“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
― George Bernard Shaw
I am in the midst of ending a long-term relationship of more than 16 years and as can be expected it is filled with regrets, remorse and recriminations. The reasons are many from my side, but not so clear from my partners. He’s said ‘we want different things”, which I find to be an unsatisfying response at the least and disingenuous at worst. But, this is not Bloggers revenge, rather it’s focus on the communication styles between males and females so let’s engage.
You see, as I began to tell my friends about the split, many of them opened up about their particular trials in long-term relationships. One friend who has been married nearly 30 years is on the verge of a split and another friend who has been married just over 25 years is consulting an attorney about dissolving her marriage. Yet, like me these are not cases of adultery or financial mismanagement or any type of treachery. They are all about couple’s inability to communicate. And so I ask the question, “why can’t we speak up to save our relationships?”
You see we’ve been taught in our professional lives to communicate. Communicate early and often. Over communicate. And for the most part we’ve taken that to heart. Communications via phone, e-mail, in person, text message, social media messaging. We are all on communications overload.
Yet in our personal lives we seem to have lost that ability to communicate. Yes, we talk about where to go for dinner or where the kids have to be or who has what chores. But we’ve lost the ability to talk as we did when we first met about our hopes and dreams and plans. Yet we’ve never stopped considering those things so why do we stop having those conversations. In my situation my mates comments about us ‘wanting different things” is completely erroneous We didn’t stop wanting the same things we just stopped talking at all about what we want now. We are by no means the same people we were 16 years ago and certainly our situation is different, changed by children, grandchildren and a bitch of a recession.
And my friends’ situations are no different. We come home, have perfunctory conversations about our day and associated checklist items, but we don’t check in with each other. We don’t know where we are now and it’s for sure we are in different places than we were when we met.. Many times we just want some peace and quiet. So the things we do discuss are usually hurried, likely consisting of one-word answers and rote replies.
Certainly I don’t presume to speak for all women but even in the midst of an argument you want some resolution and when there is a lack of communications you never get that. There is satisfaction in conclusion and it’s unfortunate we have to sometimes breakup to attain it.
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