Communication is an essential part of making any relationship work. Humans aren’t mind readers, and nor are doctors – much to my dismay. But, is there such a thing as ‘over communicating’ in a relationship?
My partner, the Gent as he’s know around on the Internet, is extremely empathetic. There’s a good chance if I get stressed out from work, he’s going to pick up on it, and take it out on the dishwasher. For the first few months of our relationship I couldn’t figure out why the dishes were always so clean, and then I encouraged him to communicate his feelings. Nowadays, we’re pretty good at talking to one another, but we still slip up, and the times we slip up is usually over the fickle beast that is chronic illness.
I’ve been chronically ill for nearly ten years. I have maybe one or two good days a month, and a handful of somewhat good days where my body is mostly cooperating with me. One those days, I’m in an excellent mood, I can joke and jest with the best of them. But, that leaves the 20 or so not so good days. On those days I get moody, and I don’t communicate well. Back when I was single it wasn’t so much of a problem, but the Gent and I are approaching three years together this year. So, how have I learned to live with an empathetic partner?
Communication … in small bouts. Chronic illness can get overwhelming, so the key thing in managing it is to break it down into bite sized chunks. I apply to same theory to communicating with the Gent. It helps to keep us informed about each other’s feelings, and I also check in with him from time to time to see how he’s feeling. A relationship ‘physical’ if you will.”