by Elizabeth Spannuth
Communication is the name of the game and we are constantly hearing about how important it is to talk to your partner. “Communicating” is not always pleasant. It might be positive, but not necessarily pleasant. Some subjects can be tough or uncomfortable and some things are just hard to hear coming from a loved one. There are tons of relationship experts out there ready to tell us how to do it, offering tip and tricks for successful interactions. Expert advice can be a fun read, but you really have to find what works for you and your relationship. Warning: this requires being honest with your mental blocks/limitations; a concept that is simple, but not easy.
I need to work on objectivity. This can be a big challenge for me, especially in a love relationship where emotions can hi-jack the show. And adding some hormones to the mix during “that time of the month” definitely colors my interpretation of what is said to me. It’s amazing how negative a brain bathed in estrogen is! This set of circumstances can take a small comment and blow it up to a relationship crisis.
My boyfriend has what we jokingly call “a word problem.” He tends to not think about the words he’s chosen before he releases them into the world. So something that was not meant to be offensive comes out sounding just that way simply due to poor wording. For example, the other day he turned to me and said, “You’re not going to wear that, are you?” Now, had he said this to me during my “sensitive time” (PMS) I would have let this stab me in the heart and my ego would have taken over: “Was this not a cute enough outfit? Did I look fat? How dare he criticize me!” Luckily for both of us, it wasn’t that time of the month, so I just turned to him and said, “Rethink what you just said.” He thought for a few minutes and I saw the light bulb go off about his head. Then he turned to me and said, “It’s going to cool off later. Will you be warm enough?” Crisis averted!
I tend not to bring up a subject until I have thought through what I need to say. I have found that giving me this space really helps with my own clarity. If I am coming from a place of fear (anger, betrayal) I will not say what I need to, because I will get lost in my own negativity. Taking time to process and really discover what is bothering me is key and helps me to feel more proactive, getting as close to objectivity as possible. My partner’s “word problem” represents the other end of the spectrum and, obviously, can be a challenge for me, but I prefer diarrhea of the mouth to constipation of the soul. It’s like I tell my sweetie pie, “I don’t always like what you have to say, but I love that fact that you talk to me.”
Elizabeth Spannuthbelieves in love as a driving force in our lives. She is continually amazed by the humor at work in the universe and approaches things with a wry witticism. She firmly believes that love takes many forms as she herself has had many different kinds of meaningful, relationships. She has said “I do” and signed “I don’t” and thanks the powers that be for giving her the grace learn from every experience. She has a varied professional background that includes performing arts training, event planning, sales and marketing planning and execution and serving as a whipping girl in corporate America. She is currently the Love Evangelist at Good Clean Love.