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Relationship Protocol: Do You Effectively Communicate Together?

One of the hardest, but most important parts of a relationship is learning how to communicate effectively when the going gets tough. It’s easy to talk when it’s all sunshine and rainbows, but communicating your feelings to someone else when you’re not even sure what you’re feeling can seem impossible. Ideally, once you're settled into a relationship, you’ve figured out the best way to talk to one another, but the truth is, even people who’ve been happily married for decades can be terrible at effective communication. So how does your own relationship fair the rough and volatile communication seas? What are you working on as an individual and as a couple to make your communication stronger?

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cherrypop cherrypop 8 years
I wouldn't say both my boyfriend and I are the best communicators, but one thing's for sure, we both try to listen and understand one another. We've never really had huge fights, but out of so many things, we just had to fight over politics while IM-ing. Both our intents weren't to hurt one another but somehow somewhere, we both went overboard. I got so mad I told him I was gonna sleep it off and then signed out (but was secretly wishing he'd call to apologize). He's not good at reading signs so he didn't call. I was starting to boil up inside, but I know texting him wasn't going to work, so I decided to pick up the courage to call him and thrash it out. I ended up crying (we both apologized to one another), but was glad I told him what I really felt inside. He can be real stubborn sometimes, and I'm the type that doesn't say whatever that's on my mind for the fear of hurting others, esp. toward my loved ones. That thrashing session made both of us realize that we had to work on our communication in order to make things work. Not entirely perfect, but it's getting there. :)
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
oh - my fiance and i communicate but a lot of the time it's in the form of screaming at each other. i know that it's not healthy but it's what we do. i always try to talk to him level headed and calmly but then it just escalates and we end up in a screaming fight. it's just lovely for us (NOT).
Poster-of-a-Girl Poster-of-a-Girl 8 years
I think me and my ex were horrible at this. The two things that always drove me up the wall were that he would pick a fight but wouldn't tell me what the REAL issue was (because it was always dumb insecure controlling crap), instead he would nitpick at everything else, and he always saved these for right before bed and was a BIG believer in not going to bed angry (read, several times a week i would not get to sleep till 4am and then go to class in the morning). Once I wised up a little bit, I was like okay, I'm going to bed and I hope you grow up by morning. Which eventually led to a total communication shut down...
Lele777 Lele777 8 years
My husband and I talk about everything. We don't yell and fight. We have the ocassional snippy comment. When something needs to be addressed we talk about it and come to a resolution but I am 32 and he is 36 so we are a bit older.
psterling psterling 8 years
My hubby and I really excel at this. Its one of the aspects of our relationship that I value the most.
cravinsugar cravinsugar 8 years
Communication is what makes my fiance and I's relationship so strong. We don't fight. not once in 6.5 years. And, if something major comes up (which, it is usually only on my end) we sit down and discuss. The hardest thing for me to discuss was actually a couple of months ago. he had started working at a new job which employs mostly females. one of them asked him if he wanted to get an apartment with her. he called and asked me what I thought (we weren't engaged at the time). I immediately started crying and I wasn't sure why, and it upset me immensely. For about a week, I was completely out of sorts trying to figure out what was going through my head. At first he thought I was just worried he would be like my ex boyfriend (a skeezy cheater) but it wasn't that...on one level i was upset because yes, i was afraid something could happen (but not that he would choose it--they were both new to the area so they would be hanging out constantly as they don't know anyone or the area) but also because i wanted to be the first girl to live with him. he listened through all of my explaining, ot trying to explain, and although he didn't quite get it, he had began to understand. He could have just gotten mad at me, but i listened to him when he wanted to say something, and he to me. and now I am going to have my happily ever after, and he admits that it wasn't that good of an idea anyway lol.
baybelle baybelle 8 years
My husband and I laid out the rules before we got married. Shouting - not ok, name calling - out of the question, giving it a bit of time - important, trust that there is no ulterior agenda to the fight - critical.We also decided that when we got to boiling point, we would NOT talk for a little while. I am totally ok with sleeping on arguments - they seem much less frustrating / hurtful / annoying / whatever the next day. I also try extra hard to be gentle with criticism and never sarcastic because I do have an acerbic tongue.We've done ok so far though, like fancifulfabi, I sometimes don't bring up things that bother me because I don't want to sound too whiny. We're really different so we had to have these points of agreement to make things work. :-)
baybelle baybelle 8 years
My husband and I laid out the rules before we got married. Shouting - not ok, name calling - out of the question, giving it a bit of time - important, trust that there is no ulterior agenda to the fight - critical. We also decided that when we got to boiling point, we would NOT talk for a little while. I am totally ok with sleeping on arguments - they seem much less frustrating / hurtful / annoying / whatever the next day. I also try extra hard to be gentle with criticism and never sarcastic because I do have an acerbic tongue. We've done ok so far though, like fancifulfabi, I sometimes don't bring up things that bother me because I don't want to sound too whiny. We're really different so we had to have these points of agreement to make things work. :-)
karlotta karlotta 8 years
Oh God, if I'd known 3 years ago how he and I were going to end up communicating, I think I would have run. It's a disaster. We pretty much agree on nothing, and for some reason it's very hard (for him - LOL) to respect our differences. I get kind of dramatic, and he gets really nasty, so things escalate fast, and they don't calm down for at least a whole entire day - so our fights are exhausting. After every argument, we end up sitting down and saying we need to make an effort, and we come up with ways to communicate better and stop the escalation - but it never works. It's a real love killer. But until we've either figured it out, or I've actually stopped loving him, I'm going to keep trying!
karlotta karlotta 8 years
Oh God, if I'd known 3 years ago how he and I were going to end up communicating, I think I would have run. It's a disaster. We pretty much agree on nothing, and for some reason it's very hard (for him - LOL) to respect our differences. I get kind of dramatic, and he gets really nasty, so things escalate fast, and they don't calm down for at least a whole entire day - so our fights are exhausting. After every argument, we end up sitting down and saying we need to make an effort, and we come up with ways to communicate better and stop the escalation - but it never works. It's a real love killer. But until we've either figured it out, or I've actually stopped loving him, I'm going to keep trying!
fancifulfabi fancifulfabi 8 years
One of the strongest things about my current relationship is our ability to communicate. He and I never fight because we don't let things escalate to that point, we always deal with problems before they become a big deal. I am so lucky because my boyfriend is super perceptive and can always tell when something's wrong. He always encourages me to share my feelings without interrupting or judging me, and he's not shy at all about opening up and being vulnerable himself. The one thing that I've noticed I need to work on personally is my initial reluctance to broach a topic that's been bothering me - sometimes I feel like bringing it up would be like making a big deal out of nothing (and I don't want to sound whiny) so I try and deal with it internally. It's actually so much better to talk about those things, but it helps when your significant other actually wants to bring them up (and assures you that he doesn't think you're being whiny).
fancifulfabi fancifulfabi 8 years
One of the strongest things about my current relationship is our ability to communicate. He and I never fight because we don't let things escalate to that point, we always deal with problems before they become a big deal. I am so lucky because my boyfriend is super perceptive and can always tell when something's wrong. He always encourages me to share my feelings without interrupting or judging me, and he's not shy at all about opening up and being vulnerable himself.The one thing that I've noticed I need to work on personally is my initial reluctance to broach a topic that's been bothering me - sometimes I feel like bringing it up would be like making a big deal out of nothing (and I don't want to sound whiny) so I try and deal with it internally. It's actually so much better to talk about those things, but it helps when your significant other actually wants to bring them up (and assures you that he doesn't think you're being whiny).
0fashionqueen 0fashionqueen 8 years
I think that communication is the worse part of a relationship. Sometimes I wish that I can fast forward through all that and just get to the great part and finding out if this is goning to be worth my time.
Sun_Sun Sun_Sun 8 years
although we've come a long way since a year ago, my husband and i are not 100% in the communication department. i think mostly because we're both sooooooo sensitive. when i want to talk to my husband about something i have to think and think and think how i can approach the topic in the "right" manner. its so much work that i sometimes dont even wanna talk about it at all. which in turn gets me a little grumpy which usually ends up being a conversation about whats bothering me anyway. ... :P i dunno..we're getting there
Mesayme Mesayme 8 years
When I am angry at a guy, it's better if he leaves me entirely alone for a few days. Or weeks. Maybe months. Depending on what made me angry. I'm the 'great communicator' and I like to have my emotions in check so I don't 'go off' - it's not pretty. If he cheated, if I speak to him in heaven it would surprise me. Otherwise, I relay my feelings very well, and the next guy I date will be too. Or I won't date him. I don't want him to 'agree' all the time, but I won't argue. Like glowingmoon said...agree to disagree...no grudges.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
We're pretty good at the communication department. Particularly, we're good at agreeing to disagree, and we still have respect and affection for each other. :)
CoMMember13630786602261 CoMMember13630786602261 8 years
Ive been in plenty of relationships and have never had very much luck in communication. Disagreements always ended in a screaming match. My current relationship is nothing like that..thank god. Thats not to say we dont have our disagreements, we just dont yell and scream at eachother when we dont see eye to eye. Hes said that with is ex they were always yelling and screaming at eachother too...so I dont know if our personalities just mesh really well together (we are both pretty quiet and laid back) or what, but it sure is nice! if something is bothering us...we just say something about it. And if its worth talking about, we'll talk about it and then let it go. Its a strange concept for me and I think it is for him too. haha for some reason or another we just work really well together.
CoMMember13630786602261 CoMMember13630786602261 8 years
Ive been in plenty of relationships and have never had very much luck in communication. Disagreements always ended in a screaming match. My current relationship is nothing like that..thank god. Thats not to say we dont have our disagreements, we just dont yell and scream at eachother when we dont see eye to eye. Hes said that with is ex they were always yelling and screaming at eachother too...so I dont know if our personalities just mesh really well together (we are both pretty quiet and laid back) or what, but it sure is nice! if something is bothering us...we just say something about it. And if its worth talking about, we'll talk about it and then let it go. Its a strange concept for me and I think it is for him too. haha for some reason or another we just work really well together.
bikinib7 bikinib7 8 years
I am still a little immature about communication, but I really am trying to improve. Since my man is so level headed and calm, he usually tends to reason with me when I'm angry. This would be amazing for any girl, but I tend to get even more frustrated when he isn't as upset as me. So, I say things that I end up regretting, simply just trying to hurt him or get a reaction. I feel terrible about it afterwards and I don't know why I keep doing it. I am pretty jealous and he isn't.. I sometimes just want him to get jealous.. uhh -- I'm trying and trying. I need to start walking away when I get mad and think about what I say before I say it, but it is just so difficult in the heat of the moment.
0fashionqueen 0fashionqueen 8 years
Right now I am not in a relationship, but when I was in this relationship with this guy we had our communication flaws and we would do is stop talking when we know we are about to argue. We would just take a little time out before we said anything that would hurt us and our relationship. So, we would give it awhile and then we would go back to our conversation. Then we would hear each other side then we would just make up and well you know what would happen in the end. We realized that we had some communication problems, but we worked them out. Especially him with me because that was my first ever relationship and he would work really hard with me to communicate with him. I had it bad. I would leave his place and not call him for hours because I thought he would be tired, but then he broke me from that. Then after a while of being together he told me a do not have to talk all the time.
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