My Husband/Wife Doesn’t Understand Me – Communication in Marriage
Do you sometimes feel like your husband or wife doesn’t “get” you? Like the one person who is supposed to know you inside out, has no idea who you are? Well, it turns out that feeling like your spouse doesn’t understand you is a common problem in communication in marriage.
Research psychologists have studied this relationship issue and found that “closeness communication bias” is the cause. Numerous studies show that the reason your spouse doesn’t understand you is because the two of you are too close!
When two people are close, they tend to assume that there’s lots of shared knowledge between them and they do not need to be direct. They assume that they can get away with being ambiguous because the other person “knows them” and “knows what they mean.”
It’s the reason why people put in a lot more effort when communicating with strangers than when communicating with their own spouses. There is no “shared knowledge” between them and the stranger so they know they need to be as clear as possible.
How to Fix a Marriage When You Don’t Understand Each Other
The key to eliminating miscommunication between you and your spouse is communicating with your spouse as if he or she is a stranger! For instance, you wouldn’t say “it’s getting hot in here” to a stranger in an attempt to get them to turn up the air conditioning. You would simply tell them to turn up the air condition a notch.
If you feel like you and your spouse are not on the same “wavelength” start learning how to be direct with your communication in marriage. For starters, don’t start your sentences with “I wish” hoping that your partner will get the hint and react accordingly. For instance, “I would like to move closer to our kids’ school” is clear and unambiguous while “I wish we lived closer to our kids’ school” is vague and easy to dismiss.
Keep in mind that being direct does not mean being offensive. Some conversations in marriage life require a bit of tact and should be handled accordingly. All in all when it comes to communication in marriage you’re better of saying what you mean unless you are dealing with a sensitive issue.