If you want a relationship to last long-term, it’s pretty much mandatory that you and your partner figure out a healthy communication style. Everyone has a different way of communicating, so it’s not always easy to get on the same page — but lack of communication in a relationship can take a serious toll. How couples talk to each other during arguments can make or break a relationship, and if you and your partner get stuck in a cycle of poor communication, it’s difficult for the partnership to survive when the going (inevitably) gets tough.
“If you don’t feel listened to, respected for your thoughts/opinions, even when you disagree, and comfortable speaking your mind — these are signs your relationship will not work out,” Toni Coleman, LCSW, CMC, psychotherapist, relationship coach, and divorce mediator, tells Bustle. “If your relationship communication is characterized by misunderstandings driven by difficulty expressing feelings and hearing what a partner has to say — these can be worked on if both people are truly motivated to make these better.”
What Does Healthy Communication Look Like?
Every couple will have their own communication style based on what works best for them, but even though communication might look different from couple to couple, there are still certain basic tenants of good communication that all healthy couples share. “Healthy communication in a relationship includes equal expression of values, needs, wants, and desires,” Tamara Hill, licensed and nationally certified mental health therapist, tells Bustle. “It also includes honesty and boundaries. Without these things, relationships are likely to fold.”
Even if things seem easy-breezy in the beginning of the relationship, that doesn't mean bad communication habits can't pop up down the road, so it’s important to keep your eyes open to how your partner communicates during both good and bad times. “There is a strong possibility that once novelty and the romantic phase of the relationship wears off that the individual will fall back into their comfortable patterns of communication,” Hill says. “If that ‘comfortable pattern of communication’ is the silent treatment, passive-aggressive behaviors, ignoring you, minimizing things, projecting, or denying things, the possibility of this person getting better in their communication is slim.”
What Are Signs Of Poor Communication In A Relationship?
It’s always possible that you just need to have a serious conversation with your partner to get on the same page about how you communicate and resolve arguments. As long as both of you are willing to work on achieving healthy communication (as individuals and as a couple), there's no reason to assume your relationship is doomed. However, if there’s a lack of communication that either you or your partner is unwilling to work on, that’s when it becomes dicey for the future of your relationship. Here are ten communication habits that could be signs your relationship won't last long-term.
If you want your relationship to go the distance, both you and your partner have to be open-minded and willing to work on improving your communication, and the first step is acknowledging and trying to break any bad habits that prevent you from communicating in a healthy way. Once you and your partner are on the same page about how to communicate effectively, there's no relationship obstacle you won't be able to tackle together.
Toni Coleman, LCSW, CMC, psychotherapist, relationship coach, and divorce mediator
Tamara Hill, licensed and nationally certified mental health therapist