Saturday, March 12, 2011

Communication Equals Respect

When people come out of long term relationships they tend to know certain things; they tend to have a better idea of what they want or need in a relationship but, more importantly, they definitely know what they don't want in a future partner.

This can cause them to produce lists of "desires" on a dating site profile that may be interpreted, by the person reading them, in a negative way.  Personally, I do not mind this, as long as the list is not too long and unrealistic.  I would hope that a person coming out of many years of partnership would have gained some wisdom from the experience.  This is a good thing in my mind and I would rather meet someone who has some definite "partner/relationship aspirations", then some wishy-washy desperately lonely person who will settle for anyone.

For myself, the big need in any future partner is communication.  This is completely crucial to me. Gone are the days of suffering through endless hours with someone in a tension-filled silentfest, trying to guess what is wrong.  My ex-husband was good at stomping around the house, slamming doors and cupboards, and virtually ignoring me or treating me coldly, for hours/days, instead of sitting down and talking to me about what was bothering him.  In the beginning I would question him.....what is wrong, why are you angry?  He would know perfectly well what is wrong!  After a while I just gave up and let him stomp and rage around.  I am not a mind reader and I have no desire to be one.  There seemed no point in wasting my energy trying to figure out why he was upset.  So years passed by with many days wasted on unproductive negativity when all that was needed was COMMUNICATION.

I will admit that I am not perfect in this regard; sometimes I need time to process things but...I know that I do not treat my partner badly in the interim.  I may be quiet while the processing is occurring but it does not take me very long to figure it out and then relay my thoughts, so that we can discuss the matter.  This is simply the adult thing to do.

I was in a store the other day and witnessed a couple with a young baby.  The man was asking the woman questions about what she wanted and if she liked this or that.  The woman would not look at him and was answering his questions in monosyllables while looking at their child.  The tension between them filled a space of a 25 foot circumference surround.  I became physically sick to my stomach and had to quickly walk away.

Why oh why do people do this to themselves and their relationships?  I simply do not understand.  Is all this negativity and time wastage really necessary in a lifetime that is altogether too short?  Why can't people just sit down with one another and communicate what is on their minds so they can start the process of understanding and recovery?

It seems to me that if you love someone, it follows that you treat them with respect.  In my mind, behaving coldly or nastily to your loved one does not equal respect.  Respect equals sitting down calmly with your partner and communicating your thoughts.  This is the only way to propagate a loving, understanding, and supportive environment for a healthy union.


  1. It is all about pride. Sometimes O/one simply needs to ask T/themselves "Is this person worth the sacrifice of M/my pride?" Sometimes the answer is yes, unfortunately sometimes the answer is no. When it is no, it is time to go.

  2. I'd say that it's more because of an unhealthy childhood where parents dismissed or completely ignored the child's problems. I somehow grew up in that environnement and thanks to that I often have a very good understanding of "silent" people and I can see the true pain through the fake smiles. After going through all that, a logical defense mecanism is developped : a wall of silence that protect us from feeling vulnerable and so much alone, again. We do not want to repeat the bad experience and hurt the old scars. But these broken adults can easily speak if they feel that they are being understood.

    That's a profile that could fit the silent/despondent people. Your ex-husband sounds more like a narcissist/control freak with very poor impulse control. He might have been an only child, the favourite, or have seen his mother completely obsequious for whatever reason.

    "Respect equals sitting down calmly with your partner and communicating your thoughts. This is the only way to propagate a loving, understanding, and supportive environment for a healthy union."
    I can not agree with that for a multiple of reasons. The source of the tension is emotional and often located in the unconscious. The best way to deal with it is to directly confront him/her, take out all his/her tension and show him/her that you can take him/her at his/her worse. This will leave a huge emotional imprint that will last forever, you will be remembered as the only one who understand and he/she will somehow be free of his/her cross.

    Respecting the pain the other one is feeling means accepting it as it is, without restraints or being covered by words.

    Verbal communication is not necessary most of the time. Everything can be read through the postures, the face, the eyes, the voice, etc and it's so much faster.

  3. Pride? Interesting...I had not thought of it in that way before. I think the word has a different meaning for me, or, at least, I would be more tempted to use the term "self respect". I certainly understand what you are saying however, and I agree heartily.

  4. Looks like blogger ate my old comment.

    Commmunication is essential but complicity is even more important. There are many emotions or ideas that are important to us but that we don't want for whatever reason to explain and if our interlocutor doesn't understand these by himself we are not inclined to communicate any further. He has already betrayed the trust that we had in him about being like us and worthy of our confidence.

    In a normal relationship communications and reasons to communicate are very important as well as a little creativity so that no one gets bored. It can happen more suddenly than one would expect. I've seen too many people madly in love then quickly someone didn't care anymore.

    Charli, did you ever feel the need to communicate more with a partner ? Could you give me an example ?