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Communication Problems

Clear communication and honesty is essential in any good relationship. Failure to communicate, leads to all manner of problems.

My partner doesn't listen to me...
Try to express yourself in a calm and clear manner. Try not to make demands, but instead explain how you feel about not being heard... "It upsets me when this happens, I feel ignored, I feel like I don't matter, I feel like my opinion isn't respected...'

Remember when you are tired or busy it is hard to truly listen to what is being said to you; so be sure that you talk at a time which is a 'good' time to talk.

Don't bombard them as soon as they walk in the door, or last thing at night. If they are busy, wait or ask them to let you know when they are done.

My partner doesn't talk to me..
Maybe they are finding it hard to express themselves. It depends on how long this issue has been going on for, we get ourselves into ruts of life, which actually leave no room for communication.

Try to remove yourself from the usual household spots, go out for dinner or to the pub and start a discussion. Leave them time to talk, ask questions without placing demands on them. Ask them how they feel about something. Try not to barge in on ground which you know will make them feel defensive, but take a placid gentle approach, which will benefit the surroundings you are in.

Talking in a public place means people can't storm off, and will act slightly more calmer. But do be careful with the words you use. And if it feels like you are hitting a brick wall, don't push any further. Simply say 'Ok, but this is how I feel. Can we talk later'.

Letter writing

Writing down your feelings truly does help you to find some clarity in situations.

A good step at approaching your communication problems is to write down what you want to receive and what you want to give. What your problem is, and why you feel it is a problem.

Then, without dishing out any blame or demands, write a letter to your partner, either by hand or on the computer. Do not email it to them, hand it to them and then give them room to read it, go out, leave the house. Do not be there whilst they read it.

Explain to them why you feel the way that you do and what you would like to happen, why it is important to you. Allow the focus of the letter to be about you, and not about things you want from them.

If all else fails

If you are still having problems communicating with your partner, it may be worth visiting a trained counsellor to help you, either alone or with your partner.

You are not alone, you are not the first to have experienced this and you won't be the last either, but there are many experienced people around who can help you get to the root of the problems which you face.

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