After six years of marriage, I think I have something figured out.
Communication is EVERYTHING.
OK, you might be rolling your eyes and thinking, “Um, that’s like Relationships 101.”
Or maybe you’re sitting there nodding your head like, “Yes, girl! Preach!”
Are you like me? Do you sometimes struggle with sharing your feelings, even with those closest to you?
This whole “sharing my feelings more” thing started when I read a personality typing book. I guess my personality doesn’t like to talk about emotions. It’s been a big realization. I think I’m pretty in-touch with my emotions. But here’s thing—I can be really in-tune with my feelings without letting my husband know a single one of them. If I don’t speak up, he’s in the dark. And I can tell you from experience, that’s not fun for anybody.
We can’t stuff things down and expect everything to be fine. We need to talk about our feelings, even when we’re not feeling it. And when we’re happy or sad about something, we need to say it.
I can express my emotions and communicate my feelings pretty well . . . when I want to, that is. I just don’t do it enough. And I think that’s been the missing piece of the puzzle for better communication between us. Since that “ah-ha” moment, I’ve been working really hard to share more with him each day.
When something someone said hurt my feelings on Monday, I told him about it.
The toddlers were being cute on Tuesday. I explained their cuteness in full detail.
Wednesday was physically exhausting for me and I felt bad about myself. I told him.
The rest of the week I tried to share more details, more feelings, and more life.
When I share more with my husband, our relationship is better. Talking about the small stuff opens the door to better communication about the big, important things.
Here’s a prime example.
I had an opportunity to go to a weekend conference for my job. The excitement was building and so were those pesky feelings.
To be honest, I really just had a mini meltdown over my outfits. I wanted to look cute and put-together, but at seven months pregnant, nothing fit! I had to mix and match maternity stuff with the clothes I could still squeeze into. Normally, I wouldn’t feel the need to share my wardrobe problems with my husband (maybe I would call my mom instead). But I did. I let it out.
I explained how my evening look wouldn’t work because the stripe in my sweater dress was navy and I only had black maternity tights. My regular navy tights wouldn’t fit due to the baby belly. And even though they were two neutral colors, the black and the navy clashed. Amazon Prime couldn’t even save me this late in the game. It was a small detail, but threw a wrench into my plans. And between being 30-weeks pregnant and getting ready for my first trip away from the kids (ever!), there was a lot going on in my head.
The old me would’ve said “I’m fine” when my husband asked me why I was seemed upset.
The new me just let it all out, no matter how silly it sounded.
Yep, I spent almost an hour trying on clothes and lamenting my wardrobe woes.
He helped me troubleshoot different outfits and put together a whole new evening look. Sometimes I forget he’s an engineer and is always up for a good problem to solve.
After the hour-long fashion show/therapy session, guess what happened? The next morning when I opened my computer to see an email from my husband.
The title read: “You Are Beautiful.”
“Just thought you should know you looked great in your outfits last night. You will be dressed to impress this weekend!” he wrote.
OK, maybe I should really start “sharing my feelings” more with this great guy I married.
So, the next time you’ve got some feelings going on, tell your person. Open up, let it out, no matter how silly it sounds. What happens next just might surprise you.
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