Communication in Relationships : A Discussion (hopefully!)

Here’s what it is. I am so sick of people and their childish relationships. All relationships or “ships”, friends, family, relationship doesn’t matter, should be at an adult communication level. Most of the people that request support in groups I run are always talking about communication problems in their ‘ships’. Common problems I hear are talking and not listening, listening and not talking, or just not talking about it and avoiding.

An example I ran into the other day:

Guy meets girl and they fall in love. In this girls, last relationship she tried for years to make sure her partners friends and him stayed in touch and communicated. He was kind of anti-social so she put in a lot of effort. In this new relationship the girl does the same thing. She invites his friends to hang out, do activities, and even shares things of her own with them. Well this guys best friend is a flake, made promises he didn’t keep, talked to her inappropriately, told her very mean things about her boyfriend, erratic behavior…the list goes on. Although this was him, the girl suffers from severe acceptance issues and wants her boyfriend to be happy so she STILL invites him to things. He STILL doesn’t show to things or do what he says he will do. Well this guy drops off the face of the earth for a while (anyone can see he was jealous that his friend was in love and didn’t know how to ask for his own time with his friend). He recently came back into his life and the two friends caught up. Well, this guy informed the girl that his friend didn’t like her and that’s why he stopped talking to him.

(A lot more to the story, like why she lets people treat her poorly, but we’ll go over that later)

This guy is 30ish. How can you be this old and not communicate your needs properly? Why does this guy think it’s okay to be like this? How many times has this worked to reinforce the behavior? How many people let him do this? Were his parents like this? Does he do this to all his friends?

Personally, I wouldn’t tolerate childish behavior. If you can’t communicate to me your wants and needs, then I will not be friends with you. You don’t have to be good at communicating them, I always tell my friends, “if you can’t say it to my face, then text me it or sing it”.  The half a year of no talking, because you felt left out is something someone learning how to communicate does. That would maybe me acceptable from a small child, not an educated, employed person.

In the end, it’s not the girl at fault.

In the end, the girl is a scapegoat. She will now think that there is something wrong with her, when their might not be.

As I was listening to this story and processing it, I thought about my own communication flaws and strengths. My biggest issue I have with myself is I always take the, “Well if you’re gonna keep accusing me of it, I’m gonna do it”. In the situation above, I would have given him a reason not to like me. She spent all this time and effort on him and in the end he probably can’t spell her name. I would easily give him a reason not to like me, but that’s me. I would do a great job at communicating to him that he was an asshole and didn’t need to worrying about not liking me anymore.

 

What should she do? Better question that we haven’t addressed…what will her boyfriend do?

These are my Saturday thoughts.

 

*Writing helps me process my own thoughts and emotions and I love feedback on how other people would process these types of situations*

 

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The Claws of My Depression

He said, “I do know one thing about you….I think that you spend more time alone than people realize”.

He’s right. I do.

Sometimes my depression is loneliness and loneliness enjoys company so here I am. Hanging out with depression. I don’t prefer to be alone with depression, but that’s how she likes it. She prefers me, blinds closed, curtains drawn, lights off, and most importantly all to herself. She’s not as selfish as PTSD who makes me tape newspapers to the window or hide for hours from imaginary, but real fears.

But, depression is still selfish. She wants me to herself, not matter the cost. She doesn’t care about my spouse, my pets, my friends, my teacher, my deadlines, my work, or even a stranger. It cares about comforting itself by wrapping me in in it’s arms of isolation.

When mania comes, she struggles to overpower her enemy. Mania is able to pull ahead for a little, maybe an hour, maybe a week, but in the end depression grabs me with cold black claws and takes me home.

Hot Water

The burning water hits my sensitive skin
I feel a cold rush through my body
It coldens the numbness inside me, like a yearning sin
The steam rushes up my nose and takes me back
The hot springs in Boulder
Lavender, the cold cave floor, my naked body
Vulnerable, waiting for the attack
Thursday, bubble bath, wine, strawberry candle
I dip into the burning  water and listen to it punish my sensitive skin
I dip low with just my nose out, thinking about how life is more than i can handle
I try, I suffer, I try, I suffer, I try, I suffer
So why do I try
When I’m just going to suffer again
I’ve watched so many tries fail why would I want things to begin
The  burning fire inside me has faded
I feel like the smell of a match running out of time
I don’t blame everyone else for leaving me jaded
I blame myself, but I’ll be fine

Spending Mothers Day With Her

Upon my arrival, she asked me what I would like to drink and I said, “anything alcoholic would be appreciated”. She said, “You and I are going to get along just fine” and that is what we did.
I spent my mothers day with a mother who was not my own this year. I didn’t know much about her and I still don’t know her name. Not any ones fault, but my memory. On her day, her husband cooked us dinner, cleaned a room, and sat back and watched her enjoy a bottle or so of wine. We sat next to the river and watched her son fish. It was chilly so she brought me a homemade blanket to cover up with. We watched the birds, talked about her sons and animals.
I still don’t know her heart, but I do know she is a school teacher. I know she has two sons. I know she likes wine. I know she likes to be presentable. I know she appreciative. I know she wants to be steady. I know she gives all that she can give.
But, I don’t know her.
I know him.
I know just one of her sons. One small part of who she is.  His heart is one of the most beautiful messes I have ever seen. When I’m with him, I feel his riled steadiness. When you look at her you can see that in her. Does he get it from her or did he give it to her?
Mothers Day this year felt calm and forgiving, even though I am falling apart.

Why isn’t I love you good enough for me?

I put my hand on his face and looked him in the eyes. I said:
I’ve never felt a fire like the one I have for you. This feeling is so strong and I don’t know what to do with myself. I feel like I jumped in and I’m stuck in this drowning sensation that I don’t want to leave. I can’t lose this feeling. You mean so much to me.
He says, “ I love you too”.
I felt satisfied at the time that he also loved me. Looking back now I think about this and wonder was it enough? That’s all he ever really said to convey his feelings. Once in a while if he got really drunk I’d get a phone call from him saying he missed me and was thinking about me.
But I’m the smother you in kisses as soon as you wake up, hold your hand, sit next to you in a booth, leave you love notes forever type.
Is telling you love someone enough to make them happy? I’m not sure it is for me. We’ve always heard actions speak louder than words, but at the end of the day do words speak louder than words. It’s something I’ve been struggling with this week looking at all of my friendships, relationships, or any other “ship” i have been in. As I look back on that past “ship”, I remember how tired I was of him disappointing me time after time. I was tired of his apology time after time.
I told him to stop apologizing, because actions speak louder than words. His actions did change, but it was never to be brought up again. Was this his choice or mine? Or the best for us?I feel like once his action changed I was like ” YAY”, but where is our conversation on, “why it took so long, were you ever sorry”, or some kind of words about it?
Words. They are so important. But why can’t I be happy with the action alone? I’m going to chalk it up to nature/nurture/life experiences I suppose. Personally, I prefer to use my actions, because my communication skills have been a work in progress for 26 years. So let’s move to a new friendship I have.
A text from a new him at 7am:
I realized how much better I sleep when you’re next to me and how much calmer my soul is.
 
He will never have any idea how important those words are to me. Words that have never been said to me. His actions have been abnormal to me during our entire “ship”. Abnormal, as in more than the ordinary. Abnormal, as in exceptional. Now you have a dangerous mix of these abnormal actions and abnormal words to me.
Maybe the secret formula is words, actions, words? Always actions? Only words? Obviously its going to be dependent on the situation, but I think it needs to be a conversation we have with people before we start any kind of “ship” with them.
So that’s what I am going to work on from now and on 🙂❤️

Coping Strategies

Whether or not you are suffering from an illness, everyone has coping strategies. Mine are terrible, but I’ve been working on them. I use them in a somewhat roller coaster format. I’ll be really good and remember them when needed and then on a downward slide I seem to completely forget the good ones even exist and run to the bad ones.

Art is an outlet for me. I paint, I write, I draw, I dance, and I guess I am going to start speaking. I think before I can really work on my coping strategies I need to focus on my communication skills within myself. Poetry and writing in a journal have helped me with that in the past, but now I want to actually use my voice. Maybe hearing me speak my own thoughts, no matter the tone; will help me to listen to myself.

I’m not sure, but at this point, I’ll try anything.

 

I ALWAYS SIT

I had a bad day
I was sad all day
We ran errands and all I thought about was being home with you
Safe, no people, no harm
I sat on the couch and you say “hey I’m leaving”
You go to the bar, I sit
You get home
I’m frustrated
You get frustrated
Then you’re back at the bar
I sit
Alone
A few days go by
I’m still sad
Sadder than ever
I say I’m done trying
We go to the lake
Everything hurts
But I try
I just want to go home
We get home
I think about ending my life
You look at me and say you forgot your friends birthday
So here I sit
Alone