So frustrating! DH and I had awful communication. We did go to counseling a few years ago and it helped but we still have to work at it to have a productive conversation.
It’s easy to get lazy in this area. It’s easier not to have difficult conversations; wording things properly and still getting the point across, really listening. But to make things work you just have to suck it up and do it. It's so worth it in the end! There are plenty of books and workbooks on this subject if you’re against counseling.
Unfortantely, in my case, I moved out. We had two different ways of communicating which turned into frustration which turned into arguements which turned into him walking out of the house for hours (if not an entire night) and leaving me to fend for myself. He said he was interested in counseling but he just never found the time. *sigh* But if counseling is not an option for whatever reason, pick up a couple self-help books. I recommend Women are from Venus, Men are from Mars. It's an oldie but goody.
Thank you all for your responses! I hear what you guys are saying about setting down the ego and paying attention to wording and really listening.
I think our arguments a lot of times come from him feeling attacked by what I'm saying when I don't mean to be attacking at all. For instance yesterday he brought up an idea for us to try instead of what we have been doing, and I actually did think it was a good idea. My thought process went: it's a good idea so let's make sure we take everything into consideration so that it ends up really working well. I started questioning him, and he ended up feeling attacked and shut off. We talked through it in the end, but stuff like that is so frustrating when that's NOT how I want to be spending my time with him.
I'm thinking the next thing something like that comes up that I'll stop my initial response when he brings up an idea, and remind myself to immediately tell him I think it's a great idea. Then when I ask my questions (which I think are important to understanding the full picture) hopefully he'll feel like I'm on his side.