I’ve always prided myself on being an open person, at least in my relationships. People who are meeting me for the first time often assume that I’m a mild-mannered person, and are surprised to find that I have strong opinions and don’t mind expressing them once I get comfortable. If we are close, and you want my opinion, all you need to do is ask, and frankly you might get it even if you don’t ask. In the last few years, though, I’ve realized that I’m not as open in relationships as I thought I was.
What I’ve realized is that I’m really open about things that don’t matter too much to me or that are relatively surface level issues, but when it comes to the really deep things, the issues that strike to my heart, it is much, much harder to express myself. Even now, as I think of examples to share with you, I’m struggling to find something that I feel comfortable sharing, and I have shared a lot here already that many would feel uncomfortable sharing.
I first realized this quality in myself about a year ago when I realized that I had gone almost two years without clearly expressing to my husband my desire to start a family as soon as possible. For the first year of our marriage, kids weren’t really on my mind because I was establishing myself in my career, but after that starting a family started to press on my mind more and more, especially as I reached the dreaded 30 years, and then passed it. By the time I finally started to express my need clearly, about a year ago, it had become a pressing need for me, but my husband was shell-shocked. Because I hadn’t expressed my need clearly and emphatically, it felt to him like it was suddenly coming out of nowhere.
Ultimately, my reluctance to clearly share my deep need for children earlier created a situation where my husband needed to adjust to the idea that it was time to have kids much faster than I had adjusted to the idea. Obviously, we did eventually get on the same page (seeing as I’m pregnant and all), but it created more stress for him, and more stress on our relationship, than it needed to.
Moving forward, I’m planning to be more intentional about pushing myself to share the deep things, the difficult things, with my husband as soon as I become aware of them so that we can have an easier time staying on the same page. I invite you to join me!