“We have to talk,” are probably the four most hated words in the English language in a romantic relationship. That phrase never signifies that something good is about to be said. The conversation that transpires usually indicates one of the party’s dissatisfaction or frustration with their partner or the relationship as a whole, which is why people generally try to avoid these talks at all costs.
People stay in unhealthy or non fulfilling relationships for far too long purely to avoid this type of confrontation. At some point change is inevitable. Yes, there’s good change and bad change but it’s virtually impossible for people and relationships to evolve by staying mum.
Here are a few things to remind yourself of while mentally preparing to have these dreaded discussions.
1) Realize that the outcome will push you towards your future instead of trapping you in the present or the past. You may not like the outcome at first but at least you’ll be able to move on in one direction or the other.
2) If you don’t speak up, who will? Romantic relationships are similar to work in this way. When you’re crushing it at work you have to ask for a raise or a promotion. Bosses don’t usually throw extra money at people for exceeding their expectations- especially in this economy. In relationships, people don’t rock the boat until it’s absolutely necessary. But holding on to these feelings breeds resentment. If you want change don’t count on your partner to initiate. You have to ask for it.
3) Burying your emotions affects your behavior. You tend to become angry about trivial events and situations as an expression of the larger issues that you’ve stayed silent about. Once your attitude and demeanor shift, the relationship will as well and it makes it difficult if not impossible to maintain the same dynamic you previously had. Nine times out of ten this tactic backfires and the relationship will implode on its own anyway.
4) What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Even if communicating your unhappiness ends the relationship, it probably wasn’t the right relationship for you to be in if one conversation can terminate it. It may hurt for a while but eventually you’ll feel empowered and realize that speaking your mind and taking care of yourself is your biggest priority. You do you!
As The Rolling Stones so eloquently say in Ruby Tuesday, “She just can’t be chained to a life where nothings gained and nothings lost. At such a cost.” Part of life is learning to take risks and how to cope with its disappointments. When you avoid issues with your significant other, yes you tumble the dice, but in the end you will feel a greater sense of peace knowing you’ve taken the risk instead of being too scared to speak up.