Relationship troubles often leave a couple floundering for ways to work through the inevitable mis-communication that results once troubles begin. Sometimes it is obvious to both partners what the problems are – an event may have happened which becomes the reason for the tension; other times a pattern has developed which triggers responses in either or both partners, resulting in conflict.
When communication is at an all time low, where do you start? Firstly, become clear in your own mind what your feelings and thoughts are about the situation. What has happened that has caused you or your partner to react negatively? Examine what you think your part is in causing or exacerbating the issue. Approach your partner with a request to find way to tackle the problem – at this stage, avoid blaming or getting into the problem. Agreement about how you will tackle the issue is helpful in ?taking the heat’ out of a potential impasse. Blaming or criticism always results in defensiveness; getting agreement about wanting to resolve the problem, together with ways to approach it, are constructive and reinforce the commitment both of you need to have to examine the inevitable challenges before you.