We Just Can’t Communicate. Really?

“Many couples fall victim to thinking, ‘if my spouse really cared about me, they’d be able to figure out what I’m feeling or thinking.’ What part of your vows stated you’d read each other’s minds for as long as you both shall live? I’m guessing that wasn’t part of the ceremony.” ~ Corey Allan, author of the blog Simple Marriage.

I love this quote. This is from a guest post over at Simple Mom today. I had to learn to navigate this whole “communication” thing pretty quickly. My husband is a straightforward, blunt person, and I am an emotional, sensitive one. Interesting combination, don’t you think?

After much trial, and even more error, I came to the conclusion that it is pretty much impossible for me to hurt his feelings by just telling him what was in my head. Of course, I am still not as blunt as he is, but I’ve learned that he appreciates just being told what I’m thinking.

As a general rule, most guys don’t “get” hints. They don’t really read body language or pick up on subtle facial expressions the way women do. Of course, there are always exceptions, but my husband and I are not one of them. I used to sigh conspicuously, in a bid for loving, sensitive attention in the form of a hug and a “What’s wrong, honey?”

Usually, that didn’t work out so well, and I was angry that he didn’t “care about my feelings.” How could he when he didn’t even know what they were, right?

Now, I just tell him “I had a crappy day. I need you to hold me. Right now.”

Amazingly…I get what I want!!! He appreciates it because I don’t force him to guess any more. He’s a horrible guesser. My natural tendency is still to sigh furtively, in the hope that he’ll notice and do something romantic and sensitive. Thankfully, when that immediately fails, I remember that all I have to do is open my mouth and use my words (ode to all you moms of toddlers out there 🙂 ) to meet him in the middle.

It’s a wonderful thing to know that he welcomes that from me. It takes a huge burden off of him to be my knight in shining armor, because, well…he’s not. As soon as I stopped treating him as such, our “communication” began to blossom.

We still screw up a lot, but overall, we do a lot of forgiving and forgetting around here. It works.

What kinds of things do you do to help overcome those communication bumps in your relationships?