“We don’t even talk anymore…”
So begins one of my favourite Boys II Men songs, ‘Water Runs Dry’.
When a marriage is headed downhill, talking is usually the next to die after kissing. You just don’t do it anymore.
Talking is the major thing we do when we first start getting to know each other. When the real deal hits, we’re even more eager to get into their heads than into their underwear. How was your day? How are you feeling? What’s on your mind? What do you think of this, that, and the other?
If the talking started in the DMs, soon it’s not enough. We want to chat on Whatsapp and BBM, then we want to talk on the phone, then we want to talk face to face, then we want to keep talking face to face other forever. Then somehow, we stop.
Conversations are the lifeblood of our relationships, and it’s sad when we let ourselves get to the point where we don’t talk anymore.
People change as the years go by, and there’s no way we can stay truly in sync without talking; you’ll wake up married to someone you don’t even know.
The less we talk, the less we know what our partners are going through, how they’re really feeling, what’s no longer important to them, what’s important to them now, where they need help, where they’re hurting, what they want more than anything.
Random: One Sunday my pastor asked us to write down three prayer points to talk to God about. He then turned to his wife where she was seated:
“Honey please help me write down mine. The third is the same as the second, and the second is the same as the first.”
She started writing, and I wondered if she knew for certain what it was – the thing because obviously, it was just one big ache in her husband’s heart.
Then I tried to imagine if my husband had asked me to do that … which of the things would be the thing? I wasn’t sure then, but I’m glad to say I’m sure now.
One important fact about talking – the kind that matters in intimate relationships – is that it goes hand in hand with listening and hearing even things that aren’t said. It’s paying attention to someone with your ears and your heart and your soul. This is where the deep, meaningful discussions that bring us closer are had. This is where we bring about new beginnings as needed. This is where we start to fall in love again as we did before.
Are you so busy that you can’t talk to each other? Are you letting the fact that you haven’t been talking trick you into believing you’ve already drifted too far apart? Is that other person you’re talking with replacing your partner? Have you left your partner so lonely that they have to seek out someone else who will care enough to listen to their heart? Channelling that energy out of your union will make your marriage sick.
Of course, your spouse is not your only friend. You should talk with your other friends, and your siblings, and your parents; as long as you’re not having those deep conversations with them that you no longer have with your partner.
To starve your relationship of meaningful conversations is to deny it the thing that birthed it, the very thing it needs to keep being. Before you know it, there’s a desert where once, there was a lush, green field.
Don’t do it, baby…