When One Partner Stays Quiet


Woman quietly ruminating instead of talking to her partner.

We all come to our relationships with the way we navigated our life before we met our beloveds. Every one of us has a habit of how we handle difficulties, problems or our need for change.

This is just how humans work. So, when we meet the one we love and they love us and we are mad about them, it is very hard to believe in that moment that they will not understand everything about us.

During Our Honeymoon Period, We Sometimes Expect We’ll Never Fight

During our honeymoon phase, where everything feels wonderful, it's hard to picture ourselves fighting.

We might be so head over heels in love that we don’t even think we will have problems ever. And for the moment of first blush we are absolutely right.

But at some point, the reality of our lives starts to seep in. We start to notice that the one who seemingly knew us so well may not actually know us as well as we thought. They may not understand how they are hurting our feelings or asking too much of us.

They might even dismiss us or interrupt us when we are talking. These are experiences that hurt. Anyone would feel uncomfortable if they happened in their life. So, when they happen in ours what do we do?

Not Everyone Talks About Their Feelings When Upset

Not everyone says much when upset; some people just think or even act like nothing's wrong.

Some of us (myself included) tell the person that they hurt us. This is how I am designed. I have to talk about things that occur in my body and if I am hurt, I learned early how to say something about it and not in a pleasant way.

Now I have partnered with someone who doesn’t say very much about his feelings. And And I have worked with people who are also not much at talking to their mates. This is a problem as well.

Sometimes people who hold everything inside think that they are doing everyone a favor by not sharing their disappointment, anger, frustration etc. They just continue with a smile or a face that doesn’t show the pain inside.

How Silence and Rumination Make Things Harder

Getting hurt and then silently ruminating makes it harder to reconnect.

But the problem is that the person who hurt them probably didn’t do it on purpose and never gets a chance to make it better. That’s only one part of the relationship. The other hard part is that the person who is holding everything inside is taxing his or her system with difficulty.

And even though you are quiet and thinking about what happened and rolling around in your head what so and so did, this is called ruminating, and ruminating on a story or idea doesn’t evolve. You never get healed. You just roll the information over and over and your pain just finds a place to hide inside of you.

Reconnect by Finding a Way to Communicate Without Blame

A pair of women opening up to one another.

Maybe it’s hard for you to speak about what happened. I know it’s hard, even for people like me who yelled a lot. I had to find a way to say the important thing that happened to me without blaming the one who hurt me.

This by the way is a skill. It is something you learn. You learn it because you want to grow in the relationship and you don’t want to make the one you love your enemy. If you are silent, please understand that explaining what happened to you is where you get your healing.

I bet the first time you speak about your hurt and your partner can hear you, they will say, “I am so sorry I hurt you.” And that my friend, is the magic we’ve been waiting for.


Connect with Your Partner

Read a Book About Relationships

'Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship.' A book by Linda Nusbaum.

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