In The Language of Relationships, I wrote about the importance of communicating effectively with the people in our lives by learning their language. Today, I’d like to draw attention to the most important word in the whole equation: communicate.
Being vulnerable and present can be difficult in any relationship, especially when we carry the added weight of a history of trauma. I am convinced that a lack of open and honest communication is the root cause of more relationship failures than anything else. Communication is not optional in a healthy relationship; it can difficult, but anything worth having is worth working for.
Navigating relationship dynamics can be hard enough when things are going well. When miscommunication (or a breakdown in communication) gets added to the mix, it can feel even heavier. But as someone with a lifelong history of learning what not to do in relationships, I offer three words as the most important advice I have ever been given: TALK ABOUT IT.
When something is going on that leaves you confused or hurt, talk about it. When you don’t understand, talk about it. When you’re not getting what you need, talk about it. Get off the fence and have that difficult conversation. Even though I know this to be true, it is something that I still struggle with. Thankfully I share my life with people who know the language of being in a relationship with me, and they help to remind me to talk when communication breakdowns happen.
One final note: It is ok for a relationship to end when the people involved are growing in different directions. Relationships that end as the result of healthy communication are not failures, they are success stories, because everyone involved brought their authentic self to the table.
And never forget that I love you.