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My Partner Won’t Open Up - What Can I Do?

Do you feel as though your partner doesn’t open up and talk you like you wish they would? Some people are just more innately reserved than others and keep their thoughts to themselves.  However, in a relationship, this can be frustrating, and you may perceive your partner as ignoring you or shutting you out.  Learning why your partner will not open up can be a challenge, but it is entirely possible to achieve with a few key steps.

Discuss the Issue

At times, you may have felt upset with your partner not opening up, that you may have expressed your frustration by telling them they are a bad communicator or demanding they talk to you.  Or maybe you felt that things would not change, so you kept your feelings to yourself and had not discussed the issue with your partner. In order for things to improve, it is important that you discuss how their reserved behaviour impacts you.  Maybe your partner is not aware of how they are coming across.  

Communicate Effectively and Respectfully

When engaging in this sort of dialogue, it’s important always to remain respectful towards each other. As frustrations mount, it can be difficult to express your point, your issues, and your intentions clearly. So, remain calm and focus on obtaining a resolution by being clear about your intentions and desire to feel closer.

Listen to Your Partner

In most instances, partners want to share and communicate with their partner, but hold back out of fear of being judged, criticized, constantly being talked over or not listened to. This could leave your partner feeling pushed to retreat and avoid discussing what they are feeling or thinking. So be mindful about hearing  your partner and show your willingness to really listen to them.

Take Responsibility

Even though it may appear that you are doing everything right and it is your partner who lacks some type characteristic to open up effectively, it’s often both parties that contribute to the problem, even if it’s not obvious. Whether it’s a lack of listening or a tendency to talk over your partner abruptly, just keep in mind that there could be a reason that you’re not aware of, so be prepared to take some responsibility as well.

Be Patient & Show Appreciation

Pushing or demanding your partner to open up more with you isn’t exactly an effective way to make it happen. Resolving this type of issue can take multiple conversations and time, even with the help and guidance of a therapist. So be patient and understand that it will take time to shift certain behaviours and actions. It also helps to show appreciation no matter what the outcome may be from your dialogue. Thanking your partner gives them encouragement and can help foster more open dialogue moving forward.

Dealing with individual differences within a relationship – especially in regards to communication is so important to address. But addressing issues in the right manner can make all the difference between removing that burden to allow your relationship to grow as opposed to crushing it under the weight of more ineffective communication. So if you’ve wished that your partner would open up more to you, reach out to us at Vaughan Relationship Centre Therapy. We can help you and your partner hear each other out and break through that silence to help your relationship grow.

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