The Top Three Fundamentals to a Great Relationship
Marriage is Tough. Relationships are tough. There are so many factors that go into making a great relationship great. In fact, I feel there are three absolute fundamental keys to any relationship in order to make it great. With these three things, you can take your relationship beyond just great. You will feel heard and fulfilled in your relationship. We all know you can be in a good relationship but still not feel heard or fulfilled.
Let’s start with
I feel communication is the most important and I’ll tell you why. Without communication, you will constantly feel like you come second in the entire relationship and when you try and voice your feelings you will feel shut down, unappreciated and unimportant. Those aren’t very good ways to feel when you’re in a relationship with someone you love dearly, are they?
When we lack communication those pesky little thoughts/feelings creep into your relationship and then the relationship starts to crumble. This work both ways as well. Men have feelings as well. (It makes me laugh saying that because we tend to think of men as strong and endearing with not a lot of emotions. When in reality, both parties in the relationship will tend to second guess everything in the relationship if there is no communication or the right communication.
Now you’re probably saying Ashley, he just won’t talk to me, or he just shuts down when I talk to him, or he is snappy all. the. damn. time. Let me just say, I hear you! I am right there with you! Sometimes I want to rip mine a new one BUT I have to take a step back when these things happen and take a look at the whole picture.
“Perception is Reality.” Our tone and the way we percieve what is said really will set the tone for the rest of the conversation.
Picture this scenario and tell me if it sounds familiar.
Hubby is on hitch and has been stressed out about things going on at work. Tools have been breaking down, the new hands are not listening making him look bad and he is doing his best to impress the big boss on location. He doesn’t have good signal and when he talks to you, which is extremely brief, he doesn’t mention any of it.
He’s had one hell of a week and so have you.
You have been home with the kiddos while he’s gone and have been stressed out because kiddo 1 has a project due tomorrow and you completely forgot about it. Between shuffling kiddo #2 &3 to sports practice, keeping the house from burning down while keeping the pets and kids alive the dishwasher goes out. ( It almost always seems like Armageddon the moment they leave)
You’re stressed. He’s stressed. Recipe for disaster if you lack good communication.
Your stressed and just want to vent to your hubby on the very short phone call you get because he’s your safe space. You instantly feel better when you talk to him so you can’t wait to unload everything you’ve been dealing with because not only does it make you feel better but he NEEDS to know what kind of dragons you’ve been slaying.
Only the phone rings and before you can start to unload your frustrations, you hear the irritated tone in his voice. You immediately lash back with “What’s your problem?” Him-“Nothing.” Okay.. well then here you start to tell him everything that has been going on and your cut off by him “Okay, I gotta go. I don’t have any signal and I got to go back to work. bye.”
WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?
My guess is you have either been in this exact situation or something very similar. You’re completely frustrated because you feel like he doesn’t care. Your brain starts to run away with all these thoughts of “why the hell is he acting like this? he doesn’t normally treat me this way? I wonder if something is wrong at work… ”
THEN COMES “How dare he just cut me off like that! What a douche! after everything, I’ve had to deal with this week. He doesn’t give a crap about me or this relationship!”
WHAT HES THINKING after you hung up.
“Why is she acting like this? I barely have a signal and when I talk to her all she wants to do is gripe about the kids being bad and all the crap she had to do all week. What about what I”VE dealt with? Everything that can go wrong has. I miss my family too but I’m not sitting here sobbing about it because it won’t change anything.”
THEN HIS MIND STARTS TO RACE… “She doesn’t even miss me, she only cares about herself. The nerve of that women! I’m sacrificing my life away and she could care less. She didn’t even ask me about my day.”
DO YOU SEE A PATTERN HERE?
You and him BOTH have had a rough week. You BOTH miss each other. You BOTH didn’t think the other one understood what you each were going through. The way you communicate(tone) is just as important as communication itself.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY. The way you communicate (tone) is just as important as the communication itself.
Imagine that conversation going much differently if only the tone and communication was right. Imagine the conversation going something like this:
You answer the phone and hear he’s irritated. You bite your tongue and in a much softer tone you ask him “what’s the matter?” He hears your softer tone and is immediately comforted and answers with “nothing just a rough day.” You reply ” I’ve had a rough day too. I hope yours gets better.” He replies back” I hope yours does too babe, ill talk to you tonight”
Then the brief conversation ends because things were going on and he had to go. Only THIS time after you both hang up he has more thoughtful loving thoughts towards you because he wasn’t immediately met by confrontation and chaos.
Men are natural “fixers” They have a deep need for things to run smoothly. They want you to have it easy when they are gone so when they are met with problems that they can’t fix, it immediately makes them feel like a failure. They don’t understand that all we needed was to vent and feel like we were heard and what we are saying is important.
Women are natural thinkers. We tend to overthink things a lot. However, if we can take a step back and try and put things into perspective and the timing of the situation, I think we would feel a lot better and be able to voice our concerns in a much more positive way.
What you have to say is important! It’s just about expressing it at a time when you both can really focus on what you both need to say. I have been with my OFM for 16 years and an oilfield wife for 11 years. It has taken me a very long time to realize this.
Now when you both come together for a conversation later you both are more open and willing to listen to the other. You are able to vent your frustrations without it coming across rude and angry (Men channel your frustrations with other things into frustrations with them) He’s able to express what he feels like he needs to without feeling angry.
Communication is tough in relationships and even more tough in the oilfield. It takes a toll on your emotions. However, when you take the steps needed to communicate the right way, You both will feel so much closer to each other. It will create an even stronger bond between you both.
If you’ve made it this far in this post, I appreciate you staying with me! I hope I didn’t bore you to death! Here is a quick look at the fundamentals of communication.
Things to Remember
- Communicating the wrong way creates resentment.
- It’s not WHAT you say but HOW you say it (tone is everything
- Don’t be a negative nancy
- Put yourselves in the others shoes
- Men are natural “fixers” so if they can’t fix your problem it makes them feel like failures
- Men associate you venting your frustrations with what’s happening at home with you being unhappy with them. Let them know you are just trying to vent and just need them to listen.
- Communicate when you both are calm and not in the heat of an argument.
- Last but definitely not least. Show grace. People say things when emotions are high that they don’t mean. It’s important to be understanding.
I hope you found this post useful! How do you communicate with your oilfield spouse? I’d love to hear from you!
Don’t forget that there is more to a great relationship than just outstanding communication. Every relationship, especially an oilfield one needs Trust. Check out part 2 of this series where I talk about Trust and how to have it, keep it and get it back!