Verbal warfare through radical ideals

Her Silent Language


Seldom is there a worse issue in a relationship than the inability to communicate with one another.

I’m probably one of the more qualified people to speak on this topic, regrettably. Spending roughly four years in the midst of someone who refused to throw out even the slightest indication of what was amiss led to an eventual breakdown in the bond between us, and I’d like to think that it was the silence that ensured it would never be pieced back together. Countless times I sat with a smile plastered on my face, completely ignorant of the hostility being aimed precisely at me, out of the misguided notion that I should somehow just “get it”, when I had yet to understand that there was a complication. It was an idiotic assumption on her part, and to believe that people function simply on an unconscious level of omnipotence is not only hazardous to the future of a couple, but should be considered sabotage of social interaction.

It’s not an easy feat; surviving a fight with your significant other, only to try to go on living as if the altercation never occurred in the first place. It’s something that tends to drive couples apart, as a fear sets in that “if it has happened once, it’ll happen again. I don’t want to go through it”. Unfortunately, as close to a prophecy as this statement is, if you’re constantly afraid of your life imminently approaching the event horizon of a spat, then you probably aren’t fit to be involved in a committed relationship in the first place. Secondly, one should be able to have a mature argument with their counterpart, as the ability to disagree and compromise is an important aspect in the foundation for a successful affinity. If one is unfailingly dodging issues out of the dread of confronting their partner, I can only imagine the eventual explosion that will come of bottling a myriad of serious complaints and issues up inside for a long stretch of time.

Three years into my previous relationship, it became evident to me that more often than not my partner and I were becoming needlessly engaged in a series of volume-challenging disputes. This was in part because I was incredibly insecure with myself, and took to incessantly asking her “what’s wrong” every moment a grimace crossed her face. However, the blame could be placed on her as well for containing issues she had for weeks, until she finally had a nervous breakdown in front of me. Before this point, the only answers she could be bothered to confer were “I’m fine”, and “nothing is wrong”, in such a blatantly deceptive manner that it made me question the issue more consistently, rather than reassure me.

Many a night was spent yelling meaningless apologies back and forth as we attempted to decide where to place the blame, only to eventually come to the pointlessly executed bi-partisan decision to cease the discussion of the problem altogether, killing any opportunity to solve our dilemma. What followed were extended periods of unnecessary sulking, where solemn glances were exchanged as we tried to figure out how exasperated we were with one another, while ironically never coming close to uttering the questions themselves out of a fear of retaliation. This seemingly endless period of time became almost ritualistic, as we both took comfort that while we weren’t saying anything to each other negatively, we also weren’t saying a damn thing at all. In retrospect, I regret not using the spine I have worked so hard to obtain simply because I didn’t want to see the tears of a girl begin to flow at my overt display of insensitivity towards the fragility of our current standing. It shouldn’t have mattered, and I should have stopped living in a sterilized box, sheltering both her and I from the fallout of our cold war.

Over the past few years, I’ve seen numerous examples of how this issue has come into play. Too many of my co-workers, acquaintances, and even family have a notorious habit of believing that if they somehow refuse to acknowledge that there is a problem, that suddenly there will cease to be one. This hasn’t been the case, as break-up and divorce have taken the place of uneasy comfort and frustrated resentment. Their ridiculous refusals to meet at the center to engage their partners actively brought upon the deaths of their bond, and with that came postmortem grudge-matches, designed merely for the vanity of placing useless blame in order to clear their own consciences. Even after my own failure, the advice I would presume to give others was swiftly tossed out, in favor of picking up another stone to throw at the image of their recently beloved. The damage caused by new-age couples trying to distance themselves from their companionship’s controversies are NOT irreparable; they only enter that realm when people refuse to remember why it is they care for that person in the first place, and abandon them in favor of something not so difficult.

Regardless of how you feel for advice on the internet, (as it is a rarity to find worthwhile guidance online) allow this to be a fair piece of well-informed instruction on the subject.

Don’t ever be afraid to engage your partner in active debate over issues. Nevermind the mentality that there are just “some subjects that shouldn’t be brought up”. Throw that away. Everything between your significant other should be on the table. That’s what they’re there for, and if you can’t discuss these things with them, perhaps you should reevaluate the connection that you possess with that person. There should be absolute trust, as well as complete comfort in the fact that both of you are there to make it work, no matter how demanding or overburdening the struggle to get there might be. Don’t bother with hints either. People DO NOT take hints, despite what you’ve been told, and this is a path to suicide that you don’t want to follow. The only effective way to deal with a disagreement is directly, and if you believe this to be false then you can speak with the hundreds of thousands of people living near you alone because of their use of discretion in dealing with their partners.  If you truly mean it, then don’t hold back simply because tears will be shed and psyches may be injured. The damage you’ll incur is more of a crippling affliction than any small argument will ever be, and refusing to face your problems today will ensure that they come back to haunt you later. You may not notice it at first, or even weeks down the line. Then you’ll become who I was three years ago. Pathetic, spineless, stagnant, and wondering if your condition will ever improve as you both are so close, and yet so far apart simultaneously; personifying cornerstones of the same building, doomed never to see each other as the duo you both are.

If you love your partner, your silence should be the last thing you offer them.

Eyes far into the distance
A life that does not connect
Time played well its part
On the strings that bind us

Encounters in silence
Words elude the freeing night
Wish I could fathom
What is too hard to tell

Her head hangs low
In the silence of her room
Her head hangs low
She takes a bite out of her heart

Have you come here to warn me
Of what I cannot see
You want to tell me something
But you do not have the words

-Jake

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3 responses

  1. Jessica Paul

    13 years with my husband and sometimes I have to remind myself he’s not a mind reader. I think a lot of couples don’t realize/know how to have a fight.
    Insightful post.

    August 13, 2012 at 7:11 PM

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