couple on beachFor better of for worse, every relationship has patterns of communication. Here are 5 (unfortunately common) communication patterns that can kill your relationship.

Discuss – Ignore

One partner believes that issues and problems should be “talked out,” while the other partner feels that “hashing out” every little thing is like picking at a scab. While one seeks to discuss, the other seeks to ignore.

Command – Resist

One partner tries to influence the other (“Try it, you’ll like it!”). The more he/she tries, the more the other digs in his/her heels (“I don’t want to try it!”).

Blame – Defend

One person feels that the other has some blame to own up to, and pursues the case. The other partner has to act as his/her own defendant. For example, one partner blames, “You were home much too late last night!” and the partner defends,
“Nonsense. I don’t have a curfew!”

Accuse – Deny

Similar to “Blame – Defend”, this pattern is what happens when a couple disagrees on the actual facts of a conflict situation. For example, one partner says, “You were flirting with him!” and the other denies, “You’re wrong. I was simply having a conversation.”

Pursue – Retreat

Fearing rejection, one partner pushes for closeness until the other partner demands some space. This leads to feelings of being unaccepted by both persons.

Looking for more relationship tips? Check out 6 Warning Signs of Emotional Blackmail.

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Dr. Anthony Centore

Anthony Centore, PhD

Anthony Centore, PhD, is Founder and Chair at Thriveworks — a counseling practice focused on premium client care, with 340+ locations across the US. Anthony is a Private Practice Consultant for the American Counseling Association, columnist for Counseling Today magazine, and author of "How to Thrive in Counseling Private Practice". He is a multistate Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and has been quoted in national media sources including The Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, and CBS Sunday Morning.

Check out “Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book” written by AJ Centore and Taylor Bennett."