top of page

Why Do I Struggle to Communicate With My Partner?

by Danielle Wright & Lisa K. Stephenson, Author

Blocked! According to Forbes, depressive symptoms grew from a base of about 193 million people worldwide to 246 million, which is about a 28% increase.

Anxiety disorders grew from about 298 million people affected to 374 million, which is about a 25% increase. After much research, it’s evident that depression and anxiety have been linked to people simply not confronting personal issues they have with one another and hiding behind social media apps. Let’s unpack…

Post-COVID, we've noticed a strange shift. Many people are no longer getting into or staying in their relationships long-term, and for others, breaking up and getting back together later on. Nowadays, it's become easier to block someone versus having a conversation with them—whether this conversation ends the relationship or strengthens it depends on the people involved. Due to an increase in stress, people are opting for the former, believing it to be easier to cut someone from their life since that is the aspect of their life they feel can be controlled. Whereas, other aspects that may cause small everyday stressors are not within their control.

You may be struggling to communicate with your partner due to an increase in your anxiety—perhaps you’ve recently dealt with a major life event or the accumulated effect of small everyday stressors. Those everyday stressors will leave us feeling like we cannot fit anything else on our plate; this could include those dreadful conversations where the outcome is unknown.

Most people look to avoid confrontation but still want to be heard and socialize, hence why social media apps have grown increasingly popular. You can voice your opinion and thoughts without having to worry about being physically assaulted, engaging in a back-and-forth (blocking anyone who opposes you), and so forth.

Not to mention all the hype around cyberstalking. It's easier to create a fake account and watch someone you were once intimate with, versus initiating a conversation with them that could very well bring you guys back together, or at the very least, be amicable. All in all, it’s becoming far too easy to avoid our problems rather than facing them head-on due to an increase in everyday stressors from things we cannot control.

We use the excuse of “protecting my mental health or protecting my peace” when we decide to cut someone from our lives or stop communicating with them, but, let’s face it, none of us are innocent. The decisions we make every day determine the trajectory of our lives. Mental health jargon has been thrown around carelessly as a means of benefiting capitalism now that companies like Better Help exist. But, are you really in need of therapy or better morals and values? If going to therapy does not make you a better person, then it’s safe to say that you’re wasting your money.

Your partner is supposed to be your best friend. If you cannot communicate with your best friend, then the issue is not them; it’s likely you. This is not to absolve that person of their bad behaviors, but too many times do we point the finger at others, versus holding ourselves accountable. Trying to change someone who does not think their actions are wrong is like trying to teach a pig to sing—you annoy the pig and you waste your time.

Some people are unable and unwilling to learn. It is not your responsibility to raise your partner. You are responsible for yourself and yourself only. But make no mistake, a part of taking care of yourself is making sure that you do not keep negative feelings inside. Express yourself, stand up for yourself, and make your grievances heard.

"When you get extremely upset, stop and take a deep breath," shares Tara Suwinyattichaiporn, PhD. "Otherwise, this is where people say things they don’t mean and regret later. So first, stop and take a breather, then when you’re calm, formulate a few points as to why you’re upset. Use 'I statements' so that you’re sharing how you feel and not blaming your partner. Ask if you can come up with solutions together."

Therapy equips you with the tools necessary to defend yourself against things that can potentially cause you mental anguish and/or harm. But in the end, our emotions will always get the best of us. Social media apps have made it almost impossible to use the tools we’ve learned in a healthy manner to get our points across without ruffling feathers.

This is why it’s important for you to put yourself first, get to know yourself, understand your triggers, and steer clear of them. Prevention is always better than cure. We almost always see the signs beforehand, yet we ignore them and blame others for the consequences of our actions. We block, we ignore, we become agitated, we grow anxious, and we make everyone the villain in our stories without self-reflection.

Ask yourself:

Why did I choose this person?

What value does this person bring to my life?

How does this person make me feel?

Is this a good person?

*Mistreating someone because they do not live up to the idea you created of them is a form of abuse and accountability must be held on both sides.*

When you stop putting others on a pedestal and diminishing yourself, it becomes easier to walk away from conversations and people who do not align with you energetically. However, this does not mean there must be an argument or bad blood as a result (hence the uptick in cyberstalking).

Maturity is realizing that everyone is not your enemy, and many of the world’s problems can be solved with a simple conversation. If the things we cannot control are already an issue, why do we create more problems for ourselves? When you and your partner are at a crossroad and that person refuses to open up or continue communication, despite your many attempts, it could be a sign that the relationship is over.

“When there are more negative feelings surrounding your partner and your relationship rather than positive feelings, it’s usually a sign that your relationship is over. If it’s 90% negative, hard, full of conflict, or even worse, indifference, then it’s over. Another sign is when your partner constantly disrespects you.”

As an adult who now frequents therapy, which has helped me become a better person, I had to learn how to control my emotions—not to allow others to control my emotions. I think we’ve lost the balance between standing up for ourselves and communicating our wants and needs with emotional maturity and femininity.

When we say things like, "do not allow that person to have control over your emotions," it does not mean to wallow in your anguish and allow your anxiety and depression to build to appear tamed and “easy to deal with”. If something is bothering you, speak up. Having control of your emotions means choosing the time and place to express yourself, whenever it feels right for you.

Here is something to think about…

Disease: A disorder of structure or function in a human being, animal, or plant, especially one that has a known cause and a distinctive group of symptoms, signs, and anatomical changes.

Dis-Ease (uneasy): Causing or feeling anxiety; troubled or uncomfortable.

When you are at dis-ease, it can cause you to develop a disease. Never be afraid to speak up for yourself, communicate, choose harmony and be the best version of yourself. You only have you.

bottom of page