I once had a fight with my partner that we allowed to linger unnecessarily long until it affected our communication.
By the time we were both tired of acting childish and tried to fix our communication back, it was incredibly hard.
The conversations felt forced, and things were just not the same.
Not to mention the fact that we had missed out on so many details in each other’s lives in those moments of poor communication.
When people say communication is key in every relationship, it sounds cliche until you see the impact of the absence of communication in a relationship.
Different things may be responsible for a break in communication between couples, but whatever the cause may be, it’s usually wise for couples to fix it early, or they stand the risk of experiencing the following.
15 Things That Happen When Couples Stop Communicating With Each Other
The irony of this is the fact that this is most likely how they got here in the first place.
Like my little story, which I shared earlier, many couples experience a break in communication due to unresolved issues and fights.
Unfortunately, when they allow this to happen, they’re only creating an avenue for more fights.
The absence of proper and healthy communication in a relationship is very likely to cause arguments and make conflicts escalate quickly.
Little issues that could have been easily addressed through communication may linger and grow more significant over time.
Leading to further breaks in communication and then more fights.
It’s a vicious cycle.
When communication is absent, assumptions abound.
If you don’t explain what is going on with you to me, I’m just going to make inferences and draw conclusions based on my observations.
Human beings are great at assumptions, and because assumptions are not healthy for any relationship, the only way to break them is through frequent and intentional communication.
So, in the absence of clear communication, assumptions will set in, which will lead to misunderstandings.
Couples who don’t communicate will misinterpret each other’s thoughts, actions, and intentions, and this will cause serious misunderstandings and further strain the relationship.
3. Emotional distance
As communication between couples breaks down, so does the emotional connection between them.
Communication in the different forms that it comes (dialogue, chatting, gisting, gossip, etc) has a way of bonding couples emotionally.
When they leave a relationship, couples will begin to feel separated and lonely.
They may disconnect from each other and be emotionally uncharged.
4. Cold conversations
In the absence of healthy and clear communication, conversations between couples will be cold and strained.
The emotional distance that poor communication creates makes it difficult for them to talk like lovers.
If they have to share a conversation out of compulsion, it will feel forced and cold.
This is because healthy communication, which is the oil that should lubricate that connection between them, is absent.
5. Poor intimacy
Intimacy, in whatever form it takes, is fostered by a good connection and rapport.
Intimacy can not be possible without vulnerability, and vulnerability is not attainable without communication.
If the communication in a relationship suffers, it has a direct impact on the intimacy shared.
Physical, mental, and emotional intimacy will experience a decline.
You can’t have enjoyable sex with your husband or wife after you both have ignored each other the whole day or even a week.
If you can’t share your burdens with them, you may struggle with sharing your body, too.
6. Growing resentment
At first, when communication between couples begins to diminish, it may not feel very noticeable or serious.
But as it progresses, it gets more serious.
Both parties may begin to expect the other to break the ice and fix things.
Nobody makes the first move, and this causes the communication gap to increase, leading to feelings of built-up resentment.
This resentment can also stem from couples feeling unheard or misunderstood.
They begin to feel like strangers to each other, and a simple “Please, pass me the salt” from one partner can sound very offensive and irritating.
Gradually, this leads to deeper issues.
7. Growing apart and relationship stagnation
Without communication, the connection is lost, and couples will begin to drift apart.
They stop growing together and instead grow apart; while they may be doing okay in their individual lives, their relationship or marriage suffers.
A united couple is not meant to live parallel lives; growth happens when both parties share and evolve together.
If kids are involved, they’re also affected by this tension, and it may influence them to feel unhappy and unstable in their homes.
Other areas of the union, such as plans for the future, finances, and goals, also suffer because of the absence of effective communication.
All of these things tell of impending setbacks as partners struggle to align their visions and aspirations, leading to uncertainty and a lack of direction in the relationship.
8. Poor conflict resolution
One of the things that communication does is that it helps couples resolve their issues and find a middle ground.
Of course, when it’s absent, conflict resolution becomes difficult.
Apart from that, it weakens the ability of the couple to overcome the challenges that confront them.
When communication breaks down, they may resort to silent treatment instead of addressing issues constructively and finding solutions to their problems.
9. Introduction of third parties
If couples are not talking to each other, they’ll be talking to other people.
Humans are social beings, and even the most introverted people have confidants.
When partners stop communicating, they stop being support systems for each other, as that is one of the purposes of communication.
When this happens, one or both of them may feel emotionally isolated and unsupported and begin to seek that fulfillment elsewhere.
They may seek communication and emotional connection outside of the relationship, and I don’t need to tell you how that can lead to infidelity or emotional affairs.
10. Diminished trust
Trust in relationships is built on open and honest communication.
When couples stop talking, the trust they have for each other becomes compromised as they may begin to question each other’s motives and intentions.
They’re not carried along in each other’s lives, so they assume a lot, and this may not go well.
If they eventually try to fix things and rebuild the trust, they may struggle because of the effect of the communication breakdown.
Underlying issues have to be addressed and damages repaired.
11. Increased stress and unhappiness
Couples who stop communicating may not be aware that they’re opening the doors to other negative things.
It’s been established from many people’s experience that a lack of communication between partners can lead to increased stress and unhappiness within the relationship.
One or both parties may feel frustrated, anxious, or unhappy due to the inability to connect on a deeper level.
12. Loss of friendship
I’m always of the opinion that the best couples are couples who have great friendships.
In healthy relationships, partners often see each other as friends as well as romantic partners.
Unfortunately, when communication breaks down, the friendship aspect of the relationship will not remain the same.
This is because communication is not only crucial for romantic relationships; it’s also a key ingredient for friendship.
13. Health consequences
Research has shown that strained relationships and lack of communication can have negative health consequences on couples.
This includes increased stress levels, higher blood pressure, compromised immune function, and mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and feelings of frustration.
This, of course, will further exacerbate the challenges in the relationship.
14. Impact on social life
When people experience issues in their romantic relationships, their other platonic relationships may be affected, too.
Couples suffering poor communication in their relationships may withdraw from social activities.
Because of the stress they’re facing in their primary relationships, they may avoid spending time with friends and family due to tension or conflict within the relationship.
15. Potential breakup
Bad communication can ultimately lead to a breakup or a divorce.
If the communication issues are not addressed and resolved, the relationship may be at risk of dissolution.
Yes, it can get that bad.
This is why couples need to avoid getting to this point.
Because there’s no limit to how far things can go in the wrong direction when communication is lost.
The damage done to the relationship can be irreversible, leading to a permanent breakdown.
Don’t let this happen to you and your partner.
Make an effort to communicate effectively and address any issues that arise in a timely manner.
Ignoring problems or bottling up emotions will only make matters worse.
We are rooting for you!