WE HAVE MOVED
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With such crazy, hectic and downright busy lives how do we make our relationships work? We are told repeatedly that communication is the key but what exactly is communication to you? I'm not talking about just getting through the day with a 'welcome home honey, the child needs a bath while I cook dinner' kind of communication. I'm talking about what YOUR expectations of communication are and if they marry up with your significant others.
Now, I'm no expert on relationships and mine certainly isn't a perfect one, but it works well for us. We both have relationship experience, most of which was negative and it has taught us what we do and do not want out of our relationship. Steve was with his teenage girlfriend turned wife for 16 years in total and married for 13 years. I've been married and had my fair share of medium length (2 - 5 years) relationships that were very involved as well as a few shorter ones that ended as soon as I started to see things I did not like. We both learnt a lot about what is important to us in relationships and even before we were dating and when we were both still married to others we had conversations about our basic relationship expectations. Steve and I were friends and colleagues for almost four years before we started dating and we saw in each other the negative effects our relationships had on each of us.
So what did that mean for us? Not long after we started dating we were talking about our expectations of a relationship, simple things like being able to talk openly with each other and not be criticised, to be able to speak positively to each other and one of my big expectations is to never be sworn at. It was during this conversation that we came up with the 'honesty policy'. Put simply, what it means is that we will always be honest with each other about everything including how we feel because we promise to never be negative towards the other. It took us both some time to be able to realise just how massively this impacted our relationship, and only in a positive way. We slowly noticed just how much we had shut down lines of communication in previous relationships because of negative reactions from our previous partners. Now, whenever either one of us brings us a topic that we feel is sensitive or something that we may not have bought up otherwise we usually have a conversation that goes along the lines of... 'honesty policy... When you said.... this morning it made me feel like.... because I thought you meant....' The honesty policy has served us well and has seen us through times of meeting each other's families, moving in together, going through divorces, custody battles and blending our families. I truly believe it makes us stronger and we have no fear of communication because of it.