Love, whether in friendship or romantic relationships, goes wrong when we forget to tell people who we are and forget to ask who they are. Both friends have a responsibility to continue to learn and accept who the other is in the present.

Natasha Lunn- Conversations on Love

Do we need to tell people who we are? Or do we just let them assume things about us?

A long time ago, when my Husband and I were friends, long before we even entertained becoming a couple, he threw me a surprise party.

I hate surprises.

I mean, I really hate being surprised. I am not using the word hate as an exaggeration: this is not for me.

So, I was very unhappy at my surprise party, the exact opposite of what I was supposed to feel.

I couldn’t really blame K though- he had no idea that someone could hate a surprise party. But now, he knows. He knows that I like to be prepared, I like to think thirty steps ahead, and I like to have control about the things that I can control. I do not do well in chaos. Ok- scratch that- with the exception of 9/11 and Lockdown, I actually do better than most in a crisis- but only because my logic gene kicks in…

But anyway: I hate surprises and my husband is aware and we plan accordingly. I needed to tell him this, because a life of surprising me would be very very bad.

The non negotiable stuff- you need to tell the people closest to you how you feel about certain things. Do not let them guess- both parties will end up being disappointed.

Are you good at telling your friends and family WHO you are?

Are there things that you could do better?

How can we communicate better with the people in our lives?


37 thoughts on “When Love goes Wrong

  1. I’m much more open now although it’s not like I set out to be. That means I will be very open about my feelings/opinions on topics that arise during conversations, but I don’t walk into that setting with a list of *this is who I am* advisories. Does that make sense?

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  2. This is a tough one for me since I’ve been with my husband since I was 23…But a recent incident happened when we went out to dinner with friends. My husband was driving and he took the surface streets instead of the freeway. It took about five minutes longer. The other husband had a fit. I explained that I have anxiety on freeways and my husband was making me feel comfortable. When that didn’t fly, I had to go into more detail about my anxiety and the source. That’s a part of who I am.

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  3. No. I am actually pretty bad about this. I will normally keep to myself and not let others know how I feel about things, and that is flaw in my personality. My wife is pretty open in that I always know where she stands. I do believe that in a relationship you need openness, but to a point. Things can go bad if you always have to let others know your opinion. Sometimes, they really don’t want it. They may just be venting. Does that need a comment or just an ear. Also, I think you have to know your audience when talking to friends or in a group. Are you talking to someone who doesn’t care to listen? If so, don’t waste your breath. You have to consider a spouse’s feelings, and they yours. Knowing when to let it go is a big part of discussion.

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  4. My ex hated surprises too, and I got wind her family was planning a big surprise party for her 25th birthday…so I told her. She wasn’t happy, but at least she was mentally prepared for it. Not sure if what I did was right or wrong; nobody in her family ever found out, so — no harm done? Maybe?

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  5. I’m not really good at that, but if something displeases me, the other party will know quickly enough! And hopefully not make the same mistake twice. I know that some people I love will be and do things that I find annoying, but I have learned to mostly chill about it.

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  6. I’m much better at it today, yet, as you know, I was in a marriage for 20 years, and neither of us was very good at speaking our truth, at being authentic. It’s a painful experience. One I don’t recommend.

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    1. That’s very true. My mother still sees me as I was at 16. A few years ago we were visiting and went to lunch at a Panera with outdoor seating. My daughter said oh mom will want to sit outside and my mother said no…your mother hates eating outside, which was a trait from when I was in maybe middle school. This me loves eating outside at a table.

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      1. Family is the worst when it comes to this topic. I recently had to tell someone I’m a grown-ass woman. I’m not 12 anymore ;-/ It’s funny how this happens, how we remain the same in some people’s eyes.

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  7. As I’ve gotten older, I have become more comfortable being verbal about what I like and don’t like. But I’ve also learned that sometimes no matter what, people will view you a certain way and there’s nothing you can do to change their minds. They’re stuck on the past or their own perceptions. These days, I’m no longer afraid to be who I am without apology. It feels pretty good.

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  8. This one really made me think, and at first I was not going to comment. I always told my kids that in a finding a relationship you had to figure out first what you could not accept and the rest was negotiable. Maybe I should have included to figure out at the beginning what you really wanted or had to have. But that’s neither here nor there in this discussion.
    The reason I had thought about passing on commenting was because I was not sure what to say about ex’s alcoholism or why I had accepted it for so long. Looking back, I guess for me it was one of the negotiables until the one time he yelled at me over my driving which finally drove me to tell him all the times I kept my eyes closed when he was behind the wheel, after he had used his little “panic attack” as an excuse to pop open a beer at 9:30AM. Thinking about it now, it could be that he had been drinking many of the times when his driving was too reckless for me to look. IDK but either way it’s clear I had already accepted putting my physical life in his hands no matter what (and occasionally he would even admit he should not drive, though he wouldn’t attribute his dizziness to alcohol but instead to some unknown and supposedly really feared “illness”) until it reached the point where I feared more for my mental and emotional life than merely the physical.

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