The Effects of Lack of Communication in a Relationship

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It's not likely that you have a magic crystal ball that will tell you what's going on in your romantic partner's head. Without communication it's almost impossible to get on the same page and keep your relationship afloat. A lack of communication can quickly cause misunderstandings, resentments and feelings that you are emotionally far away or distant from each other.

Fighting Words

One of the major effects of poor communication is fighting or bickering with your partner, according to communication coach Preston Ni in his article "Are You a Poor Communicator? How to Improve?" on the website Psychology Today. Letting communication fall into the background of your relationship may put distance between the two of you, make your partner feel like her feelings aren't valid or make you feel like she doesn't care. This can lead to tension or mixed signals, and result in arguments.

Run Away

When communication breaks down and the two of you are no longer understanding each other, you may go a step beyond arguing and walk away. Whether one of you stops caring, loses the ability to feel invested in the relationship, or the misunderstandings build and build until they take over your relationship, flight is a normal response to these situations says Ni. Another issue is the lack of closeness that poor communication can create. When the two of you stop sharing, it's possible that you'll also stop caring enough to stick around.

Crossed Lines, Wrong Page

Assuming that you don't need to verbally communicate with your partner or that you know what he is thinking is a recipe for disaster in a relationship. When you assume that you know what your partner is thinking or what he wants, you aren't communicating, according to psychotherapist Jeffrey S. Kaye on his website. This results in misunderstandings and relationship conflict. For example, you assume that your boyfriend knows that you're upset because he didn't remember to call. He assumes that your silence about the issue means that everything is fine. The two of you are on the wrong page, landing your relationship in a disjointed place. The resulting lack of communication may cause further conflict or resentment.

Seeming Selfish

When your lack of communication makes you focus more on yourself than your partner -- or vice versa -- it becomes a challenge to take the other person's perspective, according to licensed mental health professional Erika Krull in her article "Marriage Communication: 3 Common Mistakes and How to Fix Them" on the website PsychCentral. Focusing on your own inner voice may not allow you to empathize with your partner. This breakdown in communication can make you come off as selfish and push your partner away.