“Say What You Need To Say”…Or Not.
I wonder how much people hide from their partners. How many of those quiet moments are due to simple self-reflection and how many are from a place of insecurity, frustration, and sadness that we refuse to share with our partner? How much is the other person sweeping under the rug? And why are they electing to not say anything?
I had a talk with my girlfriend last night. She told me she was going to bed, which was a little odd because normally we do that at the same time, but she had to get up early in the morning for work so I told myself it wasn’t anything. But then a few minutes later she came out of our room and grabbed her laptop. Was she really on the computer instead? And if so, why was she in the room? She usually did online stuff next to me on the couch. So I went in there to investigate. I changed into my pajamas while waiting for her to say something. She didn’t say anything, just tapped away on her computer, not looking at me. “You working on your online class?” I asked. “Yeah.” I waited a moment. “Are you okay?” “Yeah.” “Okay.” I left the room, and went into the kitchen. She was not okay. I could just tell by her voice. She wasn’t telling me what was going on though, which made me wonder if she was mad at me. I hate it when I make people upset, and I didn’t have the slightest idea of what I did to make her mad, so I turned back around and opened the door to the bedroom. “Are you sure you’re okay?” I said immediately. She finally looked up at me and in the smallest voice she said, “No.”
We talked for hours. It turned out she had been bothered by the fact that I wasn’t over Fred for a long time and hadn’t said anything about it. “I’m just being insecure,” she said. “I mean, I think if I were in your shoes I would be, too,” I told her, and tried to reassure her that it’s okay to be upset about things because we feel what we feel and we are entitled to our own emotions as long as they don’t hurt others. And then I told her something I had been insecure about for weeks that I never mentioned. And she gave me this flabbergasted look and said, “What? But you’ve got nothing to worry about—seriously.” And there we sat, marveling at how we seemed to miss this major thing going on in the other person’s head. “I probably would have never said anything if you hadn’t pressed me,” she admitted later. “I probably wouldn’t have said anything, either,” I told her. She nodded, “I think we handle our insecurities similarly…at least initially, anyway.” So who is ever going to be the one to be honest? I wondered.
Here’s the thing: I hate talking about my feelings. And it’s funny that I say that, because around some people I never seem to shut up about them. But even after all this time, I still suck at talking about the emotions I’m embarrassed about. Or even the little ugly truths like “I resent your cat with a fiery, burning passion”. But honestly, when admitting stuff like that, there isn’t a whole lot of good that can come out of it. It’s like when my girlfriend sat there, waiting for me to respond to her insecurities over my feelings for Fred, and I had no idea what to tell her. While it’s better to get that stuff off your chest, it doesn’t actually rectify anything in your heart. Because I wasn’t about to lie to her and say, “Actually, I’m completely over Fred. I don’t love him anymore.” And even though she assured me that my own insecurities had no real basis, I sat there thinking, “Yeah, you may say that, but how you act says something else entirely.” In the end, when it comes to insecurities, only we are the ones who can fix them, not our partners.
So is it better to just not say anything? I don’t know…Insecurities are those things that hang around our core like bats, and if you don’t at least know the other person you love to the core, then why do you love them? It’s complicated shit. I’ve never believed that being honest with your partner equals telling them absolutely every thought you have, but where do you draw the line? How little is too little in terms of how much we say to another?
Normally I would just guess that a person should go with their gut, but at this point in my life, I shouldn’t be schooling anyone on how to be in relationships. “Majorly fucked up” doesn’t even begin to describe how I’m handling my life lately.