Over the two and a half decades William and I have been together, we have always been good at one thing. Or so I thought.
I knew how to talk. I loved to talk about many things. We would spend hours walking and talking when we first met. After we committed to each other for life, we spent many a morning or night lying in bed talking.
But the one thing I couldn’t do was share my feelings. I couldn’t tell William exactly how I felt. I would keep it in for fear we would end up in an argument or he’d come back with something completely contradictory. I wouldn’t know how to continue the discussion and often times got confused as to what we were discussing in the first place. I used to keep my thoughts in, thinking he was right and my opinion wasn’t that important, downplaying it all.
As the years went on, William began to recognize when I was keeping things in. He’d make sure I said my piece and got it all out. Because he is the type of person who worked at sharing his feelings and stating his opinion, I knew I needed to follow or our relationship would suffer.
I needed to open up and make myself vulnerable to him, believing that he would be there for me no matter what. I needed to realize that even an argument was better than stuffing it back down and that what I had to say, no matter how trivial it seemed, mattered.
Among all the dysfunction we may have passed down to our children, communication is one of the greatest gifts we have been able to give them.
What are your thoughts and opinions when you are discussing something with your partner? Are you minimizing what you think or stuffing your opinion to avoid yet another argument? What you have to say matters. It’s a two way street and both of you need to be on it.
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