You speak but don’t communicate
Your communication doesn’t have to be meaningful day in and day out. But it’s troubling if you never talk with your spouse about anything beside, say, the weather or who needs to get more milk. “It’s a bad sign when speaking to each other seems superficial,” says Marni Feuerman, a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in Boca Raton, Florida. “If you keep the day-to-day stuff inside, it creates distance and disconnection in your marriage,” says Feureman. That can make you feel less affection and fondness for your partner. The same goes if it’s one person doing all the talking and the other doing all the listening. “Remember, good communication is not just about speaking up on behalf of yourself,” says Francesca Di Meglio, the former Newlyweds Expert for About.com and writer of the Italian Mamma blog. “It’s also about listening to—and really hearing—your spouse.” Here are ways to start communicating better in your marriage.
You disagree about whether to have kids
You likely discussed the topic of having children before you got hitched, but feelings may change. Maybe you feel kids will get in the way of your career or your spouse wants to give up trying after fertility issues have made starting or adding to a family difficult. Di Meglio suggests putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. Figure out why he or she doesn’t want a baby and what’s motivating the argument. Persuasion isn’t the answer either. It’s unfair if you’re trying to talk someone into or out of a desire to have kids, says Lesli M. W. Doares, a marriage consultant and coach with a private practice in Cary, North Carolina, and author of Blueprint for a Lasting Marriage: How to Create Your Happily Ever After With More Intention, Less Work. “Parenting is hard enough when both people are on board,” Doares says. “Being talked into it will only create resentment.”