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Misunderstanding In Relationship (13 Misunderstandings)

by Sonya Schwartz

Misunderstanding is pretty much the scenario that exists when understanding becomes partially or completely nonexistent. Let's face it, it’s a communication problem and it happens everywhere. There’s no argument that it's so common. 

It's almost as if it has become a natural part of every type of relationship — be it among colleagues, between friends, siblings, and sadly, between couples that are meant to live happily ever after. 

The question is, can we avoid it? Should you make a conscious effort to avoid misunderstandings in your relationship? Now, here's the sad reality, research shows that misunderstandings, infidelity, and dwindling commitment are the leading causes of divorce. 

While infidelity has the potential to end a relationship abruptly, when partners misunderstand each other, it is a slow destroyer. A little here today, another tomorrow, and the next. Before you know it, what you have is a cascade of misunderstandings that start to make you and your significant other look incompatible. 

If you've ever heard the phrase irreconcilable differences as the reason for divorce, trust me, its too much misunderstanding  

The good news is, while misunderstanding can look like a natural part of most relationships, you can make conscious efforts to circumvent it. That said, here are ways you and your man can consciously avoid and resolve misunderstandings in your relationship.

13 Ways To Avoid Misunderstandings

1. Genuinely listen to each other

One of the major reasons misunderstandings exist among couples is because one or both parties don’t listen when issues are being raised. I know men are the major culprit here. In fact, research shows that men have a hard time communicating effectively with their spouses because they don't truly listen. 

You tell a man about helping you with taking out the trash, trust me, you may have to tell him a couple of times more until it sticks. 

Furthermore, because it's sometimes hard for us to listen to others criticize our actions or opinions, we just wait through all the complaints until they are over without truly listening to how we've made the other party upset. 

Sometimes, we even respond with quick defense just because we don't want to take the blame. Meaning, almost half the time issues are discussed, they are not really heard. You'd be surprised how many problems can be solved if you and you man adopt listening to each others' dissatisfaction.

2. Communicate effectively

communicate effectively

It's one thing to talk, it's another thing entirely to effectively communicate. I mentioned earlier that men are not good listeners. The truth is, it's not that they just choose not to hear when women talk. It appears that the mind of a man has a funny way of reacting to issues according to how important they appear to him. 

Well, the problem is, what you consider as very important isn't always what your man will consider as crucial. While you see the trash can, poorly-arranged utensils, and the shoes along the hallway, you may only notice fewer /bigger issues, like mortgages and taxes. So, it shouldn't be a surprise when he doesn't remember the conversation about taking out the trash.

So what should you do? Simply, communicate with him. Everyone isn't the same. Try to figure out a way to get through to your man. For example, men worry a lot about operational costs. You can tell him the cost implication of not taking out the trash, trust me, he won't misunderstand it. 

Furthermore, you'll do well to decipher the best time to discuss issues that upset you. If you man is not a morning person, you can fix the conversation at another time you'll have his full attention.  The aim is to avoid communication problems.

3. Avoid trying to establish who’s right or wrong

The aim of expressing each other's dissatisfaction is to arrive at peace. Therefore, focus more on trying to understand how the misunderstanding has affected you and your man. Try to avoid establishing who's right or wrong. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you should accept if you've done something to upset each other and apologize. What I mean is don't be fixated on trying to make someone the guilty party. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you and your man feel emotionally validated in the relationship you share.

4. Have a 'Share your thoughts' day

My boyfriend and I adopted something we started at my office to let issues go instead of bottling them in and lashing out unexpectedly. It's called "share your thoughts day." Every Friday, we come together for a meeting at the office and share the way you feel a co-worker upset you. We end it all with a hug/handshake and genuine apologies. 

Similarly, my boyfriend and I chose Sundays to discuss any way we may have gotten on each other's nerves for the last six days. This way we avoid lashing out unexpectedly and correct any wrong opinions. We get to discuss dissatisfaction before they even escalate into conflict. What's more, it's always a fun time for us because we have discussions over drinks, food, and music.

5. Adopt the team mentality

You'd be surprised how many couples view their spouse like a rival at home.  Some couples compete over who's better with the kids, whose idea works out most, and so on. The simple reason is not seeing each other as a team. If you can allow this simple shift in your mentality, it can help you and your man correct and avoid misunderstandings. 

When you always see each other as an ally, blaming each other for an issue that went wrong in the relationship becomes less important. Instead, you are more focused on the team's well-being, progress, and happiness. 

6. Go for couple’s counseling 

Let's face it, two different people from different backgrounds, raised with different ideologies are bound to experience some friction when they decide to live together as a couple. As you know, there are no perfect textbooks for a successful relationship. Sometimes, you just have to figure it out on the go. Seeking therapy doesn't have to be for periods of fights or infidelity. 

Sometimes, therapy can help couples learn new ways of bonding and communicating.

7. Research ways to improve your relationship

You don't have to wait for your relationship to start sinking before you look for ways to improve it. Like I always say, love is a little bit of feeling and a whole lot more about taking conscious steps to nurture your relationship. You'll do well to research new and exciting ways that lovers co-exist, communicate, resolve conflict.  Yes, there's no perfect marriage script. 

However, you can adopt the tiny approach that others are using in different relationships to make their relationships wax stronger. 

You may also be interested in: 3 Easy Ways to Find Out If He's Cheating On You

8. Work on yourself

The truth is you can't be great in a relationship without being great individually. Yes, I agree people compliment each other. However, you can't bring a vixen attitude or a short fuse behavior to the table and expect not to have conflicts. We are all a work-in-progress and I also agree no one is perfect. 

Still, if you obviously have attitude or behavior issues, you might need to deal with them. Take out time to improve yourself. See a therapist, take anger management classes, do anything to improve, and bring out a better version of yourself before you spin things out of control.

9. Have more fun together

Couples that have fun more together naturally have less misunderstanding. It's that simple. Yes, you have a job, perhaps you have to take care of the kids, so there's little time to go to the movies, have a picnic, or even go bungee jumping. However, here's the thing, growing apart is one of the top ten reasons relationships fail.

So, let's link it together quickly. Not having fun together can cause boredom, which can cause growing apart. You don't need me to tell you how often couples that revolve in a different universe have misunderstandings and fights. 

10. Don’t assume, do better by asking

don't assume, do better by asking

You may have heard the saying "don't think you know me until you've walked a mile in my shoes." I'll say you can never truly know how your partner feels until you enter into his skin and see things from your partner's perspective. Impossible right? So, the best you can do to have a glimpse of how your partner feels is to ask. 

If you feel something is off, don't assume anything. It's one of the biggest templates of misunderstanding. Instead, get your partner's point of view.

11. Apologize quickly

As simple as apologies sound, you'd be surprised many people in relationships find it hard to say sorry. Sometimes, it's one of the quickest ways to avoid issues. Most people refuse to apologize because it means admitting they are wrong. So what if you are wrong?

If you noticed you made your partner upset, explain why, be quick to say sorry, and bury the hatchet. Also, you want to avoid abusing the use of apologies. Some people make it a habit of not improving but keep doing wrong and hoping that sorry would make it all better. You'll only end up making your partner feel sad or worse, drive them away.

12. Share expectations

You are different individuals in a relationship, so there are chances you can't have the same expectations. So how do you please each other and avoid misunderstandings? Well, try to share your views with each other. One of the first rules of sharing expectations in relationships is honesty. 

Sometimes, people feel shy even around their significant other and thus, fail to express their inner desires as they think it might lead to conflict. If you do this, you may end up being frustrated by your partner's actions. It's not his fault. He doesn't know what you want.

13. Before you say or do it, put yourself in his shoes

There's no better way to say this than to "be considerate." I mentioned earlier that you should avoid abusing apologies. Not caring how your partner will feel about your actions is definitely one of the ways of abusing apologies. Well, "I'll just say sorry if he's mad." 

Instead, before you act, weigh your actions from the other person's different perspective and see if you'll like being treated the same way.

FAQs

How do you fix misunderstandings in a relationship?

Misunderstanding probably started with poor communication which is usually accompanied by not listening to each other. So, the first step is to have a heart-to-heart. Listen truly to each others’ feelings and how the misunderstanding has affected you both. Say sorry that you truly mean and work on not repeating the same mistakes over again to avoid conflicts.

Is it normal to have misunderstandings in a relationship?

Well, you and your man are from different backgrounds, raised by different parents with perhaps, contrasting ideologies. Trust me, it'll take a miracle for you not to have a misunderstanding. That said, because misunderstanding and conflicts are common, it feels like it's normal to have them. 
However, with effective communication, listening, and consciously adopting new, fun-loving ways to co-exist, you can avoid many episodes of misunderstandings.

What is miscommunication in a relationship?

Basically, miscommunication is the scenario that exists when engaging our partners with little, half, or no knowledge about what they want from us. It's quite common in a relationship that it almost feels like a norm. However, with conscious effort, couples can greatly avoid it in relationships.

What to do after being misunderstood by your boyfriend?

Take a deep breath and have an honest conversation with your boyfriend, expressing your feelings. Let him know how his perception of your opinion is wrong. Also, you'll do well to look inwards, perhaps you didn't express yourself well. 
Apologize and add clarity next time. If you did, let him know you'll appreciate it if he can listen to you next time to avoid another similar misunderstanding.

What causes fights in a relationship?

Fights are common in relationships. They often start with simple things like a misunderstanding, disagreement, taking each other for granted, not being considerate, lack of patience and respect, etc. The fight also happens when couples betray each other when they cheat.

To Conclude

The truth is misunderstandings are almost inevitable, but you can undoubtedly reduce the frequency of occurrence with conscious efforts. I hope you enjoyed the article? Feel free to use the comment section and share it with your friends.

You may also be interested in: 3 Easy Ways to Find Out If He's Cheating On You

Sonya Schwartz
A hopeless romantic that struggled for many years to find her Mr "Right" and made all the mistakes you could think of while dating. Known for always choosing the wrong guys or messing up relationships, Sonya was finally able to change her approach and mindset when it came to dating which helped her eventually find the man of her dreams and become happily married. You can read more about me here...

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