Communication 101

I assume a lot of things.  I'm far from selfish, but there are many times that I assume that the thought process that's taking place in my head any a given moment will follow its course unhampered.  It's not that I don't care about anyone's opinion--I just don't think about it.  It's like as I'm driving, by myself, down a road with no choices or forks in it.

Assuming things is not a good thing in a marriage.  Occasionally that notion rears its ugly head and bites me square on the ass.  Hard.

Suzie has been on her own for over a decade, and she's accomplished a lot.  She has basically transformed the house we currently live in with her own two hands.  Designs, colors, materials--All her doing.  Did she do a good job?  Absolutely.  What's most impressive to me is the fact that she did so much in that time.  You have to figure in the fact that she was a single, working mom during that time.  Lots of activity, lots of responsibility, and only so much time to do it in.  She is a woman of action.  Even now on days when she doesn't  get as much done as she'd like due to weather or some other unforeseen circumstance, it grates on her.  She feels like she was non-productive that day and therefore did not have a good day.

Why am I bringing this all up?  I "stepped on her toes" the other day, and it caused both of us to think and analyze things we do and think.

We are both independent spirits.  We like to do things on our own--Maybe it's pride.  We are realizing more and more how wrong that is in our union.  We want to be a "we" not two "I's".  For that to work we need to collaborate and communicate everything we do.

In my opinion, I was over-disciplined when I got in trouble growing up.  Sometimes I didn't even understand why I was in trouble.  My dad was very reactive and was probably venting frustrations on me.  For all I know, that's the way he was brought up.  In any case, it was wrong.  Did it damage me?  Absolutely.  As an adult, I avoid, if possible, any situation that might bring a confrontation.  Because of that, I am not a good father figure to Sarah.  I'm a good provider and teacher, but I want to be a friend more than a disciplinarian.  I always left the "enemy" stuff to her mother whenever possible.

All these things also come into play in my marriage.  Suzie and I discussed things earlier in the week and talking did bring up one point that I wanted to share that I had never really noticed.  Both of us behave like an animal might when we get hurt, but opposite of each other.  When she gets hurt, she lashes out like a cornered animal might.  When I get hurt, I shrink back and want to run and hide.  Put these two together and they are a recipe for frustration.

I'm lucky that she's a communicator.  I'm just a communicator-in-training... Hoping for promotion.