My husband and I talked yesterday evening. I’m not talking about a “Hey baby, how was your day?” type of conversation, though I’m not implying that that’s not a meaningful conversation to have.
I’m referring to a heart to heart conversation, which is something we haven’t done in at least three or four months. I didn’t even realize how long it has been until I typed that last sentence… Wow.
How have we gone three or four months without having a conversation? It’s mostly due to life and our mundane routines. I only recently realized how little we have been connecting lately, so this is an area I really hope I can improve on soon.
How the conversation started
We were on our way to town to eat at one of our favorite restaurants, which serves Japanese hibachi, when the conversation started. We were three quarters of the way there when it began so it didn’t last long, but I feel like it was a good first step in what I hope will be more regular, meaningful conversations.
On the way to town, I looked up a few mental health-related books on Barnes and Noble’s website on my phone. I saw a few that were in stock at our local store so I asked my husband if we could stop by the book store before heading home. He said “Sure,” and asked me what type of book I was looking for.
I wasn’t entirely set on a specific title, so I just mentioned that I was interested in looking at mental health-related books.
I can’t remember his exact response because the change in conversation caught me off guard, in a good way, but he made a sort of comment like, “Yeah, I think I kind of know what you have been talking about,” or something very similar to that.
I asked him what he meant, as the way he initially phrased it was confusing, but I realized that he was referring to what I’ve said about my own mental health. He started telling me about some of what he has experienced, mental health-wise.
In the interest of maintaining his privacy, I won’t go into specific details about what he said, as a few of our family members could come across my blog and read this post. To keep it simple, most of his struggles sounded similar to a personality disorder.
I asked him if he was interested in talking to a therapist or a doctor about counseling sessions or medication, but he doesn’t seem interested in that right now. I know that he has to come to the decision on his own, but I let him know that either or both of those may help him if he ever wanted to try them.
Putting it all into words
After we arrived at the restaurant and while we waited on our food, I got on my phone and looked up a symptom list of the personality disorder that sounded similar to what he described to me. I was curious to see if he related to it at all, as it sounded like he had a hard time putting some of his struggles into words.
I had the exact same problem when I first started realizing that my “quirks” and tendencies were actually symptoms. I knew how I was feeling in the general sense, but I couldn’t exactly pinpoint certain feelings and put them into words until I did some reading on my own.
I asked if he would read the article with the symptom list. He was open to reading it so I gave him my phone so that he could read over the symptoms at his own pace. When he was done reading over the article, he said that at a lot of the list sounded exactly like what he has experienced for quite some time.
My intention is not to diagnose him, as I’m absolutely and obviously not qualified to do that, but I was hoping that the article would help him put his struggles into words. It did exactly that.
Even though he isn’t open to pursuing therapy or medication right now, it is my sincere hope that our brief conversation made him feel like he can always talk to me about his struggles without judgment. I hope that he considers therapy or medication, or both, in the future. For now, though, I’ll settle for conversations between just the two of us.
Starting the conversations aren’t always easy, but they are always worth it.