Written by Zamara Perri
Communication can break or make a relationship. This is the first in a series of articles sharing how we can improve the way we communicate with the women we love.
A couple nights ago before I went to bed, my honey and I exchanged some heated words. I said something smart to her and she was not having it. Instead of falling asleep in each other’s arms like we usually do, we slept on opposite sides of the bed.
Yesterday morning I woke her up with kisses. She made me breakfast and drove me to the train station. But she was still mad and no amount of sweet kisses was going to make her forget that we hadn’t addressed the issue.
The issue is that when it comes to communication, I’m a work in progress. I admit that a recurring relationship challenge I have is diarrhea of the mouth. I’m admittedly a smart ass. I’m that chick that always got something to say. I think I’m funny or think what I say is not a big deal, but my partner doesn’t often agree. This can lead to upset.
When I’m upset with anyone, my communication style is to get angry, withdraw and give the other person the silent treatment. For my honey, when she gets angry, she yells.
I realized really early on in our relationship that the way we related when we got angry, was NOT a recipe for long lasting love. In fact it was a recipe for building resentment.
So, we made a commitment to improve the way we speak to each other. We also had to improve the way we ended our fights. To know me is to know that little fights become the setting for days of pouting, arguing and acrimony. But now instead of pouting, I take a time out, put on my big girl panties and work with my partner to squash the issue instead of letting it fester into World War III. That old strategy of pouting for days only ended up creating distance, which impacted our intimacy and created cracks in the foundation of the relationship I said I wanted.
So when I got home from work, we sat down and talked. She told me that when I spoke to her a certain way, she felt disrespected and unloved. And instead of being too proud to admit I was wrong, I apologized and promised to do better. She forgave me but also admitted that she was still pissed.
Mindful Communication 101: Speak With Kindness
This relationship is one in which I plan to practice mindful communication, which means purposefully speaking to my partner with kindness and love. As someone who is uber sensitive (as most smart asses are), I don’t want her saying something mean or nasty to me, so why should I do that to her? Even if it’s supposed to be funny or meant to be harmless, there’s nothing funny about hurting the one you love.
It recently occurred to me that we are actually happy. It has been a long time since either of us had simply been happy in a relationship that has low-drama. This is definitely unusual to me.
I know the reason I’m happy is because I’ve decided that I want a grown-woman relationship.
And the key to that is being mindful about the way I spoke to the woman I love.
I’m learning as I go along and plan to share the communication tips I’ve learned over the next few weeks. I’d love your feedback! Please comment below with tips on what works for you and your love.