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Couples! 3 Common Communication Mistakes and Solutions


    Marriage is not easy. On the flip side, good communication in long-term relationships can be the best foreplay. While sometimes, we can think it's more healthy not to fight, argue or disagree--it's very normal and healthy! The key is how you disagree and overall how you communicate together. GetLusty for Couples staff writer Erin Wiley is here to talk about common communication fails and what to do about them. Today!

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    Words are powerful tools. In relationships, a lack of communication can be the root to many problems a couple will face. The ability to tell each other thoughts, feelings and wants is so important, but can be so hard! Overtime, routine and neglect of issues can lead to disengagement and a loss of understanding one another. So, what are the most common mistakes, but more importantly, how can we fix them?

    Communication is crucial as it allows us to share your aspirations and concerns, to support one another, to organize our lives and make decisions together. Effective communication can reduce stress and create a tighter bond.

    #1 Not telling your partner what's wrong

    According to The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Perfect Marriage, you shouldn't expect your partner to read your mind to have an amazing marriage. As well as you and your partner think you know each other, most people are not clairvoyants. You really can’t assume that your partner knows how you feel or what you want if you're pulling a subtle eyebrow raise. You don’t share the same feelings, worldview or thoughts. You might notice the laundry is piling or remember that the in-laws are coming into town and the fridge is empty, but your partner might not. A mean look and storming away might speak volumes, but it won’t say what you want to be fixed and how it can be prevented next time.

    Solution 

    When in doubt, say it out loud. Clearly explain what you would like do or what is upsetting and state what needs to be done. Make it black and white. Simple things are easier to remember. Having to explain things fully about something you think your partner “should” know about you isn't a sign that he or she doesn't love and care about you. It just means that your partner is a unique and separate person.

    #2 Guilt tripping

    “If you truly cared about my needs then you would not go watch the game at the bar with your friends this weekend” is an example of guilt slinging. Guilt slinging is manipulative, and a sure fire way to cause backlash. Changes that result from guilt are usually not long lasting because the changes come in response to the coercion and not an inward desire to make it better. Ultimately, guilt trips lead partners to feel resentful and unwanted. Jenna D. Barry is the author of A Wife’s Guide to In-laws: How to Gain Your Husband’s Loyalty Without Killing His Parents notes, “Healthy family relationships are based on love, mutual respect, freedom and honesty—not guilt, obligation and entitlement.”

    Solution 

    This is far more common than you might think. For example, your spouse has gotten on you about spending too much money on something deemed to be frivolous. Perhaps it was a frivolous purchase. If you respond with a remark that dives into the past, bringing up some mistake your spouse made, this is not productive. You are really just putting a guilt trip on your partner in order to deter from the mistake you made. Guilt is a double-edges sword. Guilt is unhealthy because you are blaming someone else for something you may be personally unsatisfied with about yourself. Accepting each others’ faults and discussing what one another can do to work on it will eliminate the guilt you feel or the guilt you want your partner to feel.

    #3 Not listening

    Remember that a large part of communication is listening. It is so easy to get in the habit multi-tasking, be off-putting, or want to jump to a conclusion. When couples do not listen to one another it results in a misunderstanding, frustration and anger.

    Solution 

    When you and your partner are talking don't be on pinterest, looking at your watch, picking at your cuticles, etc. Graham Bodie, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at The Louisiana State University states, “listening is the quintessential positive interpersonal communication behavior as it connotes an appreciation of and an interest in the other… Good listeners can enhance others’ ability to cope with and remember events; they are more liked, rated as more attractive, and garner more trust."

    People can show that they're listening or that they're distracted through non-verbal communication. Nod so the other person knows you're getting the message and rephrase if necessary. Make eye contact. Repeat what they have said double checking that there is a mutual understanding. Listening is hard work, but if it is a way to eliminate a future argument and increase an interest in one another, isn’t it worth it?

    Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Perfect Marriage © 2001 by Hilary Rich and Helaina Laks Kravitz, M.D. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

    Speaking of having better communication skills, have you 'Liked' GetLusty on Facebook yet? We're giving away a Tiani 2 to a lucky 'Liker'. We're also on Pinterest and Tumblr, as well as Twitter @getlusty. What?! You're on those platforms and aren't in tune with our awesome content? Have amazing sex. Get lusty.

    This is a post by Erin Wiley. As a full-time flight attendant, Erin has finally figured out how great she really is at communicating to people how it is completely against the FAA it is for her to join the mile high club. So she's decided to utilize her communication skills and ability to think about sexual communication at high altitudes. Luckily, she's using her English and Journalism degrees from the University of Minnesota to good use for GetLusty! In case of a loss of cabin pressure, you probably should have watched her demonstration because she is way too busy thinking about ways to talk dirtier in bed. Questions, comments or concerns? Get in touch at reply@getlusty.com.
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