Relationship require reciprocation

I have many links back to web sites that no longer exist and the content and reference point is lost to me and others reading my writing. I have decided to start including content in my posts, with links back to the original, so that doesn’t happen anymore.

I loved this article as it explains one side of a situation perfectly. I of course, have provided an other side, based on my own experiences and discussion with people in similar circumstances.

Relationship Requirement No 1: Communication – DR NICHOLAS JENNER

I sometimes read forums and websites concerning relationships and inevitably come across people who are asking advice and commenting on break-ups. While there are many ways a couple can  break up, there seems to be many instances when one of the couple just leave suddenly without warning and breaking all communication with their partner afterwards. As you can imagine, this leaves the “left” partner with more questions than answers and can lead to a long, drawn-out process. It is hard to believe that someone would leave suddenly (if no abuse was present) without something going on in their mind for a time before. They probably have just not communicated it. It is my firm belief that lack of communication between partners is just as much a relationship killer as infidelity and the like. The reasons for lack of communication skills can often be traced back to childhood and the way communication was handled in the family setting. If you had parents who never allowed the children an opinion or didn’t allow communication, it is hard to see this as an effective form of interaction. Even worse, if parents were the “do as I say and not as I do” type, the children would see no point in trying to communicate and would internalize their issues. In adulthood, they would believe that communication was “pointless” or even “dangerous” and might avoid telling partners how they really feel. However, without an effective communication strategy, the relationship could be doomed from the start.

Communication is something we all know is necessary to keep any relationship strong and loving, and although we are aware of the importance of this, many people in the heat of the moment still seem to be clueless about what exactly good communication really is. Being open to better communication and avoiding the “who is going to win” scenario  keeps a relationship healthy and once a couple start becoming more familiar with their communicating styles, they are better  able to work  as a team in making the best of the relationship.

The first step in achieving better communication that will really work, is to take a look at yourself first.

People always tend to turn to their partner when things are not running so smoothly in their relationship. They automatically start pointing out what their partner is doing or not doing, as well as how their partner is not listening to them. This may all be true depending on particular situations, but it is important that you take the responsibility in reviewing  actions and communication from you first, before  anything can be pointed out in your partner. Remember, it is very easy to see other people’s mistakes, but when it comes to looking at personal communication, it is much harder to accept criticism, even from yourself because no one wants to be wrong. This is where there is a need to get real about things. Communication is not about who is right or wrong, but instead about helping each other see things from each other’s perspective, so that both can be on the same page and avoid any misunderstanding that will cause unneeded arguments.

Get winning out of your mind.

So many couples claim to have tried communication, but it does not seem to work. If this is the case, the best thing would be to slow down, calm down and take a few steps back. Perhaps communication is not working for the relationship, but what is the method of communication being used?  Communication itself cannot be the problem or the ineffective ingredient, because communication is the main key to a healthy relationship, so it must be the way the method is being used.  When couples talk to each other, do one or both of talk to win the conversation, or to actually reach a level of understanding of each other’s needs and wants? Believe it or not, it is very common for people to focus on being right and trying to convince their partner to see things their way, instead of just sharing what they think and feel so their partner can understand what they mean and what they need. Communicating using your own autobiography is destined to fail.

Listening is so important…

 if  a couple truly wish to accomplish good communication that will improve a relationship.  Is active listening happening or are one or both sides planning the next move?  Listening may sound like an easy enough thing to do, but many confuse it with hearing. Hearing what your partner is saying versus listening to them are indeed very different. Listening involves true dedication and full attention to the words your partner is serving up to you, as well as the tone of voice and expressions that go along with those words. Listening means that  interest is there to learn more about what the speaker is making an effort to say  and making the emotional connection needed in order to achieve relationship goals together. Keep in mind that when in a relationship, all communication between partners has to be open, honest, non-judgmental and patient, if  success is to be had in maintaining a happy and healthy relationship.

Communication is not so complicated…

….once understanding is found concerning the correct way to  communicate, and of course, what methods of communication work for the relationship best. Effective communication cannot happen on its own or with the efforts of only one person. Both partners have to be open and willing to work as a team on improving communication, so that both can enhance  relationship skills and build a relationship where both have an understanding of who each are as individuals and what both need and want.

Relationship require reciprocation – Rougedmount

When you addressed the dissolution of a relationship when a person feels they have been blind sided by their partner leaving without warning, quite often I have found that it is not because they have not communicated their needs or even their intent to their partner, but it is their partner who has refused to listen to them or actually believe what it is they are hearing. So when the unhappy partner, who has spent years trying to communicate their needs, finally does decide to leave, it does seem to come as a complete surprise to the partner left behind. It’s because they chose to be willfully deaf and blind to the needs of their partner for years.

This dismissal of a partner’s need to communicate leads to resentment. It leads to years of trying to communicate, trying different paths and approaches to have their basic need to interact on an intimate basis with their partner, met. These efforts at communication can be met with tolerance or even the pretense of engagement, which is designed to appease the upset person. The partner who is ignoring the needs of the other, might attempt to make minute changes that may have been suggested and they will do so for a limited time, simply to ensure they can say ‘they tried’ before returning to their continued absence from the relationship.

This is a cycle of emotional abuse that is instigated by one partner trying to communicate their needs to the other and having those needs dismissed by someone who refuses to listen to them. The exact same conversation repeats itself month after month, year after year and always with the impression by the offended party that it is the very first time in recent history that they have been made aware of the concerns of their partner. They fail to address the history of neglect that their dismissal of their partners needs of communication have been built upon.

Eventually, knowing that the cycle of anger, communication, effort, dismissal will return, the partner who feels unheard, will stop trying. It might take the other person, months or years to realize that things have changed. They truly live in a world where they  believe that because their basic needs are being met, that their partners needs are as well, simply because they no longer try and fight to save the marriage by communicating their needs to their partner. By this time, they are finding those needs met by another source: friends, Councillors or an affair partner.

By the time these people walk away from their partners, with no recent communication between them, their truth is that they haven’t been listened to, for years. They see no point in further talking to someone who refuses to communicate. It is easy for the offended party to try and blame the dissolution of the relationship on a partner who failed to communicate with them, as like with everything else in the marriage, they fail to be accountable for their part in the breakdown. When you dismiss someone constantly, they eventually search out others who will listen.

When you live with a person who refuses to communicate and listen to their partners concerns, the sooner that person is pushed into seeking out therapy, the better. They truly believe they have no issues and they find no fault with how they were raised. They live in a world of simplicity where if you ignore everything, then everything is fine. They will never seek out therapy on their own because they are content with focusing on their job, their garden, their kids, discussion about the house and the bills, their hobbies. They have no interest in the maintenance of a marital relationship as simply being married, should have been enough.

When one person suffers the painful experience of a partner walking away with seemingly no warning, the truth of the matter may be, they are the only one who believes they were unaware that their marriage had major communication issues. Their long road to recovery from being abandoned without warning, might be because they refused to listen or to hear what was being said to them. They chose to pretend all was fine in hopes that their partner would eventually stop bothering them with their needs. Chances are, even if it works for a little while, they are eventually going to decide they have had enough. They will make a conscious choice to stay and cheat or to simply walk away.

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12 Responses to Relationship require reciprocation

  1. ismeisreallyme says:

    Yes. Yes. Yes.

  2. kdaddy23 says:

    Leaving without warning… yeah, this is pretty messed up and it’s an epic communication failure because it doesn’t take much for someone to realize that there’s no point in talking to a partner who won’t listen, can’t understand things, has their own agenda and one that has nothing to do with the partnership so why waste time and breathe talking to them?

    I don’t think a lot of people understand the whole communication process; it’s speaking, listening and, importantly, understanding and comprehending as well as levels of acceptance which is necessary because you should never discount anything your partner is saying. It might not make sense to you but it does to them.

    I would always tell my wife, “If you don’t tell me what’s broken, I won’t know that it needs to be fixed!” But because we’ve all gone through situations where we’ve brought issues up and have gotten our heads handed to us in some way; this makes us leery to open our mouths when we need to and it’s a very bad habit we carry forward into any other relationships we may engage in.

    When communication fails like this, it becomes “every man for himself” and there’s a choice to be made: Stay and continue to be summarily ignored at every turn or say, “Fuck this shit!” and vanish like a thief in the night and out of a dire sense of self-preservation. To the person who got left, it will seem as if their partner left for no reason and without warning… but maybe, just maybe, they were told what would happen and they ignored or otherwise dismissed what was said; they could have not seen, ignored, dismissed, whatever, the signs that are present that indicate that your relationship is about to come to a very abrupt end.

    Silence is not golden, ignorance isn’t bliss, and what you don’t know will hurt the shit out of you…

    • rougedmount says:

      -grin- and THAT is how you conclude a paragraph
      those who believe in their no fault, innocent of any culpability, advocates of unawareness, I often wonder at the extreme measures they must have taken to avoid any knowledge of their partners life and or happiness. Once you speak to each side, it’s easy to find where the fault lay. Unless that person accepts responsibility, then there is no hope for the marriage and they may as well divorce sooner as opposed to later.

      • kdaddy23 says:

        It’s a form of denial; the ‘offending’ partner just does not believe that they’ve done anything wrong to precipitate the departure. I’m not sure if the process of such abject denial can be called an extreme measure or not but all it takes is a belief that you’re always right about whatever you’re thinking and your partner never is as well as the belief that you don’t have to listen to anything you don’t want to hear. I’ve seen this denial exist even in the fact of the denier knowing that shit in the relationship is bad and getting worse and, yeah, some people actually know that their actions – or inactions – is what’s making things circle the drain… but they continue to insist that they’ve done nothing wrong and, yep, the psychology of this is pretty interesting.

        Some of it is attitude and more so when it’s perceived that the person is talking at you instead of talking to you and most people I know will always think that you’re talking at them and just stop listening at the moment they decide that this is what’s going on – and that’s because who among us likes to hear that we’re screwing the pooch?

        No one does… so it’s easier to not listen, to dismiss what’s being said and convince yourself that it’s not your problem and since it isn’t, you’re not at fault. Of course, when the dissed partner says they’re going to the store and never return, the one who did the dissing never seems to understand why this happened… but it’s still not their fault and that’s just insane.

        I’ve even seen it where it’s been pointed out to them where and how they fucked up and they still refuse to accept responsibility for their actions – it’s still not their fault even though they’ve been told that it is and the proof is obvious: Your partner just up and left your ass and they didn’t do it because they didn’t have anything better to do…

  3. Elaine Olund says:

    Wow I have to say this is absolutely and 100% spot on and the best summation of why my own marriage ended‹and why my husband (not ex, not yet) still doesn¹t understand, because Œeverything is fine if you would only see that it is fine.¹

    Since I blog under my real name‹and have kids‹(who actually see and understand what happened, but still, privacy etc)‹I didn¹t want to publicly comment but I just had to tell you. This was so spot on.

    I am so much happier now that I¹m out of the marriage. I hope you are doing okayŠI admire your honesty and bravery.

    Wow. Anyway. Thank you.

    From: rougedmount Reply-To: rougedmount Date: Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 11:25 AM To: Elaine Olund Subject: [New post] Relationship require reciprocation rougedmount posted: “I have many links back to web sites that no longer exist and the content and reference point is lost to me and others reading my writing. I have decided to start including content in my posts, with links back to the original, so that doesn’t happen anymor”

  4. Dear rougedmount:

    ‘…stop bothering “me.”‘

    Yeppers! That was as much ‘communication’ as the ball & chain could stomach. Spouses such as ours have no business making promises they are incapable of keeping.

    To this day, what’s-her-name has no comprehension of what constitutes marriage. It has not darkened her mortal imagination. As for me, I was/am a fool for staying as long as I have. Even after ‘quitting’ the ‘relationship’ two decades ago, I stayed. I would be healthier today had I walked.

    We cannot be two people. We can be but ONE person — one in a partnership that exists solely with the consenting participation of our respective spouses, a partnership that our ‘partners’ refused continually, deliberately, defiantly, insolently every day of our lives together. They took a lie into their own bosom, contained it in insatiable emptiness, and nourished it with our health, sanity and emptying our lives of affection, beauty and dignity. Their actions corrode the soul and fill life with blackness. Their professions of love resound with all the glorious musicality of a speeding turd striking a tin drum.

    Village Idiot

    • rougedmount says:

      oh my.. i went from sadness and understanding to laughing out
      “deliberately, defiantly, insolently every day”..i truly understand this.. and feel the need to explain to others that their role in a defiant marriage needs to be examined. your shit on love comment..hilarious..and bang on

      • Dear rougedmount:

        We seek ways to cope and retain some thin shred of dignity and rationality in those surreal relationships that we call our lives. With Sorrow as my constant companion, I seek out laughter to help me survive. My humour is often dark, bitter, sarcastic and sardonic. Few know it for what it is. Yet someplace between the sadness and the laughter, you met the Village Idiot, the man who laughs so that he will not weep. For that is where I reside.

        There is a wonderful easiness to corresponding with you. The day I found your blog, I knew you understood. I have no need to explain myself to you. I know you understand because I know you walk the same path. It is a heartrending pleasure that strangers better communicate through pixels and moving cursor on a magic screen than they do with the one who promised to love and cherish them all our days.

        But I also take pleasure – very sick and perverted pleasure, judging by the B&C’s reckoning – in things shared by you and others here. On your blog, I meet with some of the planet’s most unimaginable nonsense. The very idea that women would cherish, nay – crave – that her soft, supple breasts be cradled in the strength of a man’s hands! Or that he would set his face near her scent to inhale her intoxicants through flared nostrils!

        Lust, passion, agony of desire, extremities moving driven by warm flesh, pulsing with life – you write what I need. Here, I exist not as a disembodied spirit but in corporeal form. I’ll risk accusations of blasphemy in this Lenten season and say that marriage without sex is like Christianity without Christ. Both a pious fraud, unless invoking ‘piety’ is too much a lie. You write what I need, rougedmount. Others also.

        I’m still pondering your challenge to take a mistress. I struggle to know my mind on this, but this isn’t going away, and I’m not giving up on it. Hugs, girl.

        Village Idiot

      • rougedmount says:

        it truly does warm and inspire me to know that my words carry meaning inside another’s soul.. so i appreciate knowing how you feel..

  5. Ned's Blog says:

    This was absolutely terrific, particularly the point about the importance of not approaching communication as “winning or losing.” I was once married to a “win/lose” person, and because I didn’t see it that way I either just gave in or shut down. She didn’t understand that when you truly care about someone, it’s not about being right or wrong — it’s about being understood. After 16 years together, there was just nothing left. I’ve been incredibly happily remarried for eight years this August. And one of the reasons is because both of us cares enough about the other person that, if we have a difference of opinon we still respect that opinion. We talk about it and are heard. In the end, whatever we decide, we know it’s a decision we’ve made together based on mutual respect and a desire to be understood — not “the winner.”

    I have to say, I am constantly impressed by you.

    • rougedmount says:

      You gain inspiration and insight from reading others posts and I was very much impacted when I read Dr.Jenner’s piece. Especially as it relates so much to my personal experience. Communication is such a key factor between people and some are far more adept at it than others. Having spent years in the advanced study of ‘wtf’ when it comes to interpersonal relationships…I do have a compulsion to share ‘the other side’ of the story when it comes to people who believe they have no warning about a partners unhappiness and intent to leave. More often than not, they simply have failed to listen so they could continue to ‘win’ the relationship battles.

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