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gravity's avatar

Why is communication so hard in relationships?

Asked by gravity (3116points) September 20th, 2010

I have not had a problem communicating in a relationship in so long but this one has really done a number on me. My s/o totally clams up and gives the silent treatment whenever he doesn’t know how to respond or thinks he has hurt my feelings. It is so frustrating that I could just scream! He cannot deal with emotions at all and I do not understand how you can be 56 years old and not know how to talk about what you are feeling. Really?? What the hell am I to do? I am so sick of this.

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13 Answers

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Tell him how you feel – without getting angry. And then say if he doesn’t work on it, you may have to end the relationship.

Hawkeye's avatar

Guys don’t like to talk.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Some people don’t talk about their feelings. It’s just who they are. Instead of talking about their feelings, they may put their feelings into actions (such as his clamming up when something is wrong). Talk to him about how you feel and ask him if he can compromise. Maybe he can put in some effort to try to talk about things more often.

BarnacleBill's avatar

What’s your conversation style like? Perhaps you’re difficult for him to talk to about his feelings, or perhaps his experience in past relationships makes him not want to talk about how he feels. Lots of men are more actionable – “Just tell me what you want me to do, and I’ll let you know if I can do that or not.”

Ltryptophan's avatar

cabin fever

ducky_dnl's avatar

I agree with everyone else.. tell him how you feel. When I dated my ex I didn’t really talk all that much about my feelings, and I’m a girl. Some people are just a bit uncomfortable about talking about their emotions.

josie's avatar

Since human beings are not clairevoyant, communication is key to mutual understanding. Without good communication, a truly meaningful and mutually satisfying relationship is not possible. So if it is not happening, the prognosis is not good.

SuperMouse's avatar

Tell him how you feel, but try to be patient. It took my man and me a long time to negotiate these murky waters and it only just now feels like we are getting through them. We are both in our mid-40’s If you are both committed to working on the relationship and can slowly but surely learn new habits you can get through it.

He clammed up when we argued because he just wanted it to stop. He would clam up and I would feel hurt because he wasn’t willing to talk to me which made me hassle him more about talking to him which made him want to say even less. Needless to say it was a vicious cycle. It took me a long time to realize that he wasn’t refusing to talk because he didn’t love me, he was refusing to talk because he does love me and he didn’t want to say anything to make me feel worse. On the flip side it took him a while to understand out that his silence was hurting me.

@josie‘s point about the importance of communication is a good one, but I am here to tell you that even if you begin with a deficit in this area, if you are both willing to work it can be fixed. It is a huge challenge and takes lots and lots of patience, but it can be fixed.

GladysMensch's avatar

The silent treatment is a form of communication. It’s also a form of manipulation. He might be doing it because he knows it drives you crazy. On the other hand, he might be silent because full disclosure has burned him in the past. Nothing will get a guy to clam up quicker than someone using his words against him.

Vincent_Lloyd's avatar

In my opinion I think it’s good to talk about how you feel…Well…It’s kinda always a good thing to always communicate with your other. But uh try maybe not getting to frustrated or irritated or whatever with him…That probably makes him give you the silent treatment. But I’m just saying. But I hope things work out between you two. Good luck!

josie's avatar

The silent treatment is a form of communication.
This would have made George Orwell proud indeed!

iammia's avatar

You have my sympathy on this one….my s/o is exactly the same….i tell him how i am feeling and he clams up. I’ve tried the softly softly approach and the full on PMT rage at him and nothing works. I was at my wits end and was thinking of leaving him.
It got so bad that recently i gave him an ultimatum in our relationship….and IT WORKED!!

Some men seem to think that they do not need to make any effort as soon as they have your ass permanently in their beds. The thought of them losing their good thing was the swiftest kick up my other half’s posterior that he ever had.

Best of luck to you :)

SuperMouse's avatar

@iammia I am glad the ultimatum worked for you, but @gravity I gotta tell you if I decided to give my man an ultimatum it would have had the exact opposite impact! He would have closed his mouth and I would not have been able to pry it open with a crow bar! Not that I would have tried, but you get the idea.

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