I think many couples don’t worry about communication early in a relationship because everything is just so much fun. After they are heavily invested in the other party, it is hard to bring things up because the groundwork isn’t there and they don’t want to risk upsetting their ‘partner’. Every year the decline can build on itself. Ultimately, it seems that many couples end out just having separate lives together.
My plan is to build a pattern of communication where we can honestly share what is in our hearts, trusting that the other party will receive it well. But not just being able to do this; actually making it such a rewarding exchange that we’ll both desire this way.
Almost two weeks ago we had a communication problem that struck me as horribly dangerous and needing tending right away. Unfortunately, living in different cities and both keeping very busy schedules, often restricts the time we can spend together. I made it clear by cell phone email and telephone that we had to make time for this, but I really wanted to work it out face to face.
We came up with a non-ideal solution: ride the same train as her on the way to her conference in Kyoto this morning. We couldn’t sit directly facing each other, there were many other ears nearby, there was a definite time limit, we had to change trains in the middle, if I said something stupid that made her cry we would be in public; as I said, less than ideal. During the week, I found time to pray about it and plan out the clearest, kindest, most productive way to get to the roots.
Naturally, we have many other topics that need addressing; particularly, logisitics around my car and my upcoming relocation. Intentionally, I told her I didn’t want any other discussion on our plate that might interfere or distract. I think this really drove home how I felt about it, since I normally have several irons in the fire without thinking twice about it. We had a few false starts that made me wonder if we could succeed, but without giving up we moved forward until both of us had a clear understanding of what caused our difficulty and how we each received a lot of what went down. Really it was a chance to learn more about each other’s core.
Later it dawned on me that we finished all of this shortly into the second train ride, leaving us a lot of fun chit-chat time to whisper sweet nothings and a lot of play time in Kyoto. Still now, late at night, I am amazed at what transpired. We hope to continued building on this foundation so that we can grow into one of those old couples who are constantly laughing and joking together. I’ll keep you posted over the next 80 years. Love truly is powerful.