Post # 1
I think good communication is key to a great relationship… that said, I’m currently struggling with it and always have. I don’t expect DH to read my mind (most days) and feel like I’ve made strides in that department – but I know there is always room for improvement.
My current quandry is this:
What’s the difference between communicating and being heard vs your SO/DH/FI not responding to what he’s heard.
Or, how can you/do you know if what you are communicating is being heard?
Do you ask them to repeat what you have said?
Do you have some other method of ensuring whatever point you are trying to communicate is being heard?
My gauge has been if there is action toward getting the result of whatever I’m trying to communicate. But, I’m realizing that all I’m doing is trying to get my way 😉
I guess another marker of a great realationship is compromise – so it’s not my way or the high way but wanting to be heard, understood, and given some consideration for whatever issue I’m presenting.
That’s a lot to say: how do you find tune the communication skills in your relationship. What things have you done that have helped your communication with your SO, etc.
Post # 3
For my husband and myself communication has been one of our strong points from the beginning. We seem to intuitively understand where the other is coming from. I admit he’s the first person I’ve ever had this easy of a time communicating, most other men have been a challenge, to say the least. This has been a wonderful blessing as we both feel deeply understood and supported by the other.
I would say good communication starts with mutual respect and kindness. Realize how your tone of voice may be interpreted more strongly than your words. Give people time to process and respond.
If your DH is ignoring you and being unresponsive, that’s unacceptable. It’s rude, even. Discuss with him how it makes you feel and ask how he’d feel receiving the same treatment in return. Communication is a two-way street.
Post # 4
When you are talking to him, and you’ve made a point, ask him what he thinks about the point you made, or what he would do in that situation. That way, he’s not just mindlessly repeating what you’ve said, but providing his opinion on the subject matter and you both can gauge on your ideas mesh together. Always be respectful of his opinions and thoughts even if you don’t agree.
Also, when I talk with my SO, I make sure I don’t ramble for long periods of time. I talk for a few minutes, ask him what he thinks, I listen, & we go back and forth with this procedure. That way, I don’t talk him out of paying attention. I also stick with the facts as much as possible. Men are fixers, and while something may emotionally charge me, it may not him.
Talking to a man with emotions isn’t effective in my experience. They need the facts of an issue before they feel like they can go on to address it. I will sometimes use the phrases “I feel…blah blah blah” whenever it’s an topic that really upsets me, but in general I try to use phrases like, “This is what happened/is happening, this is why it is/isn’t a problem, here are solutions I think will work.”
That way, we are a team, and he’s hearing me without being drowned out/overwhelmed with emotional phrasings. Not that men aren’t capable of emotions, but they don’t solve problems that way.
That’s just my 2 cents. Hope it made sense. Good luck!
Post # 5
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
We just do. We get everything out on the table and we deal with it. I used to be one burying my head in the sand so I wouldn’t have to deal with miscommunication or disagreements. FH put his foot down and said we need to have the conversation immediately where we both say our peace about the issue, come up with a solution to deal with it, and move on. Not talking about it or ignoring the situation only makes things build up until they spill over on the relationship.
If you’re not sure whether he is listening, make sure he is engaged in the coversation first. Is he looking at you? Is he responding by joining the conversation or nodding along? If not, get his attention; turn off the t.v., pause the video game, etc…. (first make sure it’s a good time to talk because turning off the big game at a crucial moment is not going to help.)
If there is a specific point you want to make, say it in the most simplest of terms and repeat it at least once if not twice. Don’t make him repeat it, he’s not a child and you’re not his mom. Say what you mean and mean what you say, no head games or I thought he would figure it out eventually.
Reading Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus really helped me with fixing my communication style with men. Men communicate differently and I agree with the PP’s assessment that men are fixers. They want to talk about an issue, discuss potential solutions, and make a decision as quickly as possible. They don’t want a 15-20 conversation of endless dialogue with no resolution.
Post # 6
@Torrid: super helpful! I like asking him what he thinks about what I’ve said and/or what he would do in the situation. He is a post-processor and often feels put on the spot – but I like following up with that question. I’m a talker (if you haven’t guessed) so it’s easy for me to ramble on and work out the issue verbally – but I’m not always so sure if DH tracks with me and/or if I’ve lost him along the way. 🙂 I also really like the factual: “this is what’s happening” advice! That seems to very much speak to a male mind 🙂 It’s no nonsense and matter of fact.
@Sunfire: I totally agree about it starting with respect and kindness. It’s not that he doesn’t listen or ignores me… I’m just not 100% sure all the time he really understands where I’m coming from and/or I feel like we have the same conversation every couple of months (kind of like dejavu). Ok, not THAT bad – but that’s what came to mind. 🙂
Post # 7
This is weird, but it totally works, and I don’t know why….if the face to face discussions are just turning into emotional shut down time between the two of you, for whatever reason, sometimes hashing it out over the phone is a great alternative….Mr. 99 and I accidentally figured this out one night while he was driving home from a city that was about an hour and a half away, he called just to check in and then he asked what was wrong, because I sounded different..and I don’t know why, but it was easier for me to tell him what was really bothering me, and it was easier for him to hear it because we weren’t in the same room together….a lot of residual stuff that had been hanging onto the both of us got fixed before he even got home! And it’s not like I throw his cell at him and tell him to take a drive, when he’s being an ass, but if I’m heading back from somewhere far away, I find those conversations to be some of the more enlightening ones….
I think 99% of any good conversation is good listening, if you feel like you aren’t being heard, I would imagine your fella feels exactly the same way!
Post # 8
@beachbride1216: We just do. We get everything out on the table and we deal with it. I used to be one burying my head in the sand so I wouldn’t have to deal with miscommunication or disagreements.
This is how my FI and I used to be, but switched. I’m a talker. I like to talk out problems, even if one of us isn’t aware that there is one. He pushes things down and ignores them, because his ex would SCREAM at him and pick fights over everything. I was in a similar relationship, but with him it’s just easy to talk. I really had to stop expecting him to tell me everything. This led to two of the three fights that we’ve ever had, actually. I had to stress with him: “You HAVE to tell me what is going on. I don’t care if you think it’s stupid or inconsequential.”
We actually prefer to communicate about tougher things via IM. Sounds weird, but that’s what works for us. We chat from different rooms, and it’s just easy to bring up stuff and talk it out via typing. We’re both really emotional, though, so that’s probably part of it. He tends to shut down easily (though he’s getting better), so it’s an easier way to communicate sometimes.
Post # 9
I think how you communicate depends on the couple.
I know some couples like to hash it out immediately and right away. The DH and I are not like that. DH is very quick tempered; and, he is prone to saying things he doesn’t mean in the heat of anger. And, I am quick to apologize and try to fix something even if it isn’t entirely my fault. So, we have come to the conclusion that if we have to walk away and come back to the argument that is ok. However, we can not let the fight fester for more than 24 hours.
@vorpalette: We do the IM/texting thing, too. It is easier to type something and erase it, than it is to say something and take it back.