Why Silence Is More Toxic For Couples Than Arguing
Scientists are making an extraordinary effort with regards to bringing issues to light about destructive things couples say and do in a relationship.
For instance, we can now be aware, from the work of Dr. John Gottman, that there are four communication styles which indicate whether a couple will remain together or split: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling.
It’s widely known that couples who do not learn to communicate more effective eventually split up, unless they determine how to better use tonality, assume responsibility, and work towards moving their antagonistic perspective to a more cooperative one.
Dr. Gottman’s analysis has demonstrated scientific evidence that couples who turn towards their partner for meaningful connections and who are skilled at making repair attempts during moments of conflict are more likely to succeed long-term in their relationship than couples who don’t.
In spite of these advances, there is one element in marriage which doesn’t get as much consideration and is equally alarming. It can gradually disintegrate the love foundation and trust through the span of a relationship.
Silence Is Toxic
Do you know a couple who seems to have everything in perfect order, never appears to argue, and in every practical sense seems as though they have an incredible relationship?
A couple like this are not used to speaking about what they really feel when they are experiencing dissatisfaction or inner conflict. It could be because they feel they “ought to” be happy since they have it all and it seems so perfect. Possibly they would prefer not to cause trouble. Or, on the other hand they both avoid confrontations due to previous family experiences.
This is the couple that is in danger or further break-down because they simply ‘bury’ their dissatisfaction rather than discuss and resolve it. Their absence of transparent correspondence with each other is gradually dissolving the intimacy and passion within their relationship.
Substantially, as per the California Divorce Mediation Project, 80% of the time couples divorced were because of partners gradually growing apart and losing the emotional intimacy that left them feeling disliked and neglected.
If you don’t care about someone, you are less likely to speak with them about how you feel. Silence when someone is experiencing conflict, is a sign that the person is starting to withdraw.
At some point the disengagement and dissatisfaction, building up silently, gets to be overwhelming and like a pressure-cooker, it needs to eventually release in one of two ways; Emotional Disconnection or Verbally Released.
Frequent discussion about triggers of conflict & complaints can result in a loving, sound, and deeply connected marriage. These couples check in with each other rather than just accepting the things that are annoying them, and instead they offer their partner an opportunity to take action, rectify the situation as well as celebrate when their partner has accomplished something they appreciate.
A couple who put more emphasis on ‘appearances’, not discussing what is really going on for them rather than addressing the under-current of complaints and dissatisfaction, are headed for long-term trouble. As the old saying goes, looks can be deceiving.
In the long run, your relationship should be properly maintained & serviced to survive, in the same way a car needs regular servicing for long-term, effective function. Regardless of the possibility that things are doing great, don’t give unhappy silence a chance to cast a dark mist over neglected needs or hurt feelings.
This type of relationship culture develops contempt, as well as more ominous, story of incompatibility.
How to Start Communicating more Effectively
Start by expressing how you really feel. Start slow and with a loving & respectful tonality. It will be awkward to end the silence in your relationship, yet the improvement in your relationship as the outcome will be well justified, despite all the discomfort.
Like any skill in life, it takes time to create competency and talent in employing any skill.
If you would like to gain training and develop a higher level of skill in maintaining & servicing your relationship, using a combination of both science and art, to ensure you have a deeply passionate & intimate relationship for the full duration of life, you can discover Shane & Jess Fozard’s Six Step Honeymoon Feeling Forever System at their upcoming Relationship Success weekend course. Click here for ticket information.
About the Author:
Shane is the co-founder, CEO and Head trainer for Australian Success Academy, having trained and worked with over 6800 people around Australia in learning the incredible power of the human mind, ranging from Relationship Dynamics, Hypnotherapy, Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Public Speaking.