Many relationship problems often begin with poor communication. Many couples often feel that their partner should know what they are thinking and do not communicate their thoughts and wants to them. When couples start to experience poor communication in their relationship this is when relationship problems begin.
Relationship Problems & Listening Skills
When I tell couples that relationship problems begin with poor communication, most couples believe the answer is to improve their ability to speak. Actually the most effective way to prevent relationship problems is to improve listening skills. A couple could practice communication skills by repeating back what they just heard. This enables both couples to be on the same page. Couples often interrupt their partner and do not fully understand what their partner is saying. By repeating back to their partner what they thought they heard, the potential for misunderstanding or misinterpretation is greatly reduced. After someone has stated their opinion or position, the other person does not respond with their point. Instead they must repeat back to their partner, "What I am hearing you say is . . " and repeat back what they believe they heard their partner say to them. In this way the person who sent, and the person who received, the message can be sure they clearly understand their point of view.
Relationship Problems Can Affect Your Children
When you and your spouse have relationship problems your children also suffer. Many children fear that their parents will get a divorce if their parents fight. They also might fear that they have to choose sides. When you and your spouse are having difficulty in your relationship this would be a good time to reassure your children that they are loved and safe.
Take A Break From Your Relationship Problems
Relationship problems can lead to undue stress, anger and depression. If you and your partner are experiencing issues with poor communication or are generally having problems in your relationship it is important to take care of yourself. Take a break from the relationship problems and do something you enjoy. If you can set aside your argument, you and your partner would also benefit by doing something fun together. Continuous arguing without resolution can erode the feelings of closeness you once shared. Spending a little time together enjoying each other's company could enable you and your partner to regain some closeness. Hopefully when you resume your argument you and your partner will have a new perspective or appreciation that will help resolve the issue causing the relationships problems.
Lisa Dunning is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Specializing in Parent/Child Relationship issues and author of "Good Parents Bad Parenting: How To Parent Together When Your Parenting Styles Are Worlds Apart".
Lisa Dunning is a columnist for Las Vegas Family Magazine & Los Angeles Family Magazine and provides expert relationship and parenting advice for television and radio programs throughout the country.
To learn more about Lisa Dunning, her parenting book and other services, visit her website at http://www.LisaDunningMFT.com