is not to assume the other person had ill intentions. Always expect the best intentions from the other person and assume they didn’t mean to do harm. Usually they didn’t. It was just a misunderstanding. ;) Glad we are not alone in this! lol

  6. colin-mylilguy on March 25th, 2013 12:30 pm


    *could* have written your post!! Not couldn’t. lol

  7. leilamarie79 on March 27th, 2013 11:52 am


    This is exactly what I was thinking last night after a “conversation” with my husband about my chosen form of BC (Mirena, since I EBF). I thought he was fine with it, but then I find out that the reason he hasn’t touched me in 4 months is that he doesn’t trust the “toothpick”. Grr. We also have differing opinions about money. He thinks that since I am staying home (temporarily), we are destitute, even though we have a huge nest egg. What is especially interesting is that he is very reluctant to consider CD, even though it will save a ton of money. Part of the problem, I think, is that we edit ourselves for fear of angering or hurting the other person. But that’s not the way to build a good marriage, is it?

  8. Havah on March 31st, 2013 6:39 pm


    :) *hug* Men and women communicate differently. We’re hardwired differently. My church even did a class on this, based on the book “Men are like Waffles, Women are like Spaghetti.” Despite the weird title, basically it boils down to the idea that men are highly compartmentalized: everything has it’s “box” and please don’t ask them to open more than three at a time (one is best). For us women, everything is connected to everything else. Tendrils touching tendrils. So we can’t help but try to communicate about a dozen things at once.

    It’s been said that miscommunication and other misunderstandings will often peak out as you approach every decade milestone. So rather than thinking you should have it down by now, you’re actually approaching a common stress-time for the average marriage. You’re going to have to get really deliberate and intentional with each other. Take up some active listening responses, i.e., “I am hearing you say _____. Is this what you mean?” It seems tedious at first, but it clears up a lot. ;)

  9. afkohler on April 4th, 2013 10:58 am


    My DH and I have been together for 6 years, married 4. Because humans are always changing, I don’t think we ever “arrive” at communicating perfectly. We are always in process, so our relationship is always in process, so we will have to work on learning how to communicate with each other for our whole lives. I’d love to say something easier, but isn’t a good marriage always going to take a lot of work?

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