Jane Smiley - September 26, 1949
One of the first things that I stressed to M when we started dating YEARS ago was the importance of clear and open communication within our relationship. When we had disagreements, I encouraged her to confront me, and I wanted us to discuss our problems or feelings as soon as they surfaced. I hope that I am remembering correctly, that when I proposed this free flow pathway of discussion that it caught her a bit off guard. I don’t think that she was ever in a relationship (a friendship or dating) similar to the one that she had just entered into.
No that we have been married for many years now, I never have to prompt her for any sort of dialogue…not do I feel any need to hold any of my feelings back. Sure, at the beginning of our marriage there were a couple of cases where we had to remind each other that we had to talk things through right away. We knew that it was never healthy to let things sit and fester.
Of course we’ve has some disagreements and arguments…but we’ve taken the time to work them out in a healthy manner.
As we’ve grown and as our family has grown, the need for communication has grown ever more important. Our feelings about growing our family – the decision when to have children all involved a great deal of open and honest discussion. Now, we are presented with all sorts of situations where we have certain anxieties that arise, whether it has to do with the baby, a job, lack of money…anything – the need to get it on the table in a speedy manner is paramount.