My fiance and I have been together for four years. And for the last three years, we’ve been raising our child. It’s been a roller coaster ride. We’ve had a lot of loops to through but so far we’ve managed to get past them without puking at each other (figuratively, that is).
The first two years were quite challenging. We were still getting to know each other a whole lot better. Aside from getting busy with jobs and our roles as parents, we still got to spend some quality time with each other. It does make a difference as to how you see your life together and how you think of your future.
But during these earlier years, I wasn’t able to shake the feeling of uncertainty–about our relationship, our future together, and his love for me. The truth is we weren’t really giving each other enough attention. There’d be times that we’d be together in a room alone, looking at our phones or reading our own books, and we really didn’t talk as much. And we knew that there’s something missing. Something that we were lacking: communication.
Yes we talked. But we talked about the basic stuff. The bills, Stacee’s development, things to fix and to buy at home, budget, the works. But nothing more. We weren’t really connecting. Yes, we did get to spend a lot of quality times, dates, dinners, movies. We did make love, though not as often. And we still lacked communication.
So what I did was get educated. I’ve read a lot of tips and articles online to help me improve my relatioship with Stan. We’ve been through a lot together and I wouldn’t want this to be the deal breaker. I’ve read about how to connect with your partner. And I have learned (and still am learning) a lot. And all that I get to read, I share with Stan.
It all actually worked. Slowly but surely, we got to improve our relationship. We became closer, sweeter, much more caring. We’ve been very open to each other that we’ve made a friend out of one another. We’ve made love more often. And now, that we’re months away from getting married, I can’t help but feel excited knowing that I’m about to spend the rest of my life with someone that I get to talk to about anything under the sun.
It’s really helped us improve a lot. And you know how? Here are some things that we were able to change:
1. Touch. During our first months together, we can’t keep our hands off each other. We’d always hold hands, embrace, caress, and just touch anywhere just to get closer. But this habit sort of got lost when we got busy with parenting. We turned to strangers. But when I told him through a letter that I missed those embraces and touches, he welcomed the idea of bringing it all back. And it’s now a part of our daily activities. We’d always embrace each other, hold hands in the public (until his hands get clammy), kiss often (and passionately), and even do group hugs along with our three-year old girl.
2. Small Talks. Every time we’re together we’d always talk and listen to each other. We’ve talked about a lot of things, share stories over meals, and just catch up with everything that we’ve done or read separately. We do this all the time. And it’s always fun to do because we get to improve our friendship and we get to laugh together and learn from each other. It nurtures our relationship.
3. Affection. We say “I love you”. We do it as often as we can. Before lesving for work, while sitting and embracing each other, before going to bed, and we even say it to each other after sex (which is a perfect time to do so).
4. Full Attention. This is a very important part of communication. We always do our best to give our full and undivided attention to each other. Although there are times that we can’t help but divide it between us and our daughter but it still is important to assure each other that you are attentive while the other speaks. One way to make it work, step away from your phone, TV or the computer for a while and listen well to your partner.
5. Understand. Listening is one thing but comprehension is another. To make sure that our communication is really working, we always listen carefully to really ubderstand each other.
6. Willingness. As a cherry on top, this is a must-have. You have to willingly give your time to listen and pay attention to your partner. It’s just unnerving if your partner is not really working with you to help improve your ways to communicate. As for me, I’m thankful that I have someone who’s always willing to work with me, to compromise.
I might feel like an expert here, but the truth is we are still, and always will be, learning the ropes. If we compare the length of our relationship quth those of our parents and our grandparents, we know that we’re still just beginners. But I’m happy to share that all of these are art of what we learned from our parents, too. Communication is what keeps our parents together all these time. It burtures love, trust, honesty, and compromise.
If you have any other tips to share about improving communications between lovers, feel free to leave a comment. Thanks!