Good communication is essential for the garden of any relationship to truly bloom. And it is where SO many couples get stuck.
When we’re stuck here, everything our partner says seems to trigger us. We feel misunderstood, blamed, unheard, made wrong and so on. We try over and over again to express ourselves and they just don’t seem to hear us.
Or we can’t really get what it is our partner is trying to express to us. And we end up going around and around in circles, having the same ‘argument’ again and again, it’s almost like you could write each others scripts of what you will each say as you have been there so many times!
This place is deeply painful because our partner is the one person, more than any other, that we want to be understood by and cared for. The breakdown in communication then acts like bindweed in the garden and seems to then wrap itself around every good plant growing there. It spirals around everything.
Styles of miscommunication
There is a myriad of habitual dynamics and styles of how the communication in a relationship can break down.
Maybe one of you tends to shut down and simply stops talking
Maybe you tend to shout at each other, or one of you does and the other collapses into sobs of helplessness.
Maybe you get into who is right, who is wrong getting bogged down with facts and counter facts. Blaming each other.
Whatever your styles the one thing that we can all agree on is that it’s really painful – we either numb out to cope or feel like we are drowning in the feelings.
The sacred wound
From what part of us do we hear what our partner says?
Do we hear it from the place in us that feels secure in ourselves, the place that trusts others and can relax and trust intimacy?
Or do we hear it through the distorted lens? Perhaps from the place of a young place in us that has been wounded and hurt?
If we are hearing our partner from a wounded place, we will ‘translate’ what the other is saying in a way that proves our own beliefs about ourselves, for example that there is something fundamentally wrong with us, or that we are not important, or lovable.