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  #26  
Old 07-06-2012, 06:47 PM
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He's a really good man who treats me with the utmost care, love, and respect. Havin' money, bein' broke, the highest highs, the lowest lows, ain't nothing changed that. Prison hasn't changed that. We owe much of our success to communication....

They say the more things change the more things stay the same. We haven't struggled. Don't hate me because we got it like that. Now when I say struggle you have to understand that I do not mean that we haven't faced difficult times but simply that we do not approach those times in a manner with which they could defeat us. Communication is key...

I want to say that it is because we originally met while he was incarcerated that we were forced to put communication at the head of the table and to be certain it leveled the playing field, but mainly because we both excel in this area. The truth is, communicators are a large part of who we are, separately and together, whether he's at home with me or miles and miles away, and for us this has made a huge difference and the reason why I shout loud and proud, "Communication is key to any successful relationship."

So tell us how communication before/during incarceration works for you or share your concerns about improving communication.

Very well said Patty I loved reading the thread. For me at first before he had got locked up we barely spoke. Like we said hi and bye if and when we saw each other. I guess we let other people take control over our relationship which caused us to break up cuz of the people with their hate on us and our relationship. I know that we have control over our own cuz we grown but also I think becuz of him always being high that also had an effect with his thoughts and actions towards the relationship. Now that he is on the inside we galk a lot about everything and everything like we should have in the past but didn't. He is like my best friend and now I don't hold anything back from him. Its so true communication is the key!! It is very important to keep that line open cuz without it the relationship wont be.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:07 PM
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From the outset, we made a promise to one another that we would always adhere to a few basic principles like honesty, respect, and no secrets, and that we would build from there. You have to have a good foundation from which to build. We have had some communication breakdowns, like assumptions and unspoken expectations, that we needed to get out of the way in order to be in harmony. I think one of the most important techniques that he and I implement is to "not throw the baby out with the bathwater." Sometimes, what someone is saying is valid, but it might not be delivered in the right way, causing misunderstanding. Instead of responding with offense, we try to ask questions, "what did you mean by _____?" and redirect one another in our delivery methods. We also reassure one another that anything can be discussed and any issue can be brought to the table without any fear that the other will belittle, avoid, deflect or manipulate. We discuss our communication differences and adjust them according to "this" relationship, letting go of bad habits we may have learned from previous relationships. Neither one of us is afraid to apologize first over a disagreement, and luckily we haven't had many of those, but they do happen. Lastly, we continually encourage one another to grow, knowing that we are becoming better partners to each other and better people in general.
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  #28  
Old 07-06-2012, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Patty View Post
He's a really good man who treats me with the utmost care, love, and respect. Havin' money, bein' broke, the highest highs, the lowest lows, ain't nothing changed that. Prison hasn't changed that. We owe much of our success to communication....

They say the more things change the more things stay the same. We haven't struggled. Don't hate me because we got it like that. Now when I say struggle you have to understand that I do not mean that we haven't faced difficult times but simply that we do not approach those times in a manner with which they could defeat us. Communication is key...

I want to say that it is because we originally met while he was incarcerated that we were forced to put communication at the head of the table and to be certain it leveled the playing field, but mainly because we both excel in this area. The truth is, communicators are a large part of who we are, separately and together, whether he's at home with me or miles and miles away, and for us this has made a huge difference and the reason why I shout loud and proud, "Communication is key to any successful relationship."

So tell us how communication before/during incarceration works for you or share your concerns about improving communication.
Well in my situation, when my man got incarcerated, poor communication was a large factor. We always had it good between us but He didn't open up about the deep stuff. Now that he's been in treatment, I've noticed major improvement in our relationship. Our communication is better then ever. It's kind of a blessing.

So yeah, communication is key.
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  #29  
Old 07-06-2012, 08:33 PM
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We know we can ask and tell each other everything and anything, which also helps us when we're having an argument because we talk it out before it gets made into something big!

Oooh another great point! Lack of communication is OFTEN the reason that molehills turn into mountains. Then comes the, "well why didn't you just say so," followed by the inevitable, "well why didn't you ask me." Communicate, communicate, communicate...
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  #30  
Old 07-06-2012, 08:36 PM
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I have been a horrible communicator all my life until a few years ago when I met my husband who happens to be better at it then most women lol he is wonderful with expressing how he feels. Over 2 yrs later I'm slow to catch up,sometimes he has to drag things out of me(not good,I know) BUT I do believe I and we together have gotten much better at this whole communicating thing. In these situations you have to. So I'd say he's great and I'm a work in progress : ) on a side note....Patty great thread! as usual : ) I've been using the "Communication is key" mantra with my 15 yr old daughter. Hasn't helped YET but I'm trying....and that is a plus!
Understanding and communicating that this is an area you are working on is fabulous. I applaud you for sure!
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:39 PM
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When my fiance and I started out, we had issues, because I came from a family that always spoke our minds and did not keep things from each other. He on the other hand, did not have any communication skills, but he has come a long ways.
We touched on this a bit but it cannot be overstated IMO. We all bring our own brand of communication style to the table. When we work at it the magic happens. Thanks for bringing it up.
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  #32  
Old 07-06-2012, 08:55 PM
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In the past I have worked with people in need where at first there was a language barrier. I say at first because as they became used to me and to my staff and understood that we really wanted to know them, they reciprocated. Communication can truly transcend language and cultural barriers but you already know this. Stay happy!
If people really want to work at it, anything can be overcome. It's still a learning process for us at times and our age difference comes in to play from time to time too...although not nearly as often as I thought it might! In fact I can count on one hand how many times I've thought "oh, his acting his age..." Most of the time he is the one that is the most patient, understanding and working the hardest. There has been so much give and take. His English has always been good but now that he's in prison he has to speak and write in English 100% of the time and he never ceases to amaze me with his vocabulary. The cultural differences have probably been more of an issue, but even those we are both willing to try to find middle ground on. It's refreshing to be with a man that bends over backwards to communicate with me and make sure we understand each other. Oh, and he can actually admit when he's wrong and will apologize...haha! They seriously broke the mold with this one!
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  #33  
Old 07-06-2012, 09:04 PM
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Our communication is amazing. And I wouldn't change that for anything, but I'm so ready for some physical love and no communication can provide a kiss, hug or a snuggle. I'm ready to put a little physical action over communication. 7moremonths? Yes please.
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:17 PM
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We were coming from two very different places when we met in most everything He's the person to speak his mind no matter what, but he doesn't talk to just hear himself talk. I would rarely speak up if I was mad or hurt or even if I was happy about something. It came from my childhood and my past relationship. We've grown alot though! He's not so quick to get upset now and will ask me about something before assuming things, I'm better about telling him what's on my mind and how things make me feel, if I'm or if I need a moment. I don't do well with confrontation and I need a minute to get my thoughts together. He knows this and sometimes if we need to, he'll give me time and then call back instead of just sitting there on the phone.

We also decided to do a night every week or two where we just catch up with each other...talk about anything that we feel we need to, any issues we've had on our minds about our relationship or life in general. Just to take a day/night to slow down and shut everything else out. We both feel it's important! We don't have visits, so letters and calls are our forms of communciation and we talk about everything we possibly can. He's great about letting me know beforehand what's going on with prison stuff when possible and I'm getting better about including him in the day to day stuff here. It's a work in progress! We just keep tweaking things and working through the problems!
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  #35  
Old 07-06-2012, 09:20 PM
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Before he went to prison, our communication was bad. Non- existent actually. We were having a lot of problems and I never credited it to the fact we weren't voicing our feelings or our expectations of our relationship. I didn't know what was wrong or how to fix it.

Prison made us rely on communication. And THATS when I realized :ding:ding:
Its what was missing all along. I think when you rely on letters, calls, visits etc. It puts a huge emphasis on what communication really is. We put all our issues on the table and said look, we either fix this and figure out what's wrong or were going to fail. We did, and I honestly think if it were not for this bid we would still be stuck in that same rut wondering what's wrong with us and how can we fix it. Communication is something we have learned in the past 3 1/2 months and we continue to learn and improve on it every single day

Growing up for me, consisted of learning what a real, healthy, meaningful relationship is and learning the building blocks/aspects of what makes a relationship last. We are more in love than ever and I credit it to our new found communication style.


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Old 07-07-2012, 12:20 PM
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A couple of you have mentioned that the communication was not good between the two of you prior to his incarceration. If that is the case it is important not only to strive to correct that but also to lay the groundwork for how to continue this when he comes home. You don't want to be one of those people who feel like you were able to communicate while he was in prison and then that just flies out the window after the homecoming. It is a goal worth working on together!
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:23 PM
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A couple of you have mentioned that the communication was not good between the two of you prior to his incarceration. If that is the case it is important not only to strive to correct that but also to lay the groundwork for how to continue this when he comes home. You don't want to be one of those people who feel like you were able to communicate while he was in prison and then that just flies out the window after the homecoming. It is a goal worth working on together!
Your very right about that. It will be easier to fall back into old habbits of not communicating when he gets out and I want to make sure that doesn't happen. We have to learn to take that prison communication and apply it to every day normal life and not forget what an essential it is!

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Old 07-08-2012, 01:51 AM
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We also decided to do a night every week or two where we just catch up with each other...talk about anything that we feel we need to, any issues we've had on our minds about our relationship or life in general. Just to take a day/night to slow down and shut everything else out. We both feel it's important!
We do this informally, that is to say we don't have a regular time set up but we definitely make the time to talk about "us" on a regular basis, rather than family, friends, news, PTO, etc. Keep on communicating!!!
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  #39  
Old 07-08-2012, 02:59 AM
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I wasn't with my Fiance' before he got locked up but I was in a marriage and I had no idea how to communicate. Communicating to me back then was yelling, not listening, cursing and hitting below the belt. For that reason my relationship consisted of anger, because no one was respecting or listening so didn't nothing ever get solved, we just either got tired or a headache.


Now that I am with my Fiance' over the years I learned a thing called respect. My Fiance' stood by me patiently and earned my trust and taught me how to use my words. He loved me even when I slipped and softly said I can understand you babe without doing all of that. He quickly admits when he is wrong and that led me to trust him. He tells me everything and vice versa. Communication has made our relationship what it is and it has helped me not to be bothered by his daughter's mom because there is no surprises. Through our communication I have learned to trust him, cherish him, honor him and have faith that he will do the right thing.

The only thing I would improve is either longer letters or just responding to everything I write. I know its not a big deal to some but I do not like to be ignored. My Fiance' is not a big talker. He listens more then he talks and that is good sometimes but after a long hectic day it would be nice to be endulged in a letter that keeps me in our place for awhile.


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He's a really good man who treats me with the utmost care, love, and respect. Havin' money, bein' broke, the highest highs, the lowest lows, ain't nothing changed that. Prison hasn't changed that. We owe much of our success to communication....

They say the more things change the more things stay the same. We haven't struggled. Don't hate me because we got it like that. Now when I say struggle you have to understand that I do not mean that we haven't faced difficult times but simply that we do not approach those times in a manner with which they could defeat us. Communication is key...

I want to say that it is because we originally met while he was incarcerated that we were forced to put communication at the head of the table and to be certain it leveled the playing field, but mainly because we both excel in this area. The truth is, communicators are a large part of who we are, separately and together, whether he's at home with me or miles and miles away, and for us this has made a huge difference and the reason why I shout loud and proud, "Communication is key to any successful relationship."

So tell us how communication before/during incarceration works for you or share your concerns about improving communication.
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  #40  
Old 07-08-2012, 03:08 AM
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The only thing I would improve is either longer letters or just responding to everything I write. I know its not a big deal to some but I do not like to be ignored. My Fiance' is not a big talker. He listens more then he talks and that is good sometimes but after a long hectic day it would be nice to be endulged in a letter that keeps me in our place for awhile.
I think this is a HUGE deal. In fact when Sebastian and I were first getting to know each other one of the things that drew me to him is that it was obvious that he REALLY read my letters. His responses were thoughtful and his observations although sometimes not what I expected, were interesting and thorough. Thankfully he has kept this up during the current bid we're doing because I feel it makes a huge difference and at the end of the day it gives me something tangible to read and reread when the hour grows late and I want my final thoughts for the evening to be of him!

So yeah I get it and I would offer up this - if he does not respond directly to things you have asked or discussed in a letter, keep on it. In other words, in your next letter say, "I mentioned in my last letter ... and you didn't say anything about ... when you wrote back. I'm really looking for you feedback so what are you thinking about ....? It's worth a try, always!
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  #41  
Old 07-08-2012, 03:14 AM
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Any advice on how to communicate better?
I'm quite awkward and shy and I have a really hard time expressing my feelings and most times I just have nothing to say so there's this awkward silence if noone continues ..
Sometimes I even fret visiting (I haven't yet because I can't) because I don't want it to be awkward :/ lol

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Old 07-08-2012, 10:54 AM
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Klewis--sometimes I would do that; not respond to something my man said and it wasn't because I was simply ignoring it, I just didn't think it needed a response. And he would ask me on the phone or in a letter later on what I thought about it cause I never responded. He won't know it bothers you unless you say something!
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:32 AM
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Oh trust me I have said something about it. It actually almost made me walk away. He would fix the problem for about a week and then back to the same crap. He is caught up in the fact that he writes me everyday, but I told him its not the quantity of letters its the quality of the letter. Lately I have turned the tables on him. He writes me and I shortly reply and I don't respond to something I know he wants me to. He does like Patty said to do, he will say babe you did not respond to this or that. One letter he even had the nerves to say he wish it would have been longer. I am waiting for a response to a letter I sent him letting him know that I see its not just me that feel let down when something I asked or shared don't get acknowledge. I have also communicated to him that I do not like the fact that if I send a long letter he will say well I am not done responding to your letter but I will pick back up on it tomorrow. Then right after that letter I will get a letter saying well my day was okay today not much went on, but yet if that is the case then that means he had time to respond some more to my letter he just didn't and I feel like he is not giving me what I need out of this relationship at the time and I see that as a redflag no matter how small the issue is. No we are not going to break up over it but I do expect him to work on it. Or like I told him we will just stop writing and just communicate on the phone so I can have instant feedback. He also makes the mistake of making himself believe that things I say, I said because I was irritated. I have to communicate to him that my feelings are my feelings no matter if I am irritated or not what I said I meant. He thinks my feelings go away once he temporarily fix the issue and that is not the case. So ladies wish me luck because I figure if you can't give me this simple thing right now while your locked up, then how do I know that you will be trying to give me the things I need out of the relationship when you come home.


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Klewis--sometimes I would do that; not respond to something my man said and it wasn't because I was simply ignoring it, I just didn't think it needed a response. And he would ask me on the phone or in a letter later on what I thought about it cause I never responded. He won't know it bothers you unless you say something!
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:35 PM
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Oh trust me I have said something about it. It actually almost made me walk away. He would fix the problem for about a week and then back to the same crap. He is caught up in the fact that he writes me everyday, but I told him its not the quantity of letters its the quality of the letter. Lately I have turned the tables on him. He writes me and I shortly reply and I don't respond to something I know he wants me to. He does like Patty said to do, he will say babe you did not respond to this or that. One letter he even had the nerves to say he wish it would have been longer. I am waiting for a response to a letter I sent him letting him know that I see its not just me that feel let down when something I asked or shared don't get acknowledge. I have also communicated to him that I do not like the fact that if I send a long letter he will say well I am not done responding to your letter but I will pick back up on it tomorrow. Then right after that letter I will get a letter saying well my day was okay today not much went on, but yet if that is the case then that means he had time to respond some more to my letter he just didn't and I feel like he is not giving me what I need out of this relationship at the time and I see that as a redflag no matter how small the issue is. No we are not going to break up over it but I do expect him to work on it. Or like I told him we will just stop writing and just communicate on the phone so I can have instant feedback. He also makes the mistake of making himself believe that things I say, I said because I was irritated. I have to communicate to him that my feelings are my feelings no matter if I am irritated or not what I said I meant. He thinks my feelings go away once he temporarily fix the issue and that is not the case. So ladies wish me luck because I figure if you can't give me this simple thing right now while your locked up, then how do I know that you will be trying to give me the things I need out of the relationship when you come home.
It's important that you have your needs met in the relationship and it is good that you are communicating such to him. I know it must be frustrating for you at times but what stands out to me in your post is that even though it's not perfect (and none of us are) the two of you are active in your communication about the problem even if it has not yet been resolved. That is an important piece. I think that given what you've told us I would in your situation only write him letters about how he doesn't respond to what you've written, heck make it a form letter, copy it and send to your hearts content.
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Old 07-08-2012, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Kay'Ola View Post
Any advice on how to communicate better?
I'm quite awkward and shy and I have a really hard time expressing my feelings and most times I just have nothing to say so there's this awkward silence if noone continues ..
Sometimes I even fret visiting (I haven't yet because I can't) because I don't want it to be awkward :/ lol
I wasn't sure from your previous posts if you are in a MWI relationship or not. I bring that up because while for the most part communication and its many complications is universal; when in a MWI relationship the approach is somewhat different. This is simply because it is the "getting-to-know" you stage of a relationship.

Regardless, I would say that if you have difficulties expressing your feelings that it will get better with practice. The fact that you bring it up tells me it is important to you and is worth making every attempt to improve in this area. It can be scary because when we are speaking of our own feelings it takes a leap of faith. We don't want to be misinterpreted, rejected, or made fun of. You have to be able to trust that your partner will listen and respond with kindness and understanding. You won't know if you don't try and it is a good way to gauge the style of communication that works best for you and for your relationship.

When it comes to what you call "awkward silences" it's interesting because sometimes Sebastian and I have a few moments like that. We feel comfortable though just taking that time to sit in one another's company, enjoying the time shared even from a distance. My point is that although you are currently focussed on your communication issues there may be times when that silence is akin to sitting on the couch together and he reaches over and squeezes your hand - no words need be spoken! Best of luck.
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Old 09-09-2012, 04:30 PM
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Seems like a few could use some communication support around here lately so let's bump it up...
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:46 PM
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The awkward silences for us are really like you described. As if we were sitting on a couch and just "being" together. Sometimes we will be there and there isnt any awkwardness to them but we will use them to just look at each other. I love those moments now because I know they are special. Every moment is special.
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:16 PM
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When this all began we were very new in our relationship, so communication was constantly an issue. Together we were horrible at it and still learning how to really talk to each other. Opening up was very hard for both of us, especially him. He would react instead of tell me what was bothering him. Small things got blown out of proportion because we were coming from vastly different communication styles. In my profession, communication skills are a must, which is great in theory, but I was used to communicating in the ways I was trained to use. Sometimes they do not leave much wiggle room and can put you in a communication rut. When my bf and I started dating, I kept getting frustrated because I never felt like he understood what I was trying to say or where I was coming from and I know he felt the same way, but I would voice it more. I will be the first to admit that I would get upset if he did not respond in a way that I thought was appropriate or the way I wanted him to. I was pretty much being self-centered in a way.This was the crux of like 90% of our arguments.

We were raised very differently and for him he learned to hold all of his feelings in and had a lot of trouble expressing them in a healthy way. Me, I would get very emotional and frustrated because I wanted him to give the perfect response to my supposedly "well thought out" expressions to him. I was almost still in professional mode. I am being honest, I was not leaving room for different communication styles with my bf. As our relationship has grown, we have started fumbling around a happy medium. We both bring to the table what we want and discuss it and tell one another if we do not understand what the other is trying to say. We talk things trough and reassure each other that communicating can only help the situation. I have stopped trying to look for the response I want to hear or getting mad at what I perceive as him "not listening," and now pay more attention to how he is trying to say things and trying to convey his points to me and it has cleared up so many arguments. We just do not express our feelings in the same manner, and that has to be worked in a positive way, instead of an instant feeling of rejection or anger. I will say, we are not quite in a place where our communication is fabulous, it has been very rough, but we are trying very hard. The more we learn about one another and how we interact, how we were raised, etc...the better things have been. I look forward to the challenge of improving our communication further, making it less about him and me, and more about us. PTO has definitely helped with this.
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sad_Eyes
When this all began we were very new in our relationship, so communication was constantly an issue. Together we were horrible at it and still learning how to really talk to each other. Opening up was very hard for both of us, especially him. He would react instead of tell me what was bothering him. Small things got blown out of proportion because we were coming from vastly different communication styles. In my profession, communication skills are a must, which is great in theory, but I was used to communicating in the ways I was trained to use. Sometimes they do not leave much wiggle room and can put you in a communication rut. When my bf and I started dating, I kept getting frustrated because I never felt like he understood what I was trying to say or where I was coming from and I know he felt the same way, but I would voice it more. I will be the first to admit that I would get upset if he did not respond in a way that I thought was appropriate or the way I wanted him to. I was pretty much being self-centered in a way.This was the crux of like 90% of our arguments.

We were raised very differently and for him he learned to hold all of his feelings in and had a lot of trouble expressing them in a healthy way. Me, I would get very emotional and frustrated because I wanted him to give the perfect response to my supposedly "well thought out" expressions to him. I was almost still in professional mode. I am being honest, I was not leaving room for different communication styles with my bf. As our relationship has grown, we have started fumbling around a happy medium. We both bring to the table what we want and discuss it and tell one another if we do not understand what the other is trying to say. We talk things trough and reassure each other that communicating can only help the situation. I have stopped trying to look for the response I want to hear or getting mad at what I perceive as him "not listening," and now pay more attention to how he is trying to say things and trying to convey his points to me and it has cleared up so many arguments. We just do not express our feelings in the same manner, and that has to be worked in a positive way, instead of an instant feeling of rejection or anger. I will say, we are not quite in a place where our communication is fabulous, it has been very rough, but we are trying very hard. The more we learn about one another and how we interact, how we were raised, etc...the better things have been. I look forward to the challenge of improving our communication further, making it less about him and me, and more about us. PTO has definitely helped with this.
Great post...you gave me some food for thought. I know when we have issues I can overwhelm my man with my well-thought out "professional" expressions and I also used to look for the perfect answer...in the beginning of his prison sentence if he didn't say something like how *I* thought he should respond then certainly that meant he didn't love me or was one of these guys just using me, etc, right??? Ugh! I was SO "on-guard" that I was fishing for stuff that wasn't even there because of my doubts due to his crime and my own insecurities. I even "tested" him a few times...it was so unhealthy! But my man has shown uncompromising patience, the willingness to figure out better ways to communicate and most importantly he doesn't give up on us.

Thanks for bringing this back out Patty!
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Sad_Eyes View Post
When this all began we were very new in our relationship, so communication was constantly an issue. Together we were horrible at it and still learning how to really talk to each other. Opening up was very hard for both of us, especially him. He would react instead of tell me what was bothering him. Small things got blown out of proportion because we were coming from vastly different communication styles. In my profession, communication skills are a must, which is great in theory, but I was used to communicating in the ways I was trained to use. Sometimes they do not leave much wiggle room and can put you in a communication rut. When my bf and I started dating, I kept getting frustrated because I never felt like he understood what I was trying to say or where I was coming from and I know he felt the same way, but I would voice it more. I will be the first to admit that I would get upset if he did not respond in a way that I thought was appropriate or the way I wanted him to. I was pretty much being self-centered in a way.This was the crux of like 90% of our arguments.

We were raised very differently and for him he learned to hold all of his feelings in and had a lot of trouble expressing them in a healthy way. Me, I would get very emotional and frustrated because I wanted him to give the perfect response to my supposedly "well thought out" expressions to him. I was almost still in professional mode. I am being honest, I was not leaving room for different communication styles with my bf. As our relationship has grown, we have started fumbling around a happy medium. We both bring to the table what we want and discuss it and tell one another if we do not understand what the other is trying to say. We talk things trough and reassure each other that communicating can only help the situation. I have stopped trying to look for the response I want to hear or getting mad at what I perceive as him "not listening," and now pay more attention to how he is trying to say things and trying to convey his points to me and it has cleared up so many arguments. We just do not express our feelings in the same manner, and that has to be worked in a positive way, instead of an instant feeling of rejection or anger. I will say, we are not quite in a place where our communication is fabulous, it has been very rough, but we are trying very hard. The more we learn about one another and how we interact, how we were raised, etc...the better things have been. I look forward to the challenge of improving our communication further, making it less about him and me, and more about us. PTO has definitely helped with this.
I think that if you were to advise someone in your position it would be to tell them to work on finding the best communication method that works for them and their loved one. That is what I see you doing and I can't help but think that the pay off will be well worth the effort. All the best.
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