Today’s song is, ‘I Don’t Want to Talk About It’. This song was written by Danny Whitten. It was first recorded by Crazy Horse and issued as the final track on side one of their 1971 eponymous album. It was Whitten's signature tune, but gained more fame via its numerous cover versions, especially that by Rod Stewart. In the United Kingdom, it topped the ‘UK Singles Chart’ as a double A-side with ‘The First Cut is the Deepest’ in 1977.
All good marriages that last the length of time have effective communication at its heart. Space must always exist to position talking to each other at the top of the relationship agenda. Whatever occupies too much of your time and exhausts you, whether it be parenting children, looking after the needs of parents in failing health or working all the hours God sends either outside or inside the home, the less a couple talk to each other, the more trouble they are storing up in the long run.
Talking about what worries one is the main nutrient of any healthy relationship. Fail to talk with or listen attentively to one’s partner is a recipe for disaster down the line. So many people in stressful work positions come home and the first thing they do is to off-load the terrible day they have had to their partner. The last thing their tired partner wants to hear as they are preparing the family meal or is getting the children ready for bed, is their partner letting off steam in their ear, instead of having off-loaded their stress onto the person who’d caused it in the first place in the workplace!
While talking itself represents an essential start to establishing a good relationship, only expressing one’s thoughts and feelings honestly will maintain a healthy relationship between a couple.
My own personal experiences have shown me that even when one always expresses oneself honestly in any relationship, such truth doesn’t always mean that one’s partner will do the same. Take for example one side of a marriage partnership who suspects their other half is being unfaithful and voices their concern honestly. Having been confronted with their suspected wrong deed doesn’t mean that the unfaithful partner will admit to having an affair. Indeed, the majority of confronted adulterers would be more likely to automatically deny it and try to brave-out their dishonesty the first time they were confronted and challenged.
As a Probation Officer of 27 years, who undertook the role of Marriage Guidance Counsellor for four years of his career, I know that the greatest reason for marital breakdown is a lack of communication between a couple, just as is the greatest reason put forward towards saving a rocky relationship is encouraging the couple to talk honestly to each other about ones’ positive and negative feelings, one’s fears, one’s hopes; anything that affects one’s overall sense of well-being.
Whatever the nature of one’s upbringing, no subject should ever be ‘off the agenda’. However threatening or uncomfortable one may find oneself in discussing any topic of a highly personal nature, staying quiet about one’s real concerns should never be a serious consideration. If you don’t discuss whatever is worrying you in an honest and sensitive manner, you are more likely to blurt it out during a future row, and at a time when you are less concerned if you hurt the other person’s feelings.
The two most threatening topics to discuss in all couple relationships are undoubtedly sex and money, with role expectation and allocation running a close third.
There are still too many households where austerity rules supreme. In my youth, the husband was the breadwinner who brought home the wage and his wife was the one who managed the weekly income and household expenditure. I will never forget my mother once telling my father on a short week when his wages had been reduced, that anyone can economically manage a household effectively if the wage earner brought in more than was going out, but nobody could perform this function in reverse!
It has become so easy to fall into debt today, especially by families who start off on the breadline. A recent study showed that a third of the country owes between £5000 and £10,000 on credit cards and other indebted means (excluding mortgages), and it is estimated that at least one-third of the country is less than two paydays away from not being able to pay their mortgage or rent on the property they occupy. One of the main difficulties when one partner falls into heavy debt (whatever the reason), is that they become more secretive in their problem behaviour, usually out of shame or to avoid rows and confrontations, and won't own up to having a problem until it can no longer be denied to all and sundry.
Regarding any sexual problems between a couple, the most common problems include frequency (either too often or too rarely) and the nature of love making practices engaged in (unacceptable to one partner)) to produce pleasure and satisfaction. 'Golden Rule Number One' of all marriage guidance counselling is that the only things which are ‘on’ or ‘off’ limits are those things that both parties agree to. In situations where sexual relationships have either ceased or is unsatisfactory for any couple, 'Golden Rule Number Two' advises the couple to have no sexual or physical contact of any nature in bed, between one and the next session. They are advised to talk to each other in bed though. After a few weeks, they are given permission to hold hands in bed but only while they talk to each other. When they stop talking, they are told to stop holding hands. By a few months along the line, communication between the parties in bed have been hopefully established and couples are more likely to tell the therapist or counsellor that they found themselves breaking the rules and making love. All of this is only relevant, however, in situations where both man and wife genuinely want their marriage to improve and where they are prepared to constructively and positively enter into the marriage guidance and counselling sessions.
I have started to dedicate each daily song to one of my Facebook friends. Please note that there is not an automatic connection intended between the subject matter discussed and the subject of the dedication, as I have every reason to believe that Sally and her husband are as happily married as Sheila and I are.
Today’s song to my Facebook friend, Sally Codman from Huddersfield. Thank you for being my friend, Sally. Bill x
Love and peace Bill xxx