Say it like you mean it

When talking about relationships, everyone talks about communication. And we all know it’s important and vital to a healthy relationship. Yet for some reason, it’s still one of the primary points of failure. We kind of suck at it, I guess?

It starts off all innocent and sweet. You’re upset at your significant other, but you don’t want to hurt their feelings, or you’re not sure you’re being reasonable, so you don’t say anything. You might even eventually forget about whatever it was that made you upset, and since you’ve forgotten about it, it must not have been important.

Until your significant other (SO) does it again. Then you’re pissed, because this is the sixth freaking time, and how could they do this to you yet again? Admittedly, you’ve never told them that you’re upset, because… well, they’ve done it six times now! Obviously they wouldn’t have listened to you anyways!

We’re ridiculous.

April and I have experimented with several different modes of communication, and we have found that talking about things immediately is about the only way that works. If your SO upsets you, tell them. Right then. They’re probably going to get upset in turn, either angry at you or guilty and upset at themselves, but it’s better to have it out in the open where it can be dealt with. State the issue, then hug and say you love one another, then give it some time.

I think the last part there is important, and it has worked well for us. Once it’s in the open, you can give each other time to think about it, to analyze your own actions and those of your SO, and then come back together later to talk about the issue a little more objectively. You have to be willing to give ground, to really listen to your SO and try to see things from their point of view, but the important thing is that you’re talking about it.

Otherwise, you end up breaking up years later because something relatively insignificant and easy to resolve has built up, been repeated umpteen times, and is practically insurmountable. It doesn’t need to come to this, and if a few tears along the way is all it takes to keep the relationship intact, I think it’s worth it. Moreover, you’ll both become better people and better able to listen to and help others because you’ve forced yourselves to deal with one another.

When a co-worker comes to you with a complaint, you’ll have learned how to deal with it because, with your SO, you couldn’t just leave or avoid the issue. In the confinements of a relationship, you were forced to deal and learn, and now you are better able to live your life with others.

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