Do you want sympathy or a solution my love? 

Do you want sympathy or a solution my love? 

My husband and I have been married for a couple years now, and I feel like every day it gets better and easier. 

Okay, I know what you’re thinking – “good for you” – cue Kristen Wiig’s famous “you doooo” scene from Bridesmaids…. 

But really! I am telling you the truth! 

Let me explain. 

A while ago, I came across a post during one of my many insta tunnels. Which, if you don’t know, is when you open ONE reel and somehow an hour later, you’ve ended up watching a BILLION. Has this happened to you? It’s so easy to do, right? 

Anyways, the post said something along the lines of – when having a conversation with someone, or in our case sometimes more like a vent session – ask whether the person wants sympathy or a solution. 

This way of thinking before responding has been amazing for us. A game changer in a lot of ways. 

First, it makes you take a minute to think about a response, not just a reaction. Second, it lets the other person know you are still listening to them, and WANT to respond. 

Having a partner or a “your person” type of relationship is so amazing for many reasons. One of the perks I love most about it, is having that person to talk about anything with. My husband and I are always there for one another, and our ability to incorporate communication hacks as we’ve grown together – has made us more in sync.  

Using the screening question of whether or not the person wants the other person to just hear them out (because sometimes that all you really need), or help them find a solution, has helped dodge unnecessary arguments and misunderstandings. 

During Covid, we realized just how compatible we were. I mean, what better way to find out if you’re a match than a global pandemic that forces you to spend every waking minute together?  

But for real, having these little conversation tools like the one I just described has made us better at communicating and much closer. 

Adding a child into our lives and the way we communicate has also been a huge learning curve. One we have truly enjoyed of course, but a learning curve nonetheless. We’ve had to redefine our lives quite a bit, but more on that another time…

So, if you have a person you like sharing your world with and your stories – you are a lucky duck! 

And if you think that “your person” doesn’t know how much you appreciate them, let them know. It never hurts to remind them.  

Try this out. Sympathy or Solution? So simple. So easy.

Family vs. family

Family vs. family

In the department of communication, my husband and I come from very different family styles. My family is wordy, they love planning a call, text, email, or even a visit at least once a week, if not more. My husband’s family is the opposite, a text, call, or visit,  once a month or every other month works great for them. There are things that are so starkly opposite between our families, that it often amazes us that we were able to find each other in the middle, and fall in love. 

A conversation with my family is like opening a large filing cabinet drawer, but accidentally opening the other drawer above it, because the file tabs are so full. Our conversations usually start one place, and end up on a completely unrelated topic. Sometimes it even feels like opening a web browser with a bunch of forgotten search tabs open – and in order to close the browser, you have to decide to close all of them or one by one. This often means lengthy conversations, that includes some range of emotions. My family is filled with social workers, HR representatives, nurses, teachers, and counselors. And yes, we are all in these professions for a reason. We like to talk, we like to help, and we like to connect about the past, present, and future- sometimes all in one conversation.. 

My husband’s family? Conversations with them are more like headlines, often only the important bullet points. Conversations have a clear beginning and a clear ending. His family comes from a background of engineers, techs, and other straight forward analytic professions. Conversations have a purpose, and once there is a found solution, case closed! There are times when there is a catch up call, but once everyone is all caught up, we are good to go until the next update. These conversations are not any less meaningful or special, but they definitely tend to be much shorter than conversations with my family. 

As a married couple, our worlds have had to collide and become one. My husband has learned how my family communicates, just like I have learned how his family communicates. It’s a learning curve for both of us, but it is one we welcome because we both prefer the split of communication styles. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is definitely a whole lot of love from both sides, and we realize we are lucky and so grateful for it. We have come to realize that  it’s helpful to remember we all have different ways of showing up for one another, and that’s okay! 

You learn a lot about your partner through their family, and a lot of times you will learn how to better your relationship with them, based on what you find.