I came across this saying a little while ago, and I had to write it out. I think that more than wanting to write it out, I wanted to live it. The thought of someone knowing your heart so well that you could just sit there, next to each other, in silence and be understood…well, isn’t that just comforting?
Here is the thing that this saying doesn’t get into, though: in order for someone to understand you to this extent (or, to be part of a relationship where you can mutually offer this to each other), you first need to communicate, and you need to connect. I think for a long time I took this “connection” thing for granted. I believed that it should come like it does in movies: an effortless love at first sight that transcends time. And admittedly, when I got into the tougher (not so romantic) moments of marriage, I wondered what the hell was wrong. Shouldn’t he know what I needed, or what I was trying to say? Haven’t we known each other for long enough that we could have that unspoken connection? Haven’t we talked enough about our hopes and dreams?
The thing I never took into account was that people change. People change a lot. All that time looking into each others eyes and pouring out your souls to each other in your early 20s, while great, might not apply to the mid-30s-new-parent-can’t-stay-up-past-midnight new you who you’ve become. If you’re banking on past information about your spouse to stay up to date, loving, and connected – and wondering why it’s not working, it might just be because it’s not enough.
So if there is one thing that you can do today to work on your marriage (and it is work) it’s to talk to your partner. And it doesn’t count if you’re discussing the household to-do list, or the kids schedules. If you want to connect you’re going to have to push all that noise aside, and just talk about your future, your goals, and hopes and fears. I know that it might seem daunting, or tiring, or the last thing you might have time for – but it’s important, especially if you do want to understand each other, even in silence.