Most couples communicate. Many more don’t. It’s an evolving process in any relationship. I believe it starts out with real live one on one TALKING. I have an issue, I tell you about it, you change, end of story. At least that’s how Daryl and I started out several years ago.
I brought a TON of baggage and drama into “our world.” Make that a full fledged steamer trunk of “stuff.” I had JUST come out of a rather physically and emotionally abusive relationship and had NO professional support although my family and close friends were amazing.
Regardless, I had many issues to bring to our budding relationship. Conversely, Daryl had not really had any recent long term relationships or any “couple” issues to bring to the table. He DID however bring a lot of “individual” things. He was used to living his life as a solo guy. You know… do what I want, when I want, but certainly not in a selfish way. That’s just how it was!
It was a very challenging process for us and one that actually separated us for “one week” in May at the onset of our cohabitation. It was a Memorial holiday weekend and I was stressing about having to work six million hours at work. I’m not even sure what the actual argument (miscommunication) was about but when I came home from work, Daryl was GONE and his closet door was OPEN with no clothing inside. Keep in mind that we HAD JUST moved in together about 2 months prior so there were tons of growing pains and miscommunication cues.
I was devastated. Truly I was. I thought that I was just plain toxic and I would ruin everything I touched. It was a very painful process, however, Daryl decided to move back in after a week and we worked out our differences with the help of a local therapist. We benefitted immensely from about six or seven sessions UNTIL she brought out the different colors of fabric, plopped an orange piece on Daryl’s knee and asked him to describe how it made him feel. We actually DID get what we needed out of the initial sessions of therapy and have been communicating amazingly well ever since. I honestly don’t think there was anything that needed fixing so much as we just needed a few tools to give us a little nudging in the right direction.
We’ve grown together as individuals AND as a couple of mature men. Truly we have. The initial drama bonfire has burned down to a few embers every now and then. It’s been six years together now (give or take a week) and with our schedules and limited time together, we’ve become quite good at figuring out each other’s needs and wants without using telepathy (although it’s amazing what a LOOK can accomplish at times).
Now, when I mention to Daryl “Hey Babe… do you think it’s chilly in here?” he gets up and turns up the thermostat. “Hey Bub… are YOU hungry?” he makes dinner, and ONCE when I came home from work, I asked “Is that the trash or the litter box I smell?” and the trash AND the litter box were taken out within seconds. Its communication bliss.