Sharing, listening needed

If I write absolutely nothing in this space, dear reader, you will have no idea what I intend to tell you.

It would certainly save a lot of time, effort and ink if I could just download my thoughts directly into each of your brains. But that’s way more power than I deserve to have.

Anyway, unless you’re content with having your thoughts rattle around in your head and listen to the echoes made by them bouncing off the insides of your skull, communication is crucial.

This may seem an intuitive and obvious statement, but in a relationship context, the idea gets ignored sometimes. I just recently encountered this issue in a personal context.

My wife and I have never had an argument in the course of our relationship (knock on wood).

I believe this is because we examine any disagreement that could potentially turn sour until a clear solution that works for both of us emerges.

Sometimes, however, I’ll be bothered by something or other and try to hide it from her, pretend that it’s nothing.

I’m not very good at hiding, turns out. She can always tell. Then she becomes bothered by the fact that I’m bothered by something and won’t let her in to help.

It’s a terribly vicious cycle.

If you think about it, the idea of hiding your concerns from someone with whom you have a serious relationship is incredibly silly.

Why let someone into your life if you’re just going to take efforts to push them back out?

If you’re in a relationship and have something trouble on your mind, even if the trouble is about your significant other, you should be able to express it to them.

It’s not like they’re going to scorn or ridicule you for being honest with them. If they do, you’ve got bigger problems than your bottled-up emotions.

Don’t misunderstand me. Complaining, blaming and criticizing are not the same thing as effectively communicating your troubles.

Also, as stereotypical as it is, you should always say what you mean and mean what you say.

A solid, working relationship has no room for clever irony that only serves to muddle and confuse a situation.

Another seemingly obvious point often ignored: it is not always about you.

That’s why it’s called a “relationship.” It is a process of relating with another human being and recognizing that you are a part of a whole.

Your feelings and opinions are completely valid and worthy of close attention, but so are your partners’.

Listening and understanding each other is equally as important being able to express yourselves fully and honestly.

Unfortunately, openness with your partner is not immediate but a process—a process that definitely deserves attention and effort.