Communication: “2. means of connection between people or places, in particular”.
Any relationship that is absent of communication is absent of growth and vulnerable to separation, temptation, and resentment. Often times, couples will say, ‘there was a lack of communication’, when too much time has passed and now they want out of the relationship. Communication is associated with spending quality time or bonding time. At the root of many relationships, communication is the #1 proponent to a healthy relationship. Without communication, issues, concerns, and questions never become heard or addressed. So you can only imagine if a person has kept in their emotions for so long without being able to voice or communicate their emotions to their partner, how damaging it is to hold it all in for so long – which ultimately leads to separation if no one decides to take the time to communicate.
I often observe the word communication is only brought up when one or both partners have reached their limit. Someone will accuse the other of not communicating enough, not listening enough, not paying attention, etc. So what accounts to all of these communication issues? Well, I think a lot of it has to do with our pride. So why am I choosing to talk about this? Besides the fact that communication is a necessity for ALL relationships even platonic ones, I have seen how a lack of communication has affected my mental and emotional space. Therefore, it affects how I am in my relationship with my fiancé.
Recent events opened up my eyes to how important communication is. I know, I’m 26 soon to be 27 and was in one other serious relationship before my fiancé, and yes, it just registered with me how important it is to have good communication with your partner. Communication, not just a means to relay concerns or issues, but communication as talking about your days, how you are feeling today, and what your opinions are certain things are, etc. It’s crazy to think that sometimes it’s THAT simple, right? Yes, it’s that simple to talk about how work was or how annoyed you were with the lady standing in line at the store with you today. My fiancé would ask me every day, ‘how was work? How was your day? What did you do today”? My answers weren’t always the sweetest. You’d think, why? What’s the big deal about telling your partner how your day was, right? Right, I totally agree with you. That answer had more to do with me than him.
As I started this series, I’m at a very conflicting time in my life. I am stressed beyond imagination. My skin has even reacted to my stress and started breaking out in eczema and scalp psoriasis. This all started about three years ago. No, for those who have been following my story, it is not because of my fiancé. He just happened to come at the tail end of something I would’ve never imagined would happen to me. My stress levels started to become through the roof. I couldn’t handle it. So naturally my body shut down. I felt it made more sense to not show any emotion or passion about anything because my body needed all of that energy to make sure I won’t go crazy. I needed to make sure that all of the stress wouldn’t get the best of me so I chose to not communicate with my fiancé. Now, I see that it has caused me more damage than good.
Not communicating with my fiancé didn’t help anyone, especially me. I hate bottling my emotions. So why would it make sense for me to NOT talk to my fiancé about my day? We weren’t put on this earth alone, so why choose to go through the world alone? Almost every answer I gave was, “it was okay, I didn’t do anything”. Then go back on my phone. Now imagine being in my fiancé’s shoes and feeling that cold, lame, pathetic answer every day – when all you’re trying to do is show interest in your fiancé. I can’t fathom the emotional toll it took on him every day. The past year the thought of that would wiggle its way into my mind. I started to reflect on it later that night or the next day of how I could’ve responded better. Then of course being the prideful woman I am, I shook off the feeling. I continued to tell myself, ‘it’s because I’m stressed’, until recently, God made me see how wrong I was for dismissing the love and care for the man that He sent for me.
So we had a recent setback. During the entire process I held my composure. I showed no emotion. I walked in and walked out. Then as the day progressed, the outcome started to become heavier on my heart. It was crazy how you can be your own downfall sometimes. Usually my fiancé and I would talk about what happened and we’d always get into a heated discussion. But this time it was different. Instead of trying to be the regulator of his venting, I sat there and listened. I listened to his points, some valid, some straight out of emotion. I just noticed the difference was listening. Sometimes we just need to vent. Sometimes we just need to say things to get it off of our chest. Most of the time we say things in anger or sadness that we don’t strongly believe or mea but we just need to let it be heard. Frequently that’s was the case with my fiancé.
My fiancé wears his heart on his sleeve. He is very emotional and passionate about, well, almost everything. So he needs to talk and communicate, especially on topics such as sensitive as what we’re going through. Yet I was being selfish and wouldn’t allow him to communicate, which forced him to hold it in. During this venting session, I just sat there and listened. In the beginning I was talking back. I brought up questions and such. Then I just found it more peaceful in my heart to just let him talk. It turned out to be a great discussion at the end of it all! Now let’s get back to the rest of the day. Well, of course my emotions and mind come late to the party. As the day continued, I became more emotional. Eventually I was crying and couldn’t contain myself. Well you see how quickly that emotional roller coaster went down.
Fast forward to the next day – my emotions are still in disarray. I then start to just talk to God, not in a calm manner either. I was angry, of course. I felt like I was being punished. I felt like I couldn’t catch a break. If you knew the entire situation and events leading, then you’d probably think and feel the same way. I still went to work after getting in a good 20 minute cry before work. Worked. Then went home. My fiancé came home and like clockwork, ‘Hi babe, how was your day? How was work’? Instead of giving him the cold shoulder, I told him. I hold him about work. I told him about me crying before work. I told him how I was feeling throughout the day. I told him how I felt at that moment. I told him so much. Then he told me about his day. It was beautiful to see all of his expressions. It was amazing to see how alive he was just telling about the lunch that he had that day. Just in that conversation, I felt so good.
With that conversation alone, I felt more connected to him. I felt like I found the answer to my anxiety and fears. That answer was God and communication. God allowed an unexpected outcome to happen in order to guide me to my fiancé. To make me realize that He is with me and it’s through my fiancé. All I needed to do was communicate with him. All I needed to do was allow him to talk to me about the small things because that leads to the trust and compassion to discuss the big things. I know that was a long winded way to say, communicate with your partner. You don’t realize how much it will help the both of you to just take the time to communicate. You have chosen to be with this person, so why not work for a deeper connection? Why allow the flesh and the ways of the world to come in-between your relationship? Instead, take the time to talk and celebrate the little victories.
I realized that my fiancé is much more vocal than I am. I also know that my fiancé reacts in the moment while I take time to process it then allow my emotions to take effect after. We have to learn how to communicate. This doesn’t happen overnight. Different events bring out different things in us so we are always evolving as much so with how we speak to one another. Communication is important but you need to put in the effort. Communication is about selfishly and actively listening with loving and caring intentions.
I know, it sounds crazy to view communication in your relationship this way – very dramatic. But listen, take time to reflect and see how often and for how long do you and your partner talk about your days? Do you talk about your feelings on the daily? When you do have a disagreement, how do you handle it? Have you learned how each other communicate? If you are choosing this person to be your husband/wife, it no longer is about you. It becomes ‘we’. To create an everlasting relationship you need to understand each other and what better way than to communicate?