I Actually Like it When We Don’t Speak.

In an attempt to drive up my blog traffic I read somewhere else that you should blog about something you are an expert on. If ever there was a topic for me, it’s this one.

Before I got into this relationship I would never have been able to imagine going days without speaking to my significant other. My previous relationships were built on the notion that the more you talk, the better it is for you both.

We all know the couples that have forsaken their former social circles in favour of one another. I have yet to meet another half of a relationship who goes through the same periods of amicable extended silence in their partnership as I do in mine.

Over the past year and a half we have spent more than fifty non-consecutive days without speaking. Most of these happened in five or ten day stints due to meditation courses but there have been days where we have agreed to aptly named ‘silent days’ .

It is easy to laugh and write this way of being together as evidence of the denial of billowing relationship problems but I feel it indicates something of far greater value.

As a teacher I am constantly talking. From the moment I go into school to the moment I leave, there is consistent need to chat, engage, repeat, reply. I cannot, even for a second, switch off and this act of merely existing in my workplace leaves me exhausted when the day is finally finished. I accept it, it is something that goes with an otherwise relatively rewarding career.

When I come home the last thing I want to do is to talk. Or if I do, it is usually to rant about something that happened or about the amount of work that I still have unfinished, needing completion that evening, or that night.

In another relationship I would do just that and I would hear the same complaints or worries in return from my partner too. It might go on like that for days, weeks and eventually become a pattern. While I advocate sharing, silence makes you think about just what it is you share and how unconsciously you do it without thinking about the effect it will have on the person listening.

On a silent day, or at times like this when he is in meditation, I tend to tune into my internal chatter; the stuff I would share with others unthinkingly were they around. It is often surprising to hear the negativity, frustration and anxiety that occupies sometimes a significant space there. Is that how I usually communicate?

Instead of throwing out whatever is in my head at that particular moment, when I can, I try to assess it and understand where it is coming from and if it passes or leads me to any answers about its originating source. I think this is rather like meditation.

In that space there is room for self- improvement. I have done it – voice every thought that comes into my head – but during these silent times there is an opportunity to engage with what exactly I am generating in my own mind. It allows me to question it, censor it even and think about the effect it will have on both me and others if I verbalise it.

I would never suggest keeping things in or bottling things up that you would like to share for fear of how they would make others feel. Each interaction and relationship is a unique one. In my own life I have found that not being afraid of silence can be as therapeutic as a frivolous discussion. It is like giving the mind a chance to take a deep, long breath.

This is good. I encourage students to stop talking and to study the concepts on their own, in silence. Why haven’t I given myself the same chance? Reflection is the best way to make any kind of personal growth and I for one find that impossible to do when I caught in my patterns of constant chat.

My boyfriend nears the end of his second retreat and in that silence I have practiced that which I have explained above. It has taken me two years to come to terms with the idea that wanting silence is not always a bad thing or something to be ashamed of. My relationship is one in which there are days where we have not spoken at all and both of us have benefitted happily from it.

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “I Actually Like it When We Don’t Speak.

  1. When it comes to “me time” in a relationship, I think balance is super important. I’ve been with my husband for 10 years (married for 5), and while we’ve never gone as long as you and your BF have without speaking or being physically separated, we’ve had our share of ups and downs.
    For the first 4 years of marriage, he worked second shift, and I worked 9-5, so we literally only saw each other on the weekends. At first it was cool because it was like we were still dating – we were excited to get together and catch up and do something fun. But after a while it became a strain – we couldn’t talk to each other about important/emotional stuff that happened during the week, and by the time the weekend rolled around the significance of the event had faded (he works in a hospital and wasn’t allowed to have his phone on him so we couldn’t even text/call). We even found it difficult to make stupid decisions about our bills and the house and schedule HVAC repairs. UGH!
    But then when he switched to daylight hours my world was upside down. I wasn’t used to cooking dinner, writing, walking the dog, running errands, etc with him THERE. I was grateful that we could spend more time together, but at the same time, my routine, which had taken a while to master, was upended.
    We’re still working through this. I finally understand what people mean when they say marriage is hard work! lol

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey I loved reading this comment – thank you! I totally agree with you, marriage and relationships are such hard work and takes a real commitment from both people. Sometimes life doesnโ€™t make it easy for us. It sounds you have made a huge effort to keep your relationship strong and that is lovely to read because sometimes I feel as if my relationship isnโ€™t โ€˜normalโ€™ (with all the gaps, time apart etc). Thank you for taking the time to comment and share your experience; I really appreciate it. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

      1. Sure! Sorry it kinda turned into a novel lol
        I give you and your boyfriend a huge amount of credit for trusting each other and your relationship during such a physical gap. I honestly don’t know if I could ever handle the long distance thing. Good luck to you!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s