In my last blog post, I addressed lonliness as a sign that you may be falling into a troubled relationship. Feeling lonely while in a relationship with someone signals that you have disconnected somehow and are struggling to find the spark that initially brought you together in the beginning. Today, I'm addressing another topic that could be a red flag in your relationship: silence.
Don't get me wrong, the comfortable silences where you know what the other person is feeling and thinking with just a glance is usually a positive indicator that you are well-connected with your partner. I'm talking about the awkward silences. The lack of communication. The one-word responses. The absence of connection. Those are the silences that can destroy your relationship.
I have worked with too many couples who have struggled with silence in their relationship. I often hear, "I wish he/she would just say something!" and "We don't really talk anymore." The good news I share with these couples is that this is just a pattern that has been created and is not necessarily impossible to reverse. Yes, it may be difficult because it can be challenging to break any bad habits and create healthy ones, but the payoff is worth it. This pattern of silence is just that: a bad habit that needs to be broken.
I want to provide you with some ideas to break the silence in your relationship and restore the communication you once had:
1) Set a time at least once a week to really talk with each other.
2) Take turns being the speaker and listener when you have conversations.
3) Truly listen to your partner when they speak and let them know you hear and understand them.
4) Have conversations facing each other, with undivided attention, and with eye contact.
5) Listen with the intent to understand, not to reply.
6) Don't talk over each other. Each of you needs the space to talk and be understood.
Please contact me through phone (720-381-2755) or email (tradewindstherapy at gmail dot com) if the silence in your relationship has become too pervasive and you want to communicate more effectively. I'll help you break this bad habit and create a healthy one in its place.