Additional Communication Problems with Struggling Couples

The other day I came across an article by a Long Island psychologist Dr. Marc Shulman entitled “5 Communication Habits of Struggling Couples.” in the article, he discusses many common communication problems that affect others’ ability to rebuild their relationship, including:

  • Defensive Listening
  • Louder Talking
  • Insult Generator
  • Silence
  • Indifference

There is no denying that communication is often a problem in relationships, but I wanted to expand to talk about a 6th one: Namely, poor memory.

What is Poor Memory?

Poor memory may not sound like it is related to listening, but it many ways it is. Poor memory occurs when a partner is listening in a general sense, but they are encoding that information as though it “means” something else. Often when this happens, they recall that moment in the future (often in a fight, of course) in a way that was different from even the way THEY saw the event at the time.

In other words, even though at the time they were communicating well, their minds were so used to being angry and preparing for future fights that they were already coming up with ammo, and recording memories in a way that were different from the way they experienced it at the time.

What This Usually Means

This type of issue usually means that the fighting has gone on for a while, and that they are too set in their communication ways. Usually this is a clear sign that they need some type of intervention, whether it is a marriage counselor or something else, to make sure that they are learning how to change the way they see their relationship and learning how to communicate with their partner.