Using the “C” Word [Tall Drink of Nerd]

 In *Archives, Amy Robinson, Fierce and Nerdy

Yesterday was my 10th wedding anniversary, so I figured I would share one of the secrets to long-term marital bliss. You don’t make it through 21 years in a relationship without learning how to use the “C” word. My not so secret, secret? Communication.

When I was super-young and single and really bad at relationships, I met Seen. We had some heated fights in the first few years. I’d screech and cry and he’d sleep on the couch. I would shut down rather than discuss problems or find a solution. My move was to steam in silence, waiting for him to figure out what he had done wrong. I wanted him to intuitively know what my mood was, why I was so damn grumpy and the cure for it all. TV shows and chick flicks showed me what perfect was. Women were rescued by a prince. You know, the guy who “got” her even though her current beau didn’t. That was true love and how to know your soul mate immediately.

In my humble experience, I can tell you that TV, chick flicks, love songs and most fairy tales are full of shit. Being involved with somebody isn’t effortless, but it isn’t ‘hard work’ either. It’s about talking to each other. Not being an ass-hat helps, but mainly it’s the talking. For me, one of the hardest parts of this communicating thing, was actually knowing what I am trying to say. Sometimes I have to stop, think about what’s happening here and figure myself out before I start talking. Here’s a simple little example we just lived through:

When making weekend plans, more often than not, Seen will say “We can do whatever you want to do.” which always made my hackles rise. I wasn’t sure why. Was it because I was tired of looking up stuff to do? Was it because I make most of the plans? Nope. After ruminating on what exactly was bugging the crap out of me, I realized what my issue was. That little phrase made me feel like he was uninterested in our time together, like our plans were something for him to pass time with, not something he would get excited about.

So after a few months of me, in a huff, saying “I hate it when you say that. You figure something out.” (seriously, I should have tried to figure it out quicker, but it took me awhile to even think there might be more to my irritation than just getting irritated) The moment after I figured myself out, I approached him in a non-emotional way and explained that when he said “…whatever you wanna do…” it irked me, and why.

Turns out he had no idea that’s what I was hearing. What he was trying to convey was “I want to make you happy, so I will go wherever you want to go and do whatever makes you that way.” Which is a way different translation.

We still fight on occasion, I like to think of it as a sign of passion. But the fights diffuse faster now that we’ve figured out the secret of the “C” word. The example above is a small, teeny issue, not a big problem like where to live or what religion to raise the kids, but we’ve had the big talks in a very similar way. It’s all about examining what is your logical reaction, what is your emotional reaction, how to convey those and how to listen to each other. Simple stuff. And if you love somebody, really not too terribly difficult at all.

NOTE: If you clicked on this because you thought I was referring to the See You Next Tuesday “C” word, or that Laura Linney show, please communicate your confusion to me in the comments. We can work it out…without all the swearing.

featured image credit: chrisinplymouth

If you liked this post, please do us the further boon of Liking the Fierce and Nerdy page on FaceBook. Also, we’re giving great stream on Twitter, so do give us follow.

Recommended Posts
Showing 4 comments
  • Ucimhappy

    I love the C word…it works!  BTW Happy Anniversary to you and Seen

  • Ucimhappy

    I love the C word…it works!  BTW Happy Anniversary to you and Seen

  • Ernessa T. Carter

    I love this post. CH and I pretty much don’t fight, but we do get into huge “communications,” going back and forth about something until we’ve figured it out. Like you I sometimes have difficultly figuring out what I want to say, but as the years go by, it gets easier. I think the big secret is to always trying to respect what the person is telling you. If CH asks me not to leave my wet towels on the bed, because it annoys him, it’s not my place to talk about whether it should annoy him or not, I just hang up my towel — like I should have been doing in the first place. However, we also believe in giving your partner the benefit of the doubt. Occasionally, I forget and leave a wet towel on the bed. CH doesn’t hold it against me, because he knows 95% of the time I’m going to hang up my towel. If you trust your partner, it’s easier to err on the side of their feelings being valid and also to know that they mean you no harm or disrespect when they mess up after a communication.

    On the flip side, I also communicated really well with my major ex-boyfriend. This helped us to see that we just weren’t meant to be. If you’re both communicating and nothing is getting figured out, then it’s best to part ways. In both cases, yay, Communication!

  • Ernessa T. Carter

    I love this post. CH and I pretty much don’t fight, but we do get into huge “communications,” going back and forth about something until we’ve figured it out. Like you I sometimes have difficultly figuring out what I want to say, but as the years go by, it gets easier. I think the big secret is to always trying to respect what the person is telling you. If CH asks me not to leave my wet towels on the bed, because it annoys him, it’s not my place to talk about whether it should annoy him or not, I just hang up my towel — like I should have been doing in the first place. However, we also believe in giving your partner the benefit of the doubt. Occasionally, I forget and leave a wet towel on the bed. CH doesn’t hold it against me, because he knows 95% of the time I’m going to hang up my towel. If you trust your partner, it’s easier to err on the side of their feelings being valid and also to know that they mean you no harm or disrespect when they mess up after a communication.

    On the flip side, I also communicated really well with my major ex-boyfriend. This helped us to see that we just weren’t meant to be. If you’re both communicating and nothing is getting figured out, then it’s best to part ways. In both cases, yay, Communication!

Contact Us

We'd love to hear from you. Please send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

0