I’m the truth teller in a family of secret-keepers. I talk. I tell. I tend to talk about e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g with my husbando. He has learned to put up with me. Here’s an example:
Husbando: Hey, whatcha doin’ in there?
Me: Well, um, makin’ a number two.
Husbando: I don’t need to know that!
Me: I didn’t get the memo on that!
Husbando: Some memos aren’t meant to be written!
EXCEPT THEY ARE!
I know, I know, this illustration may be too much information for some of you. But let’s use it for something more serious.
Like couples who don’t talk about their feelings after a pregnancy loss over time.
Or where one person talks and the other is overwhelmed by emotions.
Or one person says they have moved on.
(Here’s a hint: No you haven’t. It hurts your partner who drowns in sorrow. Alone.)
Which memos have you written in your relationship? Are you being real?
What are the rules of your relationship? Who has the right to speak? Who has the right to listen (or not)?
Are you acting like your parents did? Did it work for your parents? Is it working for you? Is it working for your relationship?
What feelings do you hold back because you are afraid of upsetting the other person? What feelings do you fling at your partner, just to get a reaction? ANY reaction?
What are you stuffing, including your resentment for being muzzled? What are you stuffing, including your resentment for being forced to speak up? No one, and I mean no one, likes to dig for emotional information.
Empathetic honesty can be uncomfortable but it’s REAL. Tell it like it is, even when the other person isn’t sure what to do with it. Being real is what helps people to heal after the death of a longed for baby. Write new memos with your partner so this terrible loss can bring you together, now and for the long term.