Presented by BetterHelp.

Communication is the lifeline of any marriage. It’s how partners connect, resolve issues, and express love and appreciation. However, communication pitfalls are common and can lead to misunderstandings and resentment. In the worst cases, being unable to communicate effectively can lead to separation and divorce

Keeping communication flowing isn’t always easy, especially when you and your spouse have busy lives or different interests. It can be tough to find time to talk, much less to have meaningful conversations about deeper issues. However, with the right approach, overcoming obstacles and improving your communications is possible. One of the best things you can do to improve marital communication is to avoid common mistakes.

Here are five common communication mistakes couples make and how to avoid them to maintain a happy, healthy, and communicative relationship.  

Mistake #1: Avoiding Difficult Conversations

One of the most common mistakes is the avoidance of difficult topics. Whether it’s finances, future planning, or intimacy issues, dodging these conversations can lead to unresolved problems and feeling unhappy in your marriage. The key to tackling uncomfortable subjects is openness and honesty.

Try to start the conversation at a time when both of you are not stressed or distracted, and attempt to communicate your feelings and thoughts using “I” statements to avoid placing blame. If difficult conversations and unspoken issues are causing marital strife, meeting with a therapist through a platform like BetterHelp may be worth considering.  

Mistake #2:  Not Listening Actively

Active listening involves fully focusing on what is being said instead of just passively “hearing” the message. Many couples fall into the trap of listening to respond rather than understanding. To practice active listening, face your partner, make eye contact, and offer nods or words of understanding as they speak.

Resist the impulse to interrupt or plan your response while they are speaking. This validates your partner’s feelings and shows that you value their perspective. 

Mistake #3: Assuming Instead of Asking 

Assumptions can be the quicksand of relationships. Assuming you know what your spouse feels or thinks without asking can result in misunderstandings and resentment. Instead of assuming, ask clarifying questions. This clears up misconceptions and shows your partner that you care about their views and feelings. 

Mistake #4: Using Absolute Language 

Words like “always” and “never” are absolutes that can quickly escalate an argument because they often exaggerate and generalize behaviors. Saying, “You never take out the trash,” or “You always ignore my calls,” can make your partner feel attacked and defensive. Try to focus on the specific issue at hand and avoid using absolutes.

Instead, try saying something like, “It frustrates me when the trash piles up” or “I feel worried when my calls go unanswered.” In these examples, you aren’t placing blame or generalizing, but you’re still being honest about the issue you’re having. 

Mistake #5: Letting Emotions Drive the Conversation 

Emotions can run high in any relationship, especially in a marriage. However, letting anger or frustration take the wheel during a conversation can lead to hurtful words and escalated conflicts.

If you’re feeling too emotional, it’s okay to take a break and come back to the conversation later when both of you are calmer. Always strive to speak from a place of love and respect, using “I” statements to express your feelings without placing blame. 


Communication in marriage is an art that often requires patience and a lot of love. By avoiding these common mistakes, couples can build a stronger, more understanding relationship.

Remember, it’s not about being perfect communicators but about striving to understand and be understood. If you find yourself stuck in negative communication patterns, seeking help from a marriage counselor can provide the guidance and tools needed to navigate through the challenges.