Photo by Alena Darmel

Lack of communication in a relationship is a common problem that most couples struggle with to some degree.

Being able to communicate effectively with your partner is a skill most of us are not really familiar with.

You have to know HOW to listen to make somebody feel heard.

The same is true about talking.

You have to know how to express your needs and preferences so that you CAN get your point across.

If you feel like there is a lack of communication in your relationship, chances are either your partner or you lack those skills or struggle with them.

That’s perfectly normal!

Everybody struggles with this to some degree.

The real problem emerges when you haven’t been communicating with each other for a longer period of time.

Lack of communication in a relationship can become a vicious cycle.

The less you talk the more unspoken grudges will build…

All these unresolved issues create a barrier between you that makes it even harder for you to communicate with your partner.

When this happens more serious problems tend to follow suit.

In this post I will explain why communication is so important in a relationship.

And what happens when it’s lacking, including how to start fixing it so that you can turn things around.

What Is Normal Communication in a Relationship

Before discussing lack of communication in a relationship I want to first briefly outline what you should be aiming towards here.

A lot of us have a tendency to strive towards perfection.

As powerful of a motivator it can be, it’s also important to stay realistic and make room for your own and your partner’s limitations.

Normal communication in a relationship doesn’t need to be perfect.

All couples fight from time to time.

Nobody is a perfect listener. It’s normal to get triggered or defensive when you’re discussing feelings.

It’s also normal to struggle with speaking about certain topics or formulating things in a messy, all over the show kind of way.

Normal communication in a relationship is when you spend more time talking and getting along than you do holding grudges or fighting.

That your skills and efforts are good enough for both of you to stay connected and you’re both able to bring up and discuss important issues when they arise.

What Does Lack of Communication Mean in a Relationship?

Now that you know what a normal amount of communicating is, you can better understand its polar opposite.

Lack of communication in a relationship means that you cannot get through to the other.

That you have no means of speaking about important issues and you don’t know where your partner is really at.

It’s a difficult situation to be in that can go on for months or even years.

Lack of communication in a relationship is often accompanied by emotional distance and mistrust.

In some cases, it results in an increased amount of fighting.

Couples who struggle with communicating might not be able to talk without arguing.

More often than not, this problem remains hidden though.

It can be hard to notice something that is lacking.

In many cases couples stop communicating GRADUALLY.

So it’s a slow but steady process of having a harder and harder time being open and honest with one another.

Or it’s just one person who starts keeping things to themselves and consequently is holding lots of silent grudges.

They often let things go on like this for a while, until they can no longer keep it all in.

But even when they reach a breaking point, rather than communicate, they might ask for a relationship break or even say they want to leave.

How Does Lack of Communication Affect Relationships?

Lack of communication affects relationships in lots of negative ways.

It makes couples grow distant and emotionally disconnected from one another.

When you can’t tell where your partner is truly at, it’s also impossible to trust them.

And relationships can’t really function without trust.

Lack of communication also leads to an increased amount of misunderstandings, which in turn results in even more grudges, broken expectations and potentially fighting too often.

It makes couples slowly grow apart and fall out of love with one another.

A lot of our coaching clients who struggled with communicating in their relationship didn’t realise it, until it was too late.

They stopped talking to each other but it was such a gradual process, they simply got used to this new reality.

Months passed and they suddenly found themselves completely disconnected and on the verge of a divorce or a breakup!

This brings me to the next question, you guys so often ask about.

Can a Relationship Survive Lack of Communication?

Lack of communication has devastating effects on a relationship but people’s attachments are actually incredibly resilient.

We rarely want to truly let go of the one we once loved.

Even when somebody says they want to end things, it’s often their last desperate attempt to get you to chase them and finally see things their way.

This is why, yes, relationships CAN absolutely survive lack of communication, as long as you manage to fix it, at least to some degree.

But, if one of you, or both of you, continue refusing to be open and honest, you will inevitably grow apart and eventually lose each other for good.

It generally takes a very long time, until someone is ready to truly say enough is enough, it’s time to let go though.

How Do You Fix Lack of Communication in a Relationship?

Like I briefly mentioned in the introduction already, communicating effectively is a skill that you can practice and become good at.

But like with anything you have to start slow and not expect miracles to happen right away.

You can’t go from not taking and not trusting each other, to perfectly getting along in one day.

It’s going to be a gradual process and it will take time.

Fixing lack of communication requires you to learn or improve two things:

  1. Listening
  2. Speaking

Improving your ability to listen will help you make your partner feel heard. This is the ONLY way you can get them to trust you again and open up to you.

The second skill required for communication, speaking, is just as important as the first one.

Getting your point across is often incredibly hard.

It might take you repeating yourself over and over again, and insisting that your partner hears you out, for them to finally back down and listen.

It’s especially tricky when your partner is defensive or dismissive of what you’re trying to tell them.

Plus, maybe you’re just tired of begging for attention in your relationship, this is why you might struggle with even wanting to bring things up.

Fixing lack of communication happens slowly and gradually.

But, it’s important to keep at it.

Just like with any skill, you can get there in time if you put your mind and heart to it!

How to Communicate in a Relationship With a Man

A predominant majority of our readers are women. That’s why I want to include this point here. Men have their own particular quirks and limitations when it comes to communicating.

For example, they can be pretty dismissive towards emotions and judge you as overreacting or being unreasonable.

Some men also have the tendency to pull away or withdraw when something doesn’t suit them.

This is why, in order to communicate in a relationship with a man you have to be able to stand your ground and not let them diminish or dismiss your needs.

You also need to approach them in a way that will encourage them to open up to you and make more effort to come your way.

It’s actually a complex problem and there is a lot to it.

If you’re looking for a complete, step by step guide on how to communicate with a man, we’ve created an online program for women to help you out with this: Rebuild Your Relationship

In it, we’ll show you exactly what to say and do, to get through to him, get him to take you seriously and finally listen to you.

We also explain how to approach men the right way, so that you can encourage him to try harder and make more effort in your relationship.

Click here to Check out Rebuild Your Relationship

Thank you for reading! If you’re looking for more tips on how to communicate better with your partner, check out my other post:

How to Improve Communication in a Relationship

And in case you have any questions, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you!


Karolina Bartnik