My husband and I have been married just shy of a year and a half. Before that, we dated for for years. Before that, we were coworkers and friends. I am still learning how to communicate with him.
For me, this is the most challenging, maddening part of marriage. How is it that this man who I have known for so long, who is the other half of my soul, doesn’t instantly understand what I mean? How is it that I, writer, poet, mistress of all things written, cannot make myself understood?
We fit together so perfectly that I forget, all too often, what different worlds we come from: I from a family of bookworms and PBS programming; he from the world of pop culture and fast cars. I spend my days crafting arguments; he spends his crafting meals. I speak quickly, in half formed thoughts. He deliberates, settling on his words with care before saying them out loud.
When we argue, our words fly by each other, meaningless as babble without our own frames of reference.
This too, I am learning: you can choose not to fight. To say, I am too tired, too hungry, too stressed to have this conversation. And you can say, yes, ok, we can talk about it later.
It is these small things, I think, on which the marriage is built.