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The Most Common (But Overlooked) Form Of Neglect In Relationships | Mary Morrissey

The Most Common (But Overlooked) Form Of Neglect In Relationships | Mary Morrissey
The Most Common (But Overlooked) Form Of Neglect In Relationships | Mary Morrissey

In my many years as a minister, I’ve performed over 500 wedding ceremonies. I believe every one of these couples had one thing in common: they wanted their marriage to work.

But guess what? They didn’t know how to communicate effectively.

All of us have the best intentions for our relationships. When our relationships are new, we expect that our futures are bright, and we anticipate all the good times ahead. Despite our best intentions, life happens.

Trust can get undermined. Feelings can get hurt. Confidences may be betrayed. Our marvelous relationship may become degraded to something that no longer inspires us or makes us happy.

What is the most overlooked but common way we neglect our relationships?

One of the ways we inadvertently neglect our relationships is by assuming our loved ones know how we feel. Often, they do not. We stop confiding in our spouses, and we speak to our children with undertones of judgment and criticism.

It’s not really how we feel most of the time, but avoidance and mistrust have replaced open communication and intimacy.

Photo: Monstera Production / Pexels via Canva

RELATED: The Absolute Worst Kind Of Betrayal, According To A Couples Therapist

This brings to mind an example from my own life.

I like to think that my daughter Jennifer and I have always enjoyed a phenomenal relationship. We talk several times a week. One day, when she was just starting her career, she called me on my cell phone as I was on the way to the airport. She asked me to go to the newsstand and pick up a copy of “Dance” magazine.

She told me it was important that I do so.

I was curious, and I scoured every magazine stand at the airport, but no luck. I couldn’t find the magazine. Later, when I landed at my destination, I forgot all about it.

About a week after returning home, I went to visit my mother, and she immediately plunked a copy of the latest issue of “Dance” in my lap. “Did you see?” she asked excitedly.

I looked at the page she had bookmarked. There, neat in the center, was my daughter. She beamed from the page, posing for a story about modern dance in America. I couldn’t have been more proud!

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