Sometimes you learn more from the silence than you do from the words.
There have been times in my life where I made concessions for others, allowed them to treat me a certain way, to do something, or – often – to not do something because I wanted them around. True, in each relationship there are compromises that are necessary, but when you find yourself bartering away the important things, that’s when you should take a step back. And it’s often in those absences of words or actions that you find that you’re telling yourself that it’s alright, that this dinner or that trip really didn’t mean that much to you when, in actuality, it did. You find yourself making excuses to everyone, yourself included, as to why something is the way it is. And little by little, these excuses, these concessions, build up and you think that you do, in fact, believe those things you find yourself repeating. That it’s ok if you haven’t seen him in a week; he’s busy. That it’s ok he’s cancelled again; something came up. That his inaction, that his ‘best intentions gone awry’, is the reality that you deserve.
When it’s not.
It’s not always easy to see, especially at first. We gals are so prone to going through relationships wearing the proverbial rose-colored glasses that we find ourselves being excited over the little things that should have been a de facto standard all along.
“He called when he said he was going to.”
“He remembered I had a tough day at work.”
I mean, really, are our standards so low that a phone call received can make our day whereas one not yet received can break it? Sadly, sometimes.
I used to spend time analyzing what he would say or do, when instead, I should have concentrated on what he WASN’T saying or WASN’T doing. It was only after meeting someone else who filled in those silences that I realized that before him, I was filling them in myself.
He wasn’t telling me I looked nice; I figured he thought it but just wasn’t good with words. He wasn’t telling me he missed me; surely he was. It’s only later now that I see that I shouldn’t have been filling up those silences with what I thought he should do or say; instead, I should have taken note of the very things that were missing.
Because really, there’s nothing wrong with silence if you don’t expect it to be filled with something you want to hear. Until, that is, you DO hear it, and realize what was missing all along.