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Many couples tell me that they cannot communicate anymore. Often they indicate that they try to talk but they seem to end up arguing instead of solving their problems. Have you ever wondered why this occurs? I believe that this occurs because we either become defensive or we avoid talking about the problem because we know the outcome anyway. When couples ask me how to solve this problem I begin by asking them if they want to break this pattern. Most people say of course. Then I make the following suggestions. First, when you are discussing a problem take time to evaluate what you want to communicate before you respond. It is important to tell your spouse your real feelings, rather than what you think they want to hear or using a statement that is hurtful to them. Second, in your communication try communicating to your spouse that you care for them regardless of what the problem is that you are trying to solve. It is important for your spouse to know that you care for them. I have found that this is one of the valuable ways to solve problems. In summary, many couples cannot communicate because they aren't honest in what they want to say and second they don't let their spouse know that they really care for them.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|