Communication is probably the most common issue that brings couples in to counseling. Some couples describe scenarios of fighting all the time and bickering about anything and everything, while others describe more detachment, loneliness, and disconnection. Communication for any couple can be difficult at times, even in strong relationships. So it's easy to get discouraged when your relationship is having communication issues. As discouragement and helplessness set in it can increase the negative sentiment in the relationship, which in turn leads to more fighting.
What to do
First of all, get help. Sometimes, a little support and guidance goes a long way, and occasionally couples see improvement in just a few sessions. It's easy to get stuck in a negative cycle and having professional input can help you see what you might be missing.
When communication issues become chronic and heated, it gets harder to think clearly, especially in the moment. If this is the case, in can be helpful to have a checklist of things to ask yourself about the argument and to stay in tune with yourself during the interaction. It may take a little practice to implement, but in time, it can help you process a situation more clearly. See the example below.
What not to do
It's one thing to be struggling to connect with your partner through communication, but as it becomes increasingly problematic, you'll definitely need some ground rules and boundaries that you're both willing to respect. This helps you and your partner fight fair. See the list below for some common ground rules and things that you should not do during an argument.