Language Barriers

THWAM and I have been married for a long time and it’s been a remarkable adventure.  Has every moment of every day of the 45.5 years been pure joy?  Well no, of course not.  But we have managed to iron out a vast number of differences and so we mostly live in peace, but not entirely.

It’s communication that trips us up, for I am an over-communicator and he is a non-communicator.  Don’t worry, seeing this in print won’t startle him; he knows it’s true.  I think I should be privy to whatever he is thinking and feeling at any given moment; he thinks that his business is his business.

I assume that he is equally anxious to know whatever I am thinking and feeling at any given moment; he thinks he’s not that interested in every detail of my emotional life.  Sometimes his non-verbal approach to living leaves me feeling shut-out and disconnected in a way that both hurts my feelings and pisses me off.  Eventually there’s going to be some noise and sometimes some tears.

We’ve recently had one of those little blow-ups, but this time we actually made some progress in mutual understanding: WE TALKED ABOUT IT.  Usually THWAM retreats at the first sign of trouble, but this time he stood fast and we had an actual conversation and there were no tears and nothing scary happened.  And I got a perfect understanding of how differently we look at the same scenario.  I don’t know if the differences are ours alone or a male/female thing.

Here’s a little bit of conversation that took place during lunch out with a friend:


Me to Michelle:  I’m flying to San Francisco for four days in October.

Michelle to THWAM:  That’s great! I’ll bet you’ll miss her, won’t you, THWAM?

THWAM:  Oh no, not at all.  (waves hand dismissively)


Now here’s the thing.

I heard Michelle ask this: You’ll miss her because you love her and will miss her presence and company, right?

THWAM heard her ask this:  Can you take care of yourself when she’s not there?

Only later when we talked did he understand that I felt hurt and unvalued, and only then did I get that his answer meant that he is perfectly capable of feeding himself, doing his laundry, etc. without any help from me. ( I’m all for that!)

It’s a small example of a world of difference.  Making a marriage work is tough because it’s a slippery viscous ever-changing thing that never stays in the box you provide for very long.  Best advice to self:  hang on and watch for the joy!



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This entry was posted on Saturday, September 21st, 2013 at 5:48 pm and is filed under Things to Think About. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “Language Barriers”

  1. Martha Bailey on September 23rd, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    My husband and I are the very same way. I over communicate and he communicates very little. He does not like to talk about feelings at all. It has been a battle for our 47 years but the tears over it have been gone for several years. I just go talk to spirit (sometimes his guide) about it and spirit usually lets me know how he really feels.