The Importance of Communication in Saving Relationships

Communication is one of the most important parts of any relationship, especially long-term ones. Talking to your partner honestly ensures that intentions and feelings are outlined clearly. Open and honest communication can be one important method for saving your relationship when a problem presents itself – you do not always need to jump to a breakup when anything goes wrong. In fact, in most cases, you should talk it out first. Good communication is key.

Few things cannot be solved through open communication. Communicating with your partner can allow you to explain what you are feeling and what you need/want in the relationship, while also bringing you both closer together and making you feel more connected. To do this, however, we need to ensure that we are speaking honestly and openly and listening to our partner. It is important to note that this does take effort, practice, and hard work. It most likely will never be perfect all the time. Despite this, there are things you can do to make it easier.

First, be clear with your partner to ensure your message is received and understood clearly. When your partner is talking to you, make sure you understand what they are trying to say, and ask for clarity if you don't.

Set aside time to talk without interruption and distractions.

Think about what you want to say before you say it. Sometimes making a clear list of things you want to change can help, as you have a clear outline of what you want to say, which you can then explain to your partner by expanding on the topic. Make sure you're clear so that there is no confusion.

Tell your partner exactly how you are feeling about what has happened or is happening. Don't be afraid to use statements such as "I want" or "I need", as these are important to inform your partner of what it is that you require. While doing this, remember to be aware of your tone – there are two in the relationship, and it's important that neither feel like one person’s opinions and feelings are more important than the others.

Share positive attributes about your partner during these conversations. Tell them what you admire and appreciate about them and let them know how important they are to you, despite whatever is going on.

Listening to your partner is just as important as informing them. Listening to what they have to say will encourage them to speak openly and honestly with you, which is very important. Try to understand their feelings, needs and wants, and take responsibility for what you have done wrong. Of course, they should do the same. When listening, remember to not portray a defensive posture or tone of voice in response, they must get their feelings out to you, regardless of how you feel about what they are saying. Don't interrupt them.

Remember – you do not need to be right all the time, as much as you may feel you are. Negotiating is very important in relationships, and it is completely okay to try to move on from the issue or agree to disagree.

What you shouldn't do while addressing a problem with your partner:

Don't use the silent treatment. To be frank, it's childish and gets you nowhere.

Before anything, don't jump to conclusions – discuss what actually happened in clear and concise language, and make sure both of you know exactly what happened and why.

Don't assume that you know everything. If you're in a long-term relationship, you may feel like you know everything about your partner. But when you assume the way that they are feeling, you tend to react to the assumption you've already assigned them, rather than listening and reacting to how they really feel. 

If a problem arises - Talk it out.

Sit down and talk about what has gone wrong and what you would like from your partner, including any changes you feel need to happen. Allow your partner to do the same and commit to making these changes happen. In a lot of cases, it is better to have conversations like these early, to ensure that it doesn't become a situation where communication even isn't enough.

Communication can quite literally save a relationship if practised correctly. Talking is often so much better than resorting to a breakup straight away. Talk it out, and you may realize the relationship can be strengthened. At the end of the day, no matter how well you know your partner, you cannot read their mind. This is why communication is a major part of any successful relationship, to allow you both to openly share your feelings. It's okay to take time to be angry, or time to calm down if you need it before having this conversation. It's okay to not be right all the time. But always make sure that you are safe and happy. That is the most important thing.