Diana, a married woman, says that while her husband and she do just fine talking over the phone, they find it hard to communicate when they are together. “The conversation goes nowhere. We get defensive. One of us then stops talking and the whole thing just collapses. How can we improve it?” she writes.
On a lighter note, I would say that if phone communication works for you, then stick to it. Do not take up controversial topics in person.
Unfortunately, this is not the best way for a good couple to live their married life, and it is not a bad idea to work towards better communication at all times. We all find it somewhat difficult to talk about uncomfortable topics in person – sometimes it is easier to say those things over the phone because we do not have to make eye contact or watch other people’s reactions. It is also easy to write about certain things than to say them in person.
The best way to improve communication as a couple is to trust each other – the reason you are afraid to say things to each other when you are together is because you do not want to see the reaction that he will have. Of course, sometimes he will get angry or react negatively, but you will need to learn to accept that and figure out a way to defuse the tension so that the communication does not break down. Avoiding his negative reaction is not going to be helpful.
Another way to handle this dilemma is to discuss difficult topics over the phone briefly but then have the final conversation in person. By doing so, you are already aware of what his initial reaction is so that you can now approach it the right way and minimize conflict.