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How to Live With a Spouse That Will Not Communicate

by Charlotte Johnson

Healthy communication is a highly desirable quality for any marriage. Unfortunately, many spouses face situations in which their partners are uncommunicative. This lack of communication may be short term or long term, depending on the circumstances. Dealing with a spouse who refuses to communicate may make you feel frustrated, angry and distraught. There are some methods of dealing with a spouse who won't communicate. While these methods may not instantly fix your problem, they will set you on the right track to finding a steadier emotional ground.

Refrain from over-analyzing your spouse's silence. When one person wants to communicate and the other doesn't, the one who desires communication often begins to fixate on what is wrong. While long term lack of communication can indicate a serious issue, many people go through brief periods of being uncommunicative. It may have nothing to do with the relationship. Stress and fatigue often cause many spouses to be silent.

Learn your spouse's personality and how it affects his communication style. Some people are just naturally quieter, and it doesn't mean that they are uncaring. Communication doesn't always have to be verbal. Some people communicate through gestures, acts of kindness or through writing.

Explain your desire for communication in a non-threatening way. Use supportive statements, such as, "I love you and want the strongest marriage possible. I think we need to communicate in order for that to happen." If you attack and blame with statements like, "You never talk; what's wrong with you?" you are likely to make the problem worse.

Request brief, definable periods of communication. Some spouses don't want to start talking because they fear it will lead to a seemingly unending discussion. If you respectfully ask for a short period of time (ask your spouse to set the time limit) to communicate, your spouse may be more receptive.

Evaluate your own communication skills. If you interrupt, are sarcastic or insulting, or you don't truly listen to your spouse, she may not want to talk to you for those reasons. You may want to ask your spouse what you can do to be a better communicator.

Maintain healthy relationships with friends and family. Looking to an uncommunicative spouse as your sole source of emotional support is bound to be depressing. Having other positive relationships will help you to be a healthier person emotionally.

Tip

  • Remember that you can't make your spouse change. You can change your own attitudes and actions and hope that this will bring about positive results in your relationship and in your spouse as well.

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