Relationships 101: Communication

loving divorce

Anyone that has been in a relationship for longer than two minutes knows they take work, and lots of it. Joe and I have been together for almost 7 years (the end of this month in fact) and married for over a year and a half. We’ve moved four times, to three different states. We’ve bought two houses together. We’ve experienced our share of heart break in the relationship. We’ve both held things in, letting resentment and frustration build.
We’ve said things to each other that we wouldn’t say to our worst enemy.

I want to take a moment to talk about communication, because it is vitally important. It’s a lesson I learn everyday. How is he going to know what I want if I never tell him? How am I going to know what he needs if he never tells me? Our last big fight was last week, and we were both sobbing by the end. As much as I hated saying what I did, he needed to hear it. The sign of a strong relationship is feeling secure enough to say those kinds of things without it blowing up in your face. As much as we both hated hearing the things the other was saying, we needed to hear it. We talked about the things we need to see change in our relationship, and we’re taking the steps to make those changes.

People change constantly. It’s a fact of life, and something that needs to be taken into consideration in any long term relationship. However, there are three things that should never change in a relationship, and the first of those things is communication. You will never have a reason to not communicate with your partner. But how do you do that? There are three things that I believe are important to communication:

  1. Talk about your day. We like to sit down every night and just go over the happenings of our day, especially the parts that we weren’t together for. This helps us form a bond that goes deeper than just love. Being involved in each others day, even if only by hearing about it, helps keep us connected on a deeper level.
  2. Every once in a while, have an emotional and psychological check in. Especially for someone like me, where my mental well-being can fluctuate through no fault of mine or Joe’s, this is incredibly important. I don’t always wear my heart on my sleeve, so it’s easy to miss when I’m having a bad few days. Having a check in every few days helps keep my mental health in check, and helps Joe realize when I need a little extra attention from him.
  3. If you have a problem, bring it up. This is where I have the most problems. Because of my past relationships, I always feel like my concerns or problems are me over thinking and over analyzing, or being overly emotional. I have to realize, as do YOU, that our emotions matter, even if they don’t make sense. And if we let the little things build up, they have a tendency to become the big things. For me, I have to take some time to calm down and gather my thoughts before I approach Joe with my concerns. I can’t go into a discussion like this angry or upset, even if the situation calls for anger or distress. It helps me if I write out what I need to say, not because I don’t feel comfortable talking about my emotions, but because I tend to get scatter brained and that’s when I start crying or yelling. So if you need to, write it out.

I know talking isn’t always easy, especially when the topic is difficult or you know that what you have to say is going to hurt the other person. But taking the time to communicate on a regular basis, even about the little things, makes talking about the big things so much easier.

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