Talk to me: reflective listening.
If it feels a struggle for you and your partner to talk to each other, if, whenever you do, you both feel unheard and misunderstood, it might be time to try some reflective listening. It's a method I use with couples to help them learn to communicate better with each other.
Put simply it goes like this; first you decide what you're going to talk about. Then you decide who's going to start. If it's your partner they start by saying something. You listen. When they stop you don't respond. Instead you repeat back what was said to you in your own words. Not what you like or dislike, agree or disagree with. Not a defence of what you feel unjustly accused of. Not some biting riposte. Just your understanding of what's just been said to you.
To this end it's important that your partner gives you a bite-sized chunk to digest. So not a five minute rant, just one or two minutes max to begin with. You can say when you've heard enough. Once you've shared your understanding and your partner says 'yes you've got it' then it's your turn. If they feel you've missed something they need to tell you what it is. This is not an opportunity to add things they forgot to say, simply to say again whatever they feel you didn't get first time round. Again you repeat what's been said until they feel you've got it. Finally it's your turn and the process repeats itself.
It can feel like painstaking, artificial and frustrating work at first but it gets easier with practice I promise. And it's worth it. For a start the dynamics of arguing slow right down which will help with listening.
I suggest people make appointments with each other to do it as often as is feasible within their lifestyle - so 5 minutes a day at 7.30am, 15 minutes a week Weds at 10pm whatever feels realistic. Because when couples work at it regularly they can find that in quite a short time they both begin to feel heard and understood by each other. Which doesn't mean you necessarily agree but the sense that your partner has listened and gets you, even if they still feel you're wrong, will support the endeavour of working together to resolve your differences.