Thursday, September 26, 2013

We Bicker Because We Are Too Close?

Tom and I have been bickering a bit and while I know it's common when you're newly married/trying to live together for the first time- it sucks.

And it's always over stupid things. Most commonly it's not hearing everything the other is saying.

Last night we had a fight about what I heard him say versus what he actually said.

Situation: He told me he talked with someone at church being concerned about their kid entering public school. I got confused over who said it- I assumed the dad. We continue the conversation for a good 5 minutes, with me assuming this. And then when I said something about him, everyone got confused. Ends up, it was the son who was worried. But I didn't hear him say who. But he said he told me it was the son. But I didn't hear him.

Which led us to wonder- why the confusion? No answer was found, but I assumed it was of the  'we don't yet know how to live so closely with one another' camp. Ends up, that was kind of it.

This article from the Telegraph says that when people are too close with one another, they basically just guess what the other is saying, before or while they are still speaking. It happens to us all the time. And we have to stop it. I know I am a huge culprit, and do it way too often.

For instance- He might mention that I should stop be the grocery store and pick up some staples- I might jump in and say 'like milk, bread, cereal and eggs?' before he gets that far. And sure, sometimes I am right, and he is kind of shocked that I read his mind (it's hilarious when we do it and are right).

But other times he'll say 'and we should get some shrimp for dinner Thursday too' but I already stopped listening because I know what I should pick up, and I'm already mentally making a list. So I then forget the shrimp. And then he asks if I forgot and I say 'you never said shrimp'. And during times like that he probably wants to smack me, because it of course is really freaking annoying.

This article says it happens to close friends as well as spouses, saying:
"Our problem in communicating with friends and spouses is that we have an illusion of insight. Getting close to someone appears to create the illusion of understanding more than actual understanding," said co-author Prof Nicholas Epley."
So I guess we (mainly me- him a tiny bit but I'm the main culprit here) need to learn to shut up and take note of what the other is saying, exactly. And pray about how to communicate better, because this just sucks and it's really just a result of never having been this close to each other, for so long before. Because this bickering over what the other person didn't explain, etc is really stupid.

So tell me:

Any of you guys go through this at the beginning? How about still going through it? How did you knock it off and just tell your mind to shut up and listen?

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