9 Signs of Bad Communication in a Relationship

WhatToGetMy Instructional Article

In this article we will be tackling the following issues in understanding communication issues in a relationship:

  • Understanding how communication affects relationships;
  • The 9 signs of bad communication in a relationship; and
  • How to fix communication problems in a relationship.

How communication affects relationships.

Do people communicate digitally with partners more or less often than in person? Source: Typing.com

55.6% communicate more digitally while 30.2% communicate more in person and 14.2% communicates both in person and digitally at the same time

When there is no communication in a relationship, it is only a matter of time before things go completely south in that relationship. Lack of communication in relationships and/or miscommunication in relationships are the fastest ways to bring any relationship to an end. Whether it is short text messages during the course of the day or more lengthy one-on-one conversations together, good communication is one of the important lifeblood of any successful relationship.

Communication or the lack thereof can affect a relationship for good or for bad in the following ways.

1. It ensures the longevity of the relationship.

This is perhaps the first and foremost importance of communication in any relationship. Any relationship lacking communication will ultimately die out. After all the sex and fun are done, communication is all that is left to keep the couple and the relationship together.

Any relationship lacking communication will ultimately die out. After all the sex and fun are done, communication is all that is left to keep the couple and the relationship together.

And that is why it is a vital aspect of every relationship. No communication, or bad communication skills in a relationship, or even less communication in a relationship are all bad for any relationship that wants to stand the test of time. Bad communication skills are certainly one of the factors that play a part in deciding to end even a long term relationship.

Long-distance relationships especially need great conversation to last long and also make it fun. You can check out our article on How to keep things interesting in a long distance relationship for ideas.

2. It is necessary for building rapport between the partners.

And this rapport is what will in turn ensure the longevity of the relationship. Only healthy communication between the partners can see to it that there is a healthy rapport and mutual respect that would strengthen the relationship. Unhealthy communication in a relationship will breed resentment on the part of the partner who feels repressed. Ultimately this will lead to the death of the relationship.

3. It helps in being able to adequately address conflicts and problems as they arise in the relationship.

No relationship is devoid of conflicts. Every relationship will encounter downs, as much as it experiences ups. And if both or even one of the couple has poor or bad communication skills, every conflict will escalate out of hand and lead to a downward spiral of the relationship. Broken communication in conflicts will lead to a breakdown of the relationship because these conflicts remain unresolved.

4. It makes the relationship fun and exciting.

Nothing makes relationships more fun than enjoying each other’s company in conversation. A lack of conversation in any relationship would make the relationship stale and unexciting. You will not always want to have sex or play around. There will be times when you just feel like doing nothing but talk. And only couples who have mastered great communication skills in their relationship excel in having enjoyable conversations in their relationship (including marriage).

9 Signs of bad communication in a relationship.

These 9 signs of bad communication in a relationship are all the signs you need to know that you have a poor communication relationship.

1. A lack of conversations.

If you are in a relationship where you don’t have any conversations at all except monosyllables then you have a serious miscommunication in your relationship. And you know there is a lack of conversations in your relationship if you find that you run out of things to say to each other after exchanging pleasantries and asking how your day went.

2. Passive-aggressive ways of resolving conflict instead of talking through issues.

Is your relationship one where one or both of you are using silent treatment as a weapon in resolving your conflict? Or maybe you don’t feel like talking to each other and resort to unhealthy silence as a way to wear yourselves out? Any of these are unhealthy communication methods that are indicative of bad communication skills in a relationship.

3. Pointing out faults in a way that isn’t constructive or helpful.

If the way one or both of you point out each other’s faults is to point fingers or raise your voices at each other or shout each other down, then this is not a constructive way of helping each other become better people with your faults. This is a sign of bad communication in your relationship (including marriage).

4. Making relationship decisions without the other’s input.

Finding it difficult to discuss relationship decisions together before taking them is another sign of bad communication in a relationship. There should be no broken communication when it comes to prior discussion between the partners before making relationship decisions. If you or your partner has resorted to doing this, then there is a serious miscommunication in your relationship which needs to be dealt with if you both want your relationship to last long.

5. Communicating more through text than in person.

Except where your relationship is a long-distance relationship, it is a very unhealthy communication model for couples that are in the same space with each other. Finding it easier to talk over text than in person is a worrisome indication that there is no depth to the relationship because what it means is that when you’re together you both don’t know what to say to each other. It also begs the question of why this is so. Relationships which are not long-distance, where communication is largely text-based, will not stand the test of time. Hiding behind text communication all the time is a sign of bad communication in a relationship.

6. Having a conversation where one party is predominantly the one speaking and when they are not speaking they keep interrupting the partner who is speaking.

This is another unhealthy communication pattern that shows bad communication skills in a relationship. It shows an unwillingness to want to listen to the other party being interrupted. And when the one being interrupted gets the sense that they are not being heard, they will ultimately zone out of the relationship and miscommunication creeps in.

7. Always bringing up the past when there’s a misunderstanding.

Rather than find solutions to solving their misunderstanding, couples who resort to bringing up the past show little emotional maturity and childishness that reflects bad communication skills in a relationship. If you or your partner are always going back to past hurts when you have present misunderstandings, it is a sign of bad communication in your relationship.

8. Having fixed positions and not being willing to compromise or budge.

Relationships are about healthy compromises and you can only have healthy compromises if there is healthy communication between the partners. However, where unhealthy communication prevails, parties will be too proud to come to a point of compromise and each will unreasonably hold on to fixed positions even when they should compromise for the sake of the relationship.

9. Expecting that your partner can read your mind and know what you need.

Does your partner somehow expect that you know what they are thinking and what they want? And then when you don’t, they sulk and give you the cold shoulder because they claim you don’t love them enough. And it is usually the partner who does not know how to communicate and has bad communication skills that have this unreasonable and unrealistic expectation.

No one is psychic regardless of how long you think you’ve been together in your relationship (or marriage). You still need to communicate your needs and desires to your partner rather than expecting them to always read your mind and know what you want.

How to fix communication problems in a relationship and how to better communicate with your partner.

Wondering how to communicate with your girlfriend, or how to work on communication in a relationship, communication issues in a relationship can be fixed by adopting these 4 strategies for improving relationship communication.

1. Understand your partner’s communication style.

This is key to learning to communicate in a relationship and being able to communicate effectively. You can only communicate effectively when you know how to communicate with the one you are talking with. Maybe your partner isn’t too talkative or maybe they are more reserved and have times when they come out of their shell and times they withdraw. Knowing these patterns and temperament should then determine when you initiate conversation and when to give yourself and your partner some space. And this isn’t something you have figured out in one go. It is a continuous process and one which you both should not shy away from given the importance of communication in relationships.

2. Make out time for conversations in person.

It is important to have time where you both just hang out and talk with each other. Learning to have time out to talk to each other will foster the depth that is needed to keep the relationship going for a long time. And if you need ideas of things to talk about, check out our helpful article on 35 Interesting topics to talk about with your girlfriend.

3. Talk through problems instead of sweeping them under the carpet.

Most acceptable ways to work through arguments with a partner.

Using video calls to work through arguments was 20% higher for those not living with their partner than those living with their partner m

As the above chart seen on Typing.com shows, every couple agrees that conflicts must be resolved rather than swept under the carpet. When conflicts and misunderstandings crop up in your relationship, find healthy ways to find a solution without antagonizing each other. You can check out our article on How to stop saying hurtful things when angry for helpful ways to manage conversation when angry.

4. A healthy dose of compromise will go a long way to improving relationship communication.

It is important to always remember this critical point. Without healthy compromise, there will be tension and acrimony over time which will affect the relationship negatively. Have a conversation with your partner about compromises and what will work as a healthy compromise for both of you. Having that conversation on its own will also strengthen your relationship.

Frequently asked questions.

1. How to communicate with a man who won’t communicate?

This will be an uphill task because he should also be willing to at least try. What you can do is find out the things he likes and make conversations around those topics or things. Usually, this will have the effect of getting him out of his shell.

2. My husband refuses to communicate. What should I do?

Try out the 4 strategies listed in the last section of this article. Understanding his temperament is a good starting point. He may have a different temperament and disposition and is not necessarily that he is refusing to communicate. Understanding this would help you know when to communicate and get the best out of him. Remember not to force communication all the time. Also, give yourself some space to spend time with yourself.

3. How to fix marriage communication problems?

The 4 strategies in the last section of this article will help fix marriage communication problems if adopted.


When there is no communication in a relationship that relationship will not last long. Effective communication in a relationship will ensure the longevity of the relationship. It will also help foster good rapport between the partners and will infuse the relationship with its own type of fun.

Bad communication skills in a relationship are reflected in the 9 signs of bad communication in a relationship. Having any of these in your relationship shows you have a poor communication relationship. If you are having communication issues in your relationship, it is most likely that you have one or more or all of these 9 signs.

Learning how to communicate in a relationship is therefore key to having a successful relationship. And in the last section of this article, we have shown you how to fix communication problems in your relationship.





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