Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Why Communication Breaks Down

One of the most crucial elements in any relationship is communication and when communication breaks down its imperative that you find out the cause of the breakdown so that you can try to fix the problem before it destroys the relationship. Communication can break down in a relationship for a variety of reasons including the birth of a baby, financial strains and distrust in the relationship. Regardless of the cause of the communication break down, it is vital to the health of the relationship to reopen the lines of communication.

While the birth of a couple’s first child may be a glorious and blessed event that they were both looking forward to, the arrival of a new baby may put strains on the relationship. Specifically there may be a communication break down after the baby’s birth. There are a number of reasons why communication breaks down after the birth of a baby. The addition of a new element into the relationship that previously included just the two partners can be stressful. While they don’t begrudge the attention that their partner lavishes on the new baby it does take an adjustment period to deal with the fact that they no longer have their partner’s undivided attention. As the couple learns to balance their time and ensure that both their partner and their child are receiving enough of their attention, there may be a period where the stress of making this adjustment causes a break down in communication. Also, typically the birth of a baby leads to a complete change of schedule as well as a stretch of sleep deprivation for the couple. While the couple may have previously been used to doing things as they please, they now realize that most activities must be planned around the baby’s schedule which is often unpredictable. This new scheduled coupled with the lack of sleep that typically plagues new parents can put a great deal of pressure on the relationship. To avoid this type of communication break down it is important for the couple to realize that they need to allot time to spend with the baby and also with each other. They also need to realize that the sleep deprivation is affecting them both and take turns getting up with the baby. These few simple steps can go a long way in reversing or preventing a communication break down. Although a new couple loves their new baby, the challenge of adapting to the baby’s schedule can be one reason why communication breaks down in a relationship and it is up to the couple to ensure that their relationship does not suffer a communication break down.

A concern over financial matters is another reason why communication breaks down. Struggling with financial issues can be extremely stressful for either one or both partners in a relationship. If one partner typically handles the finances in a relationship they may not wish to worry their partner so they may struggle internally with the financial concerns. While this is a noble gesture, it can also cause a communication break down in the relationship. The one partner may feel that this is a burden they need to bear on their own and therefore avoid talking about the subject with their partner. The problem with this is that in trying to avoid conversations regarding finances they may end up avoiding conversations all together. For example, a conversation about where to go out to dinner may be avoided because thinking about spending too much money on leisure activities causes too much anxiety on one of the partners. The partner who is unaware of the financial concerns may be offended by their partner’s avoidance of a simple conversation. One way to avoid or reverse having a communication break down over finances is to share the responsibility of the finances and openly discuss concerns over financial matters. Doing this will ensure that neither partner becomes consumed by financial matters and allows it to affect the relationship. Finances can induce enough stress to destroy even the most secure relationships by causing a communication break down but planning ahead and speaking openly about finances can help a couple to avoid a communication break down.
Distrust is another factor that can affect communication in a relationship. If one of the partners has a reason to be suspicious of the other it creates a distrust that directly affects communication. Also, if one person has a reason to feel guilty in a relationship, it may result in a break down in communication. This lack of trust or guilt often results in the couple not wanting to communicate either because they don’t want to have their suspicions confirmed or because they don’t want their secret to be revealed. These feelings of suspicion or guilt may lead to strained conversations that are purposefully not very meaningful. One way to avoid a break down in communication in this situation is to always be upfront with your partner. Whether it’s suspicion or guilt that is driving your fear of communication, being honest with your partner will alleviate your fears and reopen the lines of communication. You run the risk of having your suspicions confirmed but it’s better to be sure than to destroy your relationship while doubt remains.

Since open and honest communication is critical to a healthy relationship, it’s important to understand why communication breaks down and work to avoid a break down in communication. Having an understanding of the causes of communication break down will help you to either avoid or reverse this situation. Maintaining or restoring communication can ensure that a relationship endures and thrives.

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