One of my dearest friends shared a TIME article, with us today, on another social network:
The Key to Happy Relationships? It’s Not All About Communication
This topic has been much on my mind, of late. I reflect that my marriage, while not perfect by any means, was solid. We knew, and honoured, each other’s tastes, likes and dislikes. Our family members were ALL family. My parents treated Penny’s family as their own, and vice versa. She and I were committed to the idea that communication was important, but so was respect for feelings. Talking had to be accompanied by listening, by hearing, and by taking each other’s feelings into consideration, when making decisions, as an individual and as partners in one of the most beautiful of all human institutions.
Society has cheapened the marital bond. I’m not talking about things like open marriages, “swinging”,or even viewing of adult pornography. Those practices, while neither necessarily nurturing of a marriage nor particularly harmful to it, are mostly honest attempts by one or both partners to make up for aspects of his/her life that were absent from adolescence or young adulthood. No, the marital bond has been given short shrift by a general feeling that life is so transitory, that nothing matters much. Odious terms, like “baby mama (or daddy)”, “Best Friend, with benefits”, or even “fuck buddy”, have replaced more conventional and respectful references to one’s significant other, mate, spouse, life partner. I consider my wife, two years deceased, to be my soul mate. I consider the person who shared this article with me, and others, to be my best friend in this world, sans “benefits”. I’m just glad to know her and to share in her life, to the extent she sees fit.
When I am in a relationship with a woman, I try to know as much about the person as she is willing to share. I do not pry, snoop, or stalk. If she has a preference for certain things, I honour it, and do what I can to bring about her happiness. The same holds true, to a lesser extent, for casual or platonic relationships. It’s just good form, and increases goodwill between those who claim to be friends.
I hope married couples in general, and particularly those whose bond is “on the rocks”, will avail themselves of the TIME article and discuss these concepts fully, then put them into practice. It’s always better “late” than never.