Many marital conflicts are caused by lack of good communication. The problem of "not listening" becomes extremely evident, if you raise an unpleasant topic, ask for something or criticize a person.
Typical examples would be unpleasant topics like problems of the child, spending not enough time together, lack of cooperation in the house, financial issues.... .
"You are not listening!", is a very common complaint and probably one of the most important causes of marital discord.
The accused partner may feel very uncomfortable and tries to prepare a defense or some way to get rid of the unpleasant talk.
The spouse might refer to an actual problem (problems of the child at school, financial concerns, lack of cooperation in the house, not enough time spent together).
Very often, this is not only restricted to an actual behaviour or problem, but to "all" situations or prior experiences of the partner. So this may start an argumentation about the "truth" or exact frequencies, specific situations or words or prior discussions.
These arguments are not at all based on listening and communication but are more or less influenced by escalating anger and frustration. This can cause additional very personal attacks and scars.
But it is possible to establish better communication skills. First of all, try to establish a better skill of "LISTENING" to each other, e.g.
- face each other
- look at each other
- let each talk in turn while the partner is silent