What “We Need Help Communicating” Usually Means

October 31, 2014

It’s not unusual for couples to notice that they’ve drifted apart after a few years of being together. They gradually notice that they love one another but no longer feel ‘in love’ and miss the closeness they once shared. They remember that when they first met they could spend hours talking and listening to each other. They remember how close they felt and want to find a way to be close again. Sometimes they’ll sum this up by saying “we need help communicating” but what couples are really wanting is to feel close again.

These couples are on the right track when they think of the connection between “communication” and “closeness” because the foundation of emotional openness and physical closeness is the assurance you have that you will be heard and understood by your partner. That’s where communication becomes part of the solution to the problem of distance. Remembering how to listen and take in what your partner is saying, practicing understanding and speaking from your heart are all communication skills that are the foundation of growing close again.

It might be tempting to dismiss communication and communication skills as simply behaviors that don’t change the underlying distance in a relationship between two people. But these skills can be the difference that really makes a difference in growing close again.


Wanda Sevey, M.Div, LMFT is a Senior Staff Therapist and Director of Council for Relationships’ Voorhees and Lawrenceville, NJ offices. She is an ordained minister in the progressive United Church of Christ and is interested in helping clients of all (or no) religious and faith backgrounds explore the connections between their own spirituality, religion, sexuality and relationships. Request an appointment with her today!

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