3 Reasons Your Partner Doesn’t Feel Comfortable Opening Up To You
I often get questions from people asking why their partner doesn’t open up to them. they ask with the assumption that there’s something wrong with their partner.
They chock it up to them being in a funk or just having unresolved issues.
What they often don’t do is look at themselves to see how they’re contributing to an environment where their partner doesn’t feel comfortable saying what’s on their heart and mind.
In my last post, I spoke about the importance of transparency in your relationship. Unless you’re intentional about creating a space where you can both feel confident that you’ll be heard and understood, it’s not likely the communication will flow the way you expect it to.
Let me be clear about one thing though. The purpose of this post isn’t to put 100% of the blame on your for your partner’s lack of communication.
The purpose is to highlight the fact that we all have some part in most of our relationship’s challenges, which an make a huge impact for the better when we take responsibility for them.
So today I want to point out three common habits that can make it difficult for your partner to feel comfortable opening up to you:
1 . The Need To Be Right
If every time your partner brings something up it turns into an opportunity for you to defend yourself and prove them wrong, they’re eventually going to realize that their efforts to have their point of view even acknowledged is futile.
The need to be right becomes an impossible wall to get over. Every time you’re right, it leaves them feeling wrong and judged. No one wants to feel like that, so what’s the point of even opening up again in the future?
If you want your partner to feel more comfortable opening up to you, respect the fact that no matter how right you think you are, they have their own perspective and understanding of how things work as well.
You’re two individuals with your own thoughts, ideas and opinions about what’s right or wrong, so respect your differences.
Instead of focusing on making your point and shooting theirs down, focus on being curious, asking more questions and really getting to understand their point of view.
At the end of the day, that’s the whole point of communication is about.
2 . Not Listening
Holding a conversation with someone who doesn’t listen well is like pulling teeth.
Whether you tend to lose focus easily, find yourself judging what they’re saying mid-sentence or just aren’t interested, whenever listening isn’t happening, there’s a disconnect that makes it easier for your partner to feel like they’re wasting their time.
That disconnect leads them to feel like what they have to say isn’t valuable or they’re just not important enough to you.
These are feelings we all avoid in a relationship, so it’s understandable that your partner would want to avoid them too.
Be mindful that listening isn’ t just something you do while you preparing to make your case. It’s something you do simply out of respect for what your partner has to say. It’s an active process and requires your effort and attention.
3 . Being Too Combative or Aggressive
Your partner wants to know that you’re on the same team.
They want to know that whenever there’s a disagreement, your agenda won’t be to attack, blame or chastise them, but that you can be receptive and supportive of each other through it.
They want to trust that you’ll take responsibility for your part and work together to find common ground.
When things get heated, it can be easy to focus on trying to “win” the argument, which leads to being combative with your partner instead of being cooperative.
Over time, when your partner has experienced enough of these bouts, they’ll begin to expect them and avoid bringing issues up so they don’t have to deal with it.
Choose instead to see your disagreements as an opportunity for you to work together to move past whatever you’re dealing with.
As an opportunity to get closer instead of pushing each other away.
The fact is, it’s never too late to create a safe environment for you to feel comfortable opening up the lines of communication again.
I encourage you and your partner to begin doing so by not just asking how you can do your part, but in really being receptive to your partner’s suggestion and putting in the effort to make it happen.
So what are your thoughts? What do you feel is getting in the way of open communication in your relationship? How can you contribute to making it better?
Leave a comment and let me know.