Culture, Life, Relationships

Communicating and Learning to Live Together

Communicating and learning to live together can certainly be the greatest challenge of any relationship. Fighting against our natural selves in order to sustain someone else is very difficult. We must change our habits, responsibilities, and beliefs in order to mesh with another. How far is too far when deciding what to compromise on? Is it really worth it? I have been with my spouse for nearly 11 years now. Of those 11, we have been married for seven and living together for 10. Needless to say it has been an interesting decade. We have found ourselves in a variety of situations: apartments, condos, renting houses, living with family members, buying two houses, and moving upwards of 10 times. Through these experiences we have learned a thing or two about living together.

Always Learning

Living with someone can be a very exhilarating experience. It is a lot of fun when that person comes home for the day and you get to discuss things, play games, eat dinner, or watch television together. It is also a lot of fun to be able to sleep next to someone you know will keep you safe. I love having someone around that I can bounce ideas off of, whether crazy or not, and knowing that I have a partner in crime. My spouse has become my greatest best friend and I wouldn’t know what to do without him. I have learned a few tricks of the trade along the way even though communicating and “liking” to live together didn’t come easy. First, I learned to ignore the clothes that are thrown on the floor inches away from the hamper. After ten years this still blows my mind, but I attempt to accept it each and every time. Second, I try not to complain too much when he tracks mud in from his boots. His job requires him to get very dirty and I try to accept the fact that the dirt he tracks in pays my mortgage. In response, I just eagerly go over and sweep it up with a facade of joy. Finally, I subscribe to the ultimate television package, Hulu, and Netflix so there is never a lapse in entertainment. I am also stocked with two tablets, a computer, two cell phones, and three TVs so should there ever be a time when I don’t want to watch his shows I can find a way to watch mine.


I still have yet to master communicating. I have become fairly savvy, but at times I find myself blowing up over said dirt on the floor or said clothes beside the hamper. However, even though I cannot control my urge to respond with anger, I have come to accept the ability to apologize. It is impossible to be the best version of ourselves, especially when we are in our own personal space. When we are our most vulnerable is when we let that alter ego slip through the cracks. It is important to remember to say sorry when you live with another person. This tiny word can repair bridges that were burnt or crossroads that crumbled. It is not fun being the person to have to succumb to apology, but it is detrimental in moving beyond. My only advice in living with another person is to always attempt to see their point of view. Referring back to the mud from the boots; my husband never intentionally drags mud into our home because I know he likes clean floors too. After a long day’s work or in some cases weeks away, the last thing on his mind is clanging the mud off. I try to always think about him and his intentions. This has certainly taken some practice but well worth it. I succeed more often than not and we have both survived (thus far) for the last ten years.

To learn more about effective communication, click here.


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