Having the tough conversations

031814-b-real-relationships-angry-couple-talking-argument-fighting-relationship-unhappy-communicationOnce upon a time, I struggled with communication in my relationship with J. Starting the difficult conversations was very hard for me; things like telling J if something he’d done had upset me was close to impossible. I’d simply give him the cold shoulder or wait until I was seething with rage and then explode over something small and meaningless and then he’d have to tease the real problem out of me. We’ve never been a particularly volatile couple. We don’t have big screaming matches or fight a lot so I suppose this was our version of conflict. Still, not a particularly healthy way to live.

Things have changed now. We had a few months of counselling at the start of the year and we focused most of our sessions on communication. For the most part, I can now say whatever I feel to J. In the past, I’d almost literally feel like something was stopping me from saying whatever I needed to say and I still get that sometimes but I just practice it in my head beforehand. Or I write about it on here first to get my head around it and then broach it with J. He reads this as well so I suppose he gets a heads up before I come swooping in with whatever is on my mind.

Communication doesn’t seem to come naturally to me – well, communicating about the difficult stuff anyways – but I feel like this poly exploration has made me much more open and willing to talk about everything, where in the past I might have struggled. I feel like once you’ve told your partner you want to see other people together and they’ve taken it well, what else could you say that might ruin things?

Image credit: B* Real | BET

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5 thoughts on “Having the tough conversations

    1. I know. I think it’s in some people’s nature to avoid conflict as much as possible. I’ve always been a very private person so I don’t necessarily want to tell everyone everything going on in my mind. But there comes a time in relationships when keeping things to yourself, supposedly to “avoid conflict”, actually ends up creating more conflict. Counselling helped me realise that I’m doing more damage in the long run by keeping it to myself. I definitely haven’t mastered it yet but I’m so much better than I was. Ahhhhh humans, we can be so smart yet so stupid sometimes! 😉

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  1. Oh, there are some things you could say that could ruin things, believe me! Still, folks who decide to ethically open their relationship do tend to find that that level of communication goes up, from talking about that hottie they saw that they wouldn’t mind having some fun with to the more serious things that are called for to keep your relationship up and running. Just as with being monogamous, communication is one of the key things that must be alive and well and being able to talk about any- and everything is so crucial.

    Sure, there are some things that you won’t talk about; we all have things that we won’t talk about to anyone for any reason but that’s not all that unusual. Where people fail in this is when they should open their mouth and say something, they don’t; they hesitate to speak because they fear reprisal, are afraid that their partner will dismiss what’s being said as stupid, stuff like that.

    If you think communication is terribly important when your monogamous, it becomes even more important when you’re polyamorous! By keeping the communication up, open and running you lessen the chances of finding out that what you don’t know can hurt you, that silence is not golden, and ignorance – not knowing something – isn’t even close to being blissful!

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    1. I hope I’m able to continue my increased openness when we do find our “third wheel”. I know how much more important it will be but I wonder if I’ll feel like I’m rocking the boat or presenting an opinion that’s not shared by the others. I’ll just have to hope that I won’t retreat into myself just because there’s another person to possibly disagree with me. Here’s hoping!

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