By · @ColleenOrme  ·  · 145 Shares

Life is good through the champagne and roses… The spontaneous trips, the date nights, the new puppy, the new baby, and new house.

5 Signs Your Significant Other Is a Difficult CommunicatorIt’s even pretty good through the average day.

Let some conflict arise and well, the typical relationship can go to hell in a handbasket.

Every person has their quirks.

The not so charming quality or qualities which are fortunately overlooked due to their far better signature traits. In other words, we all have the ability to be difficult at times. Your significant other is bound to have a few cracks in their armor.

But what about THE difficult communicator?

The SO who has pretty much perfected the ability to stay on top, be in control and be right throughout any and all conflict.

Then you need to come up with a plan. Living with a SO who has all 5 of the following communicating or lack of communicating ‘moves’ will exhaust you before they exhaust the relationship. If they have just one or two of these it may prove tolerable; however another word for ‘difficult’ is ‘inflexible.’

And relationships by nature, better have the ability to bend like a Palm Tree in a hurricane to survive.

If you identify with any of these five communicating red flags it might be best to seek couples counseling or a great course in communication.

Because a SO who challenges you in these ways will ultimately leave even a people pleaser crying ‘Uncle.’

1. The ‘Hang-Up’ or ‘The Walk Out’

Okay, so let’s be honest. 

Nearly everyone might be able to confess they have gotten to the brink in an argument enough to hang up on their SO or walk out of the room or even the house.

However, and this is a BIG, GINORMOUS, HUGE However…

If this happens repeatedly in a relationship, it is both a sign of disrespectfulness and a need to be in control. Oh, and did I mention immaturity?

Grown ups need to settle their conflict. 

It’s not okay to shut down a person in this fashion. Or, to do the sister move and make your SO follow you from room to room – essentially the same as the hang-up or walk out – it just keeps the play in motion but it’s equally as ego-centric.

When you enter into a relationship it means you enter into an unspoken agreement. You can no longer be in habitual control instead you must work things out.

2. The ‘Same Ole Same Ole’

Is it exhausting to try and resolve conflict?

Do you have the same conversation again and again?

If you and your SO lack forward movement because you keep discussing a past issue which can’t be resolved that’s a problem. Or if you are in the habit of giving up and no longer even broaching a subject because you realize it will never be resolved. That too, is a problem.

This can also be called the circular conversation. 

It just goes round and round almost as if your SO has zero ability to hear what you are saying.

Difficult communicators often have trouble hearing what a person is saying to them.

3. The ‘Shut Down’ aka ‘The Couch Spud’

Ah, the signature move of the passive-aggressive personality.

Does your SO ignore you when there’s conflict? Almost to the point of pretending you are not inhabiting the same room?

A good visual?

Your SO sits on the couch with zero interaction back your way.

They are either staring straight ahead at the television, straight down at their computer or straight on at their phone.

And you?

You are giving a one person dissertation or vocal performance for one. 

It’s not okay to be ignored under any circumstances. And worse, this type of passive-aggressive behavior will frustrate a spouse to the point where their behavior or voice will escalate and you got it. The frustrated escalation just reinforces the passively difficult communicator’s behavior. Of course, they must ignore a person who gets this upset. After all, they just sit there calmly like a perfect ‘Couch Spud.’

Don’t give a passively controlling personality the pleasure of reinforcing their false beliefs.

Instead, realize this is a form of control. A mature individual does not sit in a room and ignore any one let alone the person they love.

4. The ‘Turn Around’

A classic move of turning their own bad behavior into yours.

If it weren’t pure emotional abuse, the ‘Turn Around’ might be considered an art form.

This difficult communicator move rearranges or distorts reality.

A SO does something they should not do. Let’s say for example sake, they stayed out all night. When they come home and their spouse is upset, they make their behavior because of the spouse. For instance, they respond they only stayed out all night because they knew if they came home they would be in trouble. Or they say they stayed out all night because the nagging drove them to it.

You get the idea.

It is an individual who lacks self-responsibility and self-accountability. 

This gives them permission to do whatever they please and then blame it on the one they love.

This is extremely difficult to shut down because a person who communicates this way has failed to grow up. They are still communicating like a child, aka, I took the lollipop because I wanted it.

No, when we grow up, we realize we can’t do anything and everything we want to do.

5. The ‘Mysterious Missing Text’

What????!! Did you text me??!! I must have missed that one!

Avoidance is not the worst of these faulty communicating traits but if it is done more for control than avoiding conflict it can be.

Again, this is a question of maturity.

What adult actually purposely does not text back the one they love?

In other words, the ‘mysterious missing texts’ applies less to argumentative moments and more to typical communicating. For instance, you text you need milk picked up on the way home or you ask about something they don’t feel like talking about.

These are not heightened moments of conflict. This is a choice a SO is making to ignore or disregard their spouse and send a message. No, I don’t feel like stopping for milk and no, that’s a topic I won’t discuss with you.

Again, this is repeated behavior. 

One or two milkless evenings do not qualify.

Conflict is never pretty and escalating conflict is downright ugly.

All the more reason to improve communication with you and your Significant Other because escalation is what makes for rampant nasty texts and the desire to walk out of rooms or to yell.

Leading to moments that are hard to rectify and hurt feelings which continue to snowball over time.

If you are in a relationship with an extremely difficult communicator, it will be hard for you to reach them. Therefore, it would be better to put a positive spin on things and make a joint decision to work collaboratively on both of your communicating skills with a couples counselor.

It will be time and money well spent.

Especially since even the least difficult communicators, meaning all of us, could improve their skills.

So we too, leave no one in our own lives crying ‘Uncle’ and learn to bend well like the Palm Tree in the hurricane.

Go watch this video right now and learn how to use tiny little text messages to turn your wife, girlfriend, boyfriend or husband into an absolute “Romance Addict” even if they don’t seem to care one iota about romance now . . . CLICK HERE!

Colleen Sheehy Orme

Colleen Sheehy Orme is a Divorce & Relationship expert. She is a national columnist for a faith based, inspirational website. She writes and speaks on the topics of love, relationships, divorce, and healing. She also consults on these topics and of rebuilding your personal life and personal brand during and after divorce.

Colleen’s national column speaks with her trademark voice. It is filled with the raw vulnerability, emotion, strength, humor and inspiration she lives her life with. Her column tackles the messy side of love while still inspiring love.

She is based out of the Washington, D.C. area where she lives with her three great boys, who seem to tolerate her candid, life musings and their wild, chocolate lab ‘Hazel.’ In addition to being a national columnist, speaker and consultant, she continues to be a freelance journalist and source for various national media outlets. Colleen is also a former business columnist, marketing, PR, and digital strategy consultant.

And most importantly, she still believes in love.

You can find out more about her at and follow her national column | Please follow her Facebook and on LinkedInTwitter

What Do You Think?

1 Comment | Join the discussion

  • Heather Apr 17, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    THANK YOU!!!! Like seriously THANK YOU!!! I’ve never left comments although every one read has helped me become a better me. I have to say this article gave me that light bulb moment that was hard to realize but will change my life I believe. I have to admit I’m guilty of all these examples and can now understand sooo much of where I’ve been going wrong and feel horrible. I lost a great relationship due to poor communication bc my family have never been willing to look at themselves so exhibited these examples also during arguments leading to me never learning how to communicate. I’m 36 and couldn’t be happier I’m finally learning this info. I have to say that although I’m guilty of them, it’s never been bc I’m trying to control someone or not cared about their feelings and contrary, I just never knew how to express how I felt and I guess not understand what they’d b saying so we both would misunderstand each other and end up arguing about something totally different. FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART THANK YOU!! Now if only I knew how to communicate to them how horrible I feel knowing I was making them feel horrible by feeling disrespected and unheard and loved! You helped me sooo much and bravo for you wanting to help others bc if ur humanity and not money bc if so I’d still be continuing on as normal!!!


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