The life-line of survival

How come so many of us have ended up in the marriage cul-de-sac of disaster?  The place where  clear communication has been cancelled.

And what made our runners run?

I’ve stopped asking Why?  I now want to know the answers to:  What made you feel that running was the only option?  Was I such a nightmare to live with?  Such a bad listener that I had killed off all other options?

You see I don’t think so!

I read others’ blogs and so many ask the same questions, including The Why didn’t we at least have the “Big Talk” questions!

I’ve thought about this a lot and I’ve come to the conclusion that unless the “Big Talk” is held from a position of total security with both partners secure in knowing who they really are and feeling totally safe,  then I can’t see the answers will be that ‘truthful’.

Because the answers can be totally different if answered from a position of fear, guilt, anger, trauma….. the list is endless.

Alex accused me of being controlling.  Fine, I probably was – from his perspective.  The trouble is rather than say sorry I justified it – then.

Now all I want to say is.  Yes I was – and I’m sorry – I was scared silly. All I wanted was for you to throw your arms around me and protect me and ‘take over’.  But his interpretation of the ‘Controlling Caroline’ was I wanted to be in control.

WRONG!  I wanted the total opposite!

When I told him in May that I never wanted to see or hear from him again.  What I was actually crying out for was for him to be bashing my door down and fighting for us and our future!

When he said he hoped we could be friends and amicable, I wonder now what he actually meant.  Who knows!

I feel so stongly now that what we say and what we mean can be two totally different things.

So how come we fail to communicate in a way that our partner will understand?

What I don’t know is what he wanted me to understand about him when he was trying to communicate his needs. What I wonder is what interpretations was I putting on what he was telling me which meant I completely failed to understand him.

I think that’s where Life Coaches such as Stephen can help so much. Help bring communication back to its truest form.  Help with the understanding and interpretation of what we each needed to say and understand.  How they do this I have no idea because we never got to that stage. We never found out.  We never met half way.

And for me that is what is so sad and so incredibly hard to live with.  And part of the reason, I believe, that I (and probably many others ) still get ‘stuck’ days.   We never found out.  We turned our backs on the enlightenment of truly understanding each other – of really learning how to communicate – which in moments of crisis are invaluable and essential. 

Because communication is the glue which holds you together when things are tough.

The life-line of marriage survival.

The thing which is the main route back to a marriage full of passion and happiness.

6 thoughts on “The life-line of survival

  1. Dear Caroline,
    Once again, this post reminds me so much of my trajectory.
    T also said I was controlling, well he felt I was dominating…And like you, I got defensive when he said this because I was scared, he’d just taken the ground from under my feet by suddenly saying he wanted to leave. So I’m not beating myself over this because I reacted as best as I could at the time… It’s not that I deliberatly turned my back on enlighment, I just had no idea it was there and was too wrapped in my primal fear of abandonment.
    But yes, communication is key to every kind of relationship, not just marriage, and effective communication requires enough self-awareness, and commitment to making it work when emotions threaten to overwhelm us. Thanks for this timeless reminder xx

  2. Back on October 9, 2010, I wrote a post called “When two great communicators can’t communicate.” Reading your post, Caroline, and Lady E’s comments reminded me of that post. I remember saying to D many times that we weren’t communicating appropriately and of course he took that as a criticism and would close down. Lack of communication is at the heart of all that we are and all that we want to become. Without it relationships can’t survive. And even though I knew that years ago I didn’t have the skills to break the barrier. I think, Lady E, that I had the commitment but not the self-awareness. Sad.

    Caroline, you hit the nail on the head with this post. Good job.

  3. listening is such an important part of communicating. Often we only want to say our part and never really listen to theirs.

  4. I believe the controlling excuse is up there in the top 20 things cheaters say, of which I have managed to tick off at least 16.

    On communication: I no longer believe that people do. We are so busy applying our own experience filter on top of what we say and hear. I also blogged about communication. It’s one of the shocking lessons this particular experience leaves you with.

    Learning that you will never understand why, is also harsh, especially since while you are still on the, “what happened” trail you continue to discover more horrors.

    >When he said he hoped we could be friends and amicable, I wonder now what he actually meant.

    Cake Eating! If you are still friends he can actually appease some of his guilt. I couldn’t stay friends. Not with someone who looked me in the eyes and lied to me. All the nitpicking and faults they find with you are their way of justifying their actions.

    He fired me as his wife with zero warning and I am not interested in the demotion to friend. Friends don’t behave that way.

  5. “Because communication is the glue which holds you together when things are tough.” Having flunked a marriage, I have come to the conviction that communication and understanding are the glue which holds us together BEFORE things get tough. I have found that communication that goes awry is a whole lot harder to get back on track, especially as time goes on. My experience now is that a partner relationship is a lot of work, but it´s delicious and invigorating if both parties are willing to consistently play the game — keeping excitement, peace, and motivation alive. My present relationship thrives because we both realize and act on the importance of keeping channels clean and warm. But, man, I´m hard-headed and it took a boatload of time to get here.

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