The natural progression of conversation for Dusty and I seems similar to what many couples experience growing from dating to marriage and going through hardships. There’s the intoxicating infatuated whispers and phone calls that last for hours, then the sobering talks of truth and shared hope for your futures, the first exciting proclamations of doing real “life” things together and the doubt-filled disagreements that inevitably follow.
Recently, we found ourselves disagreeing almost constantly. There wasn’t an aspect of life maintenance that we weren’t talking about, however we never felt further apart. As I wrote about in a post on arguing in marriage, it’s ok to have conflict when you’re trying to do complicated things together. There’s nothing uncomplicated or simple about trying to live with a new disability, especially when it’s two people trying to do it together. But when began to do nothing but disagree, we talked about what could be going wrong. And disagreed some more.
Then it clicked. When we weren’t talking about where the military was moving us next or if he was able to get that leave for our next holiday or whatever paraplegic what was bothering my where, we weren’t talking at all.
It’s a common trap and the reason that we’ve seen many of our friends’ parents become divorced; after years of just talking about work, house, kids or cars, when couples are once again faced with alone time they realize they have nothing more to talk about. I even remember thinking “yes, but what Dusty and I have is so incredibly special and it’s totally true love and God wants us together so laws of the universe don’t even apply to us, so there”. And then I would bounce off with my Pumpkin Spice Latte in hand.
No matter the strength of the love or uniqueness of the couple, sometimes conversations take effort. That’s not an indication that something is wrong, it’s an indication that the two people are trying. I’d rather have effort over ease any day, it means that we’re both invested in our marriage. For better or for worse.
We truly do have plenty to talk about. I’m *fingers crossed* getting a Great Dane service dog in a few months, we’ve experienced countless weirdness in just as many countries, we have friends that are getting married/popping out kids/moving to the unknown… but we had gotten so comfortable in our groove of only talking about the things we needed to talk about before the next day and hadn’t made time for anything else. It’s like this one sweater I have from college that has permanent coffee and Nutella spills.. while comfortable, this is not a place to stay.
So now we have a rule. Unless there’s something pressing, we wait awhile to talk about life things when we get home at the end of the day. For at least the first two hours in the evening, topics like our upcoming purchase of a car or where we’re planning on renting in Missouri when we temporarily move there in the spring all off limits. Instead, I tell him about the super happy big ol’ dog I met and he tells me about weird news he read (that’s why we decided to go to Iceland in January, after he read about the guy he took a GoPro down into the erupting volcano). We’re not the most productive couple by making this change, but who cares. We have more important Internet GIFS to make us laugh together.