From the deepest, and most heartfelt argument, to the easiest of texts to show consideration and respect, communication is critical. That doesn’t just go for romantic relationships. That goes for any relationship. Communication is just especially important in romantic relationships.
Communication is how understandings are reached and expectations established and shared. Understanding the importance, not just of what was said, but what was intended, or meant. It is so easy to misunderstand or misinterpret messages and it is a quick way to an argument. Arguments are so easy to avoid, in theory, but in the heat of the moment, poor communication, misunderstood and misinterpreted messages are the fastest way to a disagreement that can get verbally or even physically violent.
Ask as many questions as you can or need, but be tactful. Get clarification and ensure you actually understand what was said or intended. When they ask you where you were, that isn’t just about where you physically were. It is also about why you weren’t where they thought or were under the impression you would be.
Pay close attention to tone and body language as well. Any seemingly innocent or inconsequential question could have the type of underlying meanings that are not so innocent or inconsequential at all. The same statement or questions, spoken in different tones, can have two entirely different meanings.
Think about times when you were asked “How was work?” Sometimes, you are actually being asked how your day was at the office, store, etc. Pay close attention to how it was asked. You of all people should be able to tell by a certain point when there is some distress in their voice. Perhaps they are asking this question as a hint that you should ask them how their day was because it was miserable and they need to talk about it.
Treat communication as a pleasure rather than responsibility and things will go so much better. Disagreements will happen no matter what. No matter what, you are different people with different experiences and clashes are inevitable. How you communicate will always determine the outcome of these clashes.