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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Communication Breakdown (12/16/10)

TITLE: When Did We Stop Talking?
By Jan Christiansen


I donít know when we stopped talking.

Heís always been a quiet man, happy just to go to work, come home and eat dinner, play with the dogs for a bit, then watch TV until he falls asleep on the sofa. I usually wake him at 10:00 pm to go to bed.

All the years I worked outside the home it didnít seem to matter. I had plenty of people to talk to all day, but now that Iíve been retired for a couple of years it matters more than I can say.

Iím feeling useless, purposeless and lonely. Iím afraid that God may be disappointed with me because of certain habits that Iíve never been able to break. I wonder if God is through with me or if my dreams will ever come true.

Thereís been so much on my mind lately that I thought it would be good to discuss it with my husband of 30 plus years.

Last night I tried.

He came home, sat down beside me on the sofa and said, ďHow was your day?Ē

So, I told him. It took just three minutes to spill out all the crazy thoughts and insecurities that were going through my head. I took a deep breath and waited for his response. I didnít even dare to look at him because I was embarrassed about most of what I had just said.

He remained silent. He does that sometimes when heís thinking about how to respond. I gave him time to think.

Finally, when five minutes had passed, I dared a glance sideways, afraid that I had just convinced him that I am on the edge of insanity and that he was too stunned to know what to say.

He was sleeping. Yes, Iím serious Ė he was asleep!

Tears welled up in my eyes and a lump formed in my throat. I so desperately wanted him to take me in his arms and tell me that he loves me I wanted him to tell me that God loves me and isnít disappointed in meÖthat He still has great things ahead for me.

My husband is a good man I tell myself. Heís a quiet but caring man.

StillÖI donít know when we stopped talking.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Colin Nielsen12/25/10
Heartbreaking. But all too real.
I think after many years of marriage we can all get into a comfortable feeling with each other. It's not that we don't love, it's just you lose something by being comfortable and predictable.
I've heard it said that you should date your wife often. Take her to interesting places. Do things out of the ordinary. Be a knight in shining Armour and save her from the dragon of the mundane. Thanks for writing.
Joanne Sher 12/27/10
So sad. I can feel the ache in your heart. I hope you continue this story (and that it isn't your own!)--so want to know what he might think when he "gets around" to it.
Cheryl Harrison12/29/10
Don't know if this is a true story or not, but I felt for your MC. Hope hubby wakes up to what he's missing. Keep writing.
Sarah Heywood12/29/10
I loved this and am sure hoping it's not autobiographical. I, too, am married to more of a silent type of man (or maybe he has to be silent in order to allow me to say all that I think needs to be said!). Marriage takes effort and one of those "effort" areas has to be in the area of communication.

Very poignant and sad. Great writing!
Leola Ogle 01/02/11
I could feel the heartache of the MC...very poignant and a good read! Thanks for the reminder of how subtly communication breaks down in a marriage.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/04/11
Congratulations for placing in the top 15 of your level and the top 20 overall!

This easily could have been written by me. Thank you for letting me know I'm not alone and that marriage takes hard work.