#186: Why Do We Always End Up Fighting? Fix Your Communication Struggles

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Unlocking the Secrets to Effective Relationship Communication

Do you ever find yourself pouring your heart out, only to feel misunderstood or completely unheard? It's one of the most painful feelings, isn't it? The frustration of feeling isolated from the person you love the most can be overwhelming. But what if I told you there’s a way to change that? A way to bridge that emotional gap and create meaningful connections through effective communication?


Welcome to Love Shack Live, a haven for those standing at a relationship crossroads, grappling with daily conflicts, and yearning to close the growing emotional gap. I'm Staci Bartley, a relationship expert, and I'm here with my co-host and lover, Tom, and our daughter, Brooke. Together, we guide you on this journey toward healthier, more fulfilling relationships.

Overcoming Communication Pitfalls

We start by uncovering common communication pitfalls and share insights on how to avoid them. We call it learning the language of love because it truly is about learning a new, effective language. Techniques that involve debate, negotiation, or manipulation, as seen in business settings, often fail in romantic relationships. True communication between lovers requires understanding, not control.


For instance, using manipulation tactics when sharing matters of the heart can lead to conflict. Recognizing and addressing these pitfalls opens the door to more productive and loving conversations.

Understanding Common Forms of Communication Breakdown

Here's a glimpse of common communication breakdowns that I often see:

1. Light a Match and Run: This involves dropping a provocative statement and then withdrawing from the conversation. It incites a reaction but shuts down productive dialogue.

2. Bossy Forms of Communication: This style dismisses input from the partner, leading to resentment and a lack of connection.

3. All Knowing Wise One: This approach, often rooted in believing one's superior experience or knowledge invalidates the partner's perspective.

4. Silent Treatment: Choosing not to say anything at all might seem safe but can cause immense frustration and anxiety for the other person.

5. The Abuser: This form involves continuously making the partner 'pay' for past mistakes, leading to a cycle of negativity and emotional damage.

6. The Pleaser: Overcompensating to make the partner happy at the expense of one’s own needs can lead to imbalance and eventually resentment.

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Building Blocks of Effective Communication

Effective communication is built on a few key practices:

- Personal Statements of Truth: Sharing your own thoughts and feelings authentically.

- Advocating: Expressing what’s important to you and why.

- Questions: Asking open-ended questions fosters deeper understanding and engagement.

- Sharing: Engaging in light-hearted, visionary conversations that bond you.

- Agreements: Making clear, mutual agreements to foster cooperation.

- Affirmations: Regularly expressing appreciation and love.

The Power of a Pause

When emotions run high, it’s crucial to harness the power of a pause. Think of it as the music between the notes. Taking a step back allows everyone to process their feelings and gather their thoughts, ultimately leading to more constructive conversations.

Final Thoughts and Practical Tips

Remember, everyone has their own movie playing out in their minds, and we must honor that. Don’t talk for someone else or guess their feelings; let them share. Own your feelings and avoid blaming others for triggering emotional responses in you.


Sincere questions are your powerhouse. They invite your partner into the conversation, allow for deeper exploration, and promote inclusion.


If you find yourself resorting to "I don’t know," recognize it as a shut-down mechanism and strive to offer some response, even if tentative. Lastly, embrace the window of neutrality to reflect and come back to challenging conversations with a clearer perspective.

Resources mentioned in this episode:


  1. Better Love Club: Access unlimited resources, workshops, and a supportive community to deepen your relationship skills. Explore the club.
  2. Relationship Conversation Cards: Enhance your communication and deepen your connection with our Relationship Conversation Cards. stacibartley.com/cards

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