Contributed by Tanya S.


In my romantic relationships, I have always been told that I do not communicate.  My partners do not understand how I feel, which leaves them feeling very confused on how to treat me. They can see there is something wrong, but do not understand what to do.

I have always felt uncomfortable expressing how I feel. I have this idea that I need to be happy all the time. Even when I wanted to talk about how I really feel, I didn’t because I thought I should always be happy and, most of all, in control. So, I always found an excuse not to express my feelings. If we are having fun, how could I ruin that fun by bringing up something bad? Showing any vulnerability is a weakness so, what if I ended up crying or yelling?

This year I lost my mom. She was ill for three months and, during that time, was in and out of hospitals and rehabilitation homes. There were doctors to talk to and tests to be done. It was extremely stressful and I had to do most of the coordination myself. I was scared, anxious, depressed, and experienced the gamut of emotions. I needed some help and people to talk to. I turned to my friends and my ex.

I spent a lot of time crying and a lot to time talking. No one judged me. No one thought I was weak. Instead, they thought I was strong for dealing with all that was needed to take care of my mom and myself. I learned a lot from this experience. Speaking aloud relieves my stress and reinforces that other people care for me.  They will love me no matter how I feel or what I am going through. Reaching out in that way has changed my life and it has become easier to express myself, something I will continue to build on in 2013.

What changes have you made in your relationships last year? We invite you to write your comments in the box below.