In a relationship? Interpreters Please Apply!



Do you ever have those moments in your relationship when you are talking about one thing and your mate is speaking a completely different language?  

Well, as a relationship therapist I would like to say I’m immune to this marital woe, but here’s the truth…I’m not. 

Here’s my best (or worst) time it happened to me.  It was years ago when my husband and I were newly engaged.  Before kids and mortgages, you know those days when you pretty much sat around and gazed in each other’s eyes, right?  Well as most newly engaged couples we started looking at wedding venues and found what we thought would be the most magical place to get married.  We met the wedding coordinator and all the details starting falling into place.  The only step left was for me to mail the deposit check to reserve the venue for our date. 

But a funny thing happened, each day as I looked at that envelope holding the signed contract and check in my bag…I started to realize that something was off.  I’d come home from work and tell my then fiancé, “Shoot I forgot to drop that check in the mail, I’ll be sure and do that tomorrow.” 

Well after about 3 days of this I made myself step back and figure out why that envelope kept falling deeper and deeper into my bag?  And what I realized was that where we were supposed to be getting married wasn’t “me”, it wasn’t a place that held the importance of what my fiancé and I were vowing to each other, it wasn’t the place the held the unique spot in my heart to honor this commitment.  And I realized that if I was going to be embarking on the journey of “til death do we”, than I had to start it off by being really true to myself. 

I arrived home that night with this amazing insight…and this is where the story gets good;  I told my fiancé I hadn’t put the check in the mail and it was alright because I just couldn’t do it.  Now in my mind, I felt this statement was perfectly clear.  Especially based on all the soul searching I had done the past few days.  I was so jazzed about my realization that I didn’t even notice the look of panic and sadness in his face. 

I kept going on about how much it didn’t feel right and how I was so relieved to have realized this…until I took a breath and saw his face.  It was at that moment I realized we were speaking two completely different languages.  The poor guy thought I was overjoyed to be calling off the engagement when really I was overjoyed about starting my marriage off being authentic and true to myself. 

Needless to say we found the common language in it all and are well into our marital years, butto be honest there are times when I reflect on this story as a way to ground myself; to remind myself that what makes sense in my head is not necessarily what my sweet husband hears. 

Do you feel like you relationship has become a game of charades or one with no common language?  Are you feeling like you truth keeps getting lost in translation?  If so, now is probably the perfect time to start working on reconnecting and learning how to speak each other’s language. 

Remember, couples therapist are sometimes the best interpreters out there, so call and we can start the decoding process together; 916.955.3200 or