She was doing the dishes after dinner, when he came up behind her and put his arms around her waist. He began nuzzling her neck and dropping kisses across her exposed shoulder. She knew what that meant; he was looking for some action. But she just wasn’t in the mood.
Suggested read: 7 easy tips for effective communication with your partner
She’d had a really bad day at work – it was one wrong thing after another the whole day. She’d had an argument with her colleague and manager about budgetary decisions. Then she’d gone out for lunch to her favorite deli, only to see that her all-time favorite sandwich and soup combo had been replaced with a tuna sandwich – gack! When she went back to the office, somebody had spilled coffee all over her workspace, without even bothering to wipe it down or get it cleaned. She’d spent over an hour cleaning the mess and salvaging what paperwork she could and cursing the insensitive person nine ways to Sunday. On her way home from one of the worst days of her week, the strap on her sandal had come undone in the middle of crossing a busy street, causing a cabbie to flip her the bird for holding up traffic. Once she’d gotten home, she had had to clean up the mess he’d left in his wake – wet towel on the bed, sneakers thrown by the cabinet, nail clippings in the sink, unclean toilet bowl, not to mention the mess that was the kitchen. Somehow, she’d cleaned it all and made a basic pasta for dinner, only for him to come looking for some action.
Lord, give me patience, she thought as she turned away from his nuzzling.
“I’m not in the mood, hon. Raincheck?” she said with a parody of a smile on her face.
He stomped out of the kitchen in a huff, having denied – again! That was three days in a row just this week!
Seeing her washing the dishes always made his chest warm, made him want to send up a prayer to whoever had brought her into his life.
He was itching for some action. He just wanted to feel close to her, hold her, and make love to her. He’d had a really good day at work. His presentation had been well received and his manager was ecstatic that it had netted the company a loaded project. He’d been riding that high all day long. He’d even taken out a couple of colleagues out to lunch, his treat. The meal had been amazing, with the chocolate mousse the cherry on top. He’d come back to receive a message saying that one of his closest college buddies was getting hitched soon, and that it would be a destination wedding. A perfect opportunity to whisk her away on a romantic escapade, he’d thought. Reaching home, he’d found her cooking pasta, and he’d eaten it without complaining, because he wanted to see her face light up when to surprised her with the trip. He’d thought he’d tell her when they were basking in the afterglow.
Only to be rejected – again. He’d tried to get close to her two other times this week, only to be turned down. Enough is enough, he thought angrily, as he punched his pillow with frustration.
Communication in relationships
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Now, who is right and who is wrong among these two? To be fair, neither of them is right, nor are they wrong. But they seem to have forgotten one golden rule of any relationship – open, honest communication. When you communicate to your partner what’s wrong and what’s happening with you, that’s when there’s room for understanding and empathy.
In the case of the woman, she could have explained to him why she wasn’t in the mood. She’d had a crappy day, and the last thing she wanted to do was get naughty. Women, more than men, need to feel the right emotions to get naughty between the sheets.
In the case of the man, he had every reason to be upset at being turned down for sex for the third time that week. He should have explained how he wanted to feel close to her, hold her, and even make love to her.
Just saying no when your partner initiates sex isn’t enough. You need to explain the why behind your no. That’s when a mature conversation can take place and a compromise reached. And that happens when there’s honest communication in relationships. The compromise in this case could be holding each other in bed, cuddling each other, without taking it further. That would have been the perfect solution, had they opened their mouths to voice what they were actually feeling instead of being hurt or acting huffy.
See how important and vital honest communication in relationships is? Because the couple mentioned above didn’t communicate their thoughts and feelings, there’s place for resentment and anger and hurt and disappointment to breed and fester. These negative emotions are what bring down a relationship, given enough ammunition.
So remember, open and honest communication is the way to a healthy, honest, and stable relationship.
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