Barriers to Effective Communication in a Marriage

When two people get married, they are not entering the marriage in a vacuum. Instead, they are forming a union made up of the sum of all that each person has experienced throughout his or her life. 

For example, when Joy and I first got married, we both had different experiences growing up. I had spent the first nine years of my life as an only child, with both parents doting on me and serving my every need. In contrast, Joy grew up as the second child, with her mother apparently favoring her older brother. This meant that she basically grew up fending for herself. 

So when we got married, I had this idea that the it was my wife’s role to take care of me and everything I needed. I also expected her to talk to me the way my parents talked to me. You can guess how that led to plenty of conflict and miscommunication!


Why We Need to Identify Communication Barriers

While coming from different backgrounds may spell a lifetime of adventure as husband and wife discover new things about each other, it can also mean coming up against a wall: what do you do when you and your spouse can’t see eye to eye on things? 

From this we can see that our individual differences can serve to boost our relationship, but they can also become barriers to effective communication. 

Healthy communication is a crucial foundation for any marriage to succeed in the long-haul. This is why we need to identify possible barriers, so that we can decide how to deal with them and adjust accordingly.

When two people get married, they are form a union made up of the sum of all that each person has experienced throughout his or her life.
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What Are the Barriers to Effective Communication?


Here are some of the most common barriers to effective communication between married couples:

1. Distractions

One of the most blatant barriers to married couples’ communicating effectively is the many interruptions that can come during their conversation. This may include legitimate concerns like children’s needs, or it can be something totally inanimate, like the social media beep tone.

2. Emotional and physical state

Experts recommend finding the right time to talk about serious matters. For example, you would not be in a good state of mind to discuss something important when you are exhausted and cranky late at night. It’s also not a good idea to discuss things while one or both of you are angry.

3. Upbringing

In highly authoritarian households, more common in Asian families than the West, the parents have the say, and children are trained to submit to them in everything. The more authoritarian your upbringing, the more difficult it would be to express your thoughts and feelings to another person

4. Communication styles

Individuals have their own way of speaking. Some people speak softly while others either have a loud voice or have the habit of raising their voice when they feel unheard. Understanding how your partner communicates can help get rid of offense on your part.

5. Preconceived ideas or biases

Preconceived ideas usually keep us from really listening while our partner is talking. Instead, we find ourselves just waiting to say our piece.

These biases can spell the difference between a successful conversation. For example, if you expect your partner to dismiss everything you say, it can cause you to clam up and refuse to talk any more. But if you have good expectations of the outcome, you will be more likely to express yourself more freely.

In a marriage where physical safety may be compromised, such as in the case where one or both partners can become physically violent, communication is more challenging. When a person is afraid of a backlash, he or she will tend to say only what the other person wants to hear.

The Need to Overcome Communication Barriers


Now that we have an idea of some of the most common barriers to communication, we need to know how to overcome them. Read on about some practical tips that will ensure that we don’t let these hindrances keep us from understanding each other.

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