I hate that my partner will never answer a direct question.

I can identify with you. Many of us like direct discussions. Questions and answers. Others, however, keep talking until the answers float to the surface. For those listening it can be exasperating because you have to travel down rambling rabbit trails to arrive at what you are not sure is even an actual answer. One thing you can do is politely echo back to them what you understand their answer to be. “So, what I am hearing you say is you are not sure what you want to do tonight because you have lots of other things on your plate. Is this correct?” I know it is a very long way around to get a simple answer to a simple question, but I doubt if you will change how your partner tends to think and communicate. So, learn to accept and adapt.

My partner is always interrupting me and it drives me crazy.

We all agree that not letting someone finish their thought by interrupting them is socially rude and perhaps disrespectful. It frustrates us all. However, it is quite normal for your communication to trigger a thought that your partner does not have the impulse control to not speak to or the ram memory to hold unto until you have finished. So, they tend to interrupt. Frustrating, yes. Somewhat normal, yes! Just politely ask if they can hold on to their thought until you finish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that we receive. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

While you both may be speaking the same language, you are not using the same words for the same purpose. Some people are ‘word technocrats’ and the weight of the message is built totally on the definition of each actual word spoken. Others communicate with stories and metaphors that do not value the precise definition of words as much as the intended message. This one single difference in communication styles can totally frustrate people. Online therapy is a way to become more aware and accepting of your partner’s love language.

It takes work. It takes accepting that their communication style may not be yours. Try to seek to understand rather than to be understood.

Wow, this is a million-dollar question!
Begin by telling them to stop being difficult. Just kidding!
Because there are so many ways someone might actually be perceived as being difficult, it is a tough question.

However, the first thing you might want to do is choose to believe that they are not trying to be difficult just to bug you. This will lower your own natural defenses, helping you not take things so personally. This will improve your communication by at least 30%. A 30% return on your investment is not a bad return.

Welcome to marriage! No seriously, this is not unusual. However, sharing in the company of a therapist your desire to nonjudgmentally hear your partner clearly, letting your partner know what seems to get in the way of your listening or speaking, can be very helpful. As we age, we need to continue to sharpen our tools of communication. We need to do better. We can all benefit from a good therapist, whether face-to-face or online.

Sometimes they are not aware that they are not listening. Try not to personalize it. Often you have said something that has sent their brain off to think in another direction without them actually being aware of it This happens unconsciously. For many people (men more than women) listening for long periods of time takes a lot of concentration and it is hard work. For some, listening is completely exhausting. They just can’t keep up. Keep conversations short.

Let your partner know how important they are to you; that you do not want to take them for granted. Tell them you want to work with them to get the relationship back on track. Your relationship is a high priority. Ask them if they would be willing to work with you on it. Then call someone for help!

Therapists & Mental
Health Specialists

Experience Matters:

  • We’ve supported 35,000+ individuals
  • Completed over 300,000 sessions to date.
  • Country-wide network of therapists

Learn more about our couples communication therapists.