Hi, My husband is a great guy, but doesn't know how to 'communicate.' I, on the other hand, need to talk EVERYTHING through. How can I make sure we both get what we need? It makes me crazy when something is 'wrong' but he can't tell me.
The whole key to communicating is for both people to feel understood. This can only happen when one person talks and the other person listens to what is being said and then relates to their partner's feelings in a caring and understanding way.
Some people have a hard time putting their feelings into words while some people have a hard time listening to what is being said to them. They may also have a hard time responding to what their partner says without getting defensive. This is what makes communicating such a challenge for couples.
Furthermore, there are those who need to "vent" and express how they feel by describing what happened, what their partner has done to upset them, or what they didn't like about a situation.
It sounds like you are a "venter" and look to connect with your husband by sharing with him how you are feeling.
However, there are those who are not always aware of what's bothering them, prefer to avoid a "heavy" discussion, or are afraid that talking about their feelings ( if they know what they are) will lead to an argument. They, therefore, don't initate or may look to shut down "communicating conversations". It sounds like that's your husband's style.
What you need to do is find the middle ground between your different styles. Sounds like he may need to learn to talk more and, since it comes so easily to you, perhaps you can guide him.
Ask him directly if he is upset or if something is bothering him because you noticed a change in his mood/ behavior . If he's not aware of it, you can suggest he give it some thought , offer some possibilities you think might be on his mind, and encourage him to share even something small or seemingly insignificant so he can get it off his chest. Making the room for him to let you know what's bugging him may be the green light he needs to go ahead and talk to you.
Also, when you go to talk with him, try to scale it down so he doesn't get to overwhelmed and not know how to respond to what you are saying. The risk of going into "everything" all at once is that your partner can get flooded, and wind up saying nothing in response because he simply doesn't know where to begin. The problem with that is it will leave you feeling "unheard" and is likely to trigger you to continue talking in hopes of being related to. Thus, the more you talk, the less you get and the more you feel derailed in your communicating.
So, try to keep it simple, stick to one thing at a time.. and also give your partner the time to "think" about what you're saying and then continue the conversation perhaps later that night or the next day. In this way, he will have the room to think things through and hopefully be better able to get what you're saying.
Then you'll both feel accepted and understood.
How do you handle communications differences in your relationship?