Sometimes, we just don’t need to talk.

Relationships grow, crumble, fade, part, and regenerate. It’s when they’re quiet that you know you’ve done something right. It’s the kind of quiet where neither one of you needs to talk. You don’t need to ogle each other like teenagers or stare lovingly into each other’s eyes like you desperately can’t live without the other person.

You just move quietly together allowing the other to be, to exist without you, with you, it really doesn’t matter.

Space Clouds
Space Clouds

My husband and I have had these moments and I’ve thought, well, we’ve finally arrived. We’ve made it. We really just don’t need to talk.

We can just float together.

But, he doesn’t see it that way. He wants to talk, as if there’s something wrong with me for not joining in the sea of incessant chatter that bulks up the world around us. I know it’s not all just him. I know that between his coworkers burping on about how people should “talk” and the mounds of general media telling us we need to talk more, he’s bound to agree with them.

Couples must communicate, yes. I do this and that’s when he decides that he’s too busy to talk, which is completely different from what I’m talking about here.

On vacation, he pointed out an older couple who read the newspaper, looked up to check a noise or just enjoy their whereabouts, and ate quietly together, barely talking. He scoffed sarcastically, “You think that’ll be us someday?”

I thought, I hope so.

He said, “They haven’t said a word to each other,” and he said this bitterly. I then realized he needed to talk right now so that he knows that I love him so I tried. I still try. I try to do a lot of listening more than anything. It’s rough because I prefer silence. He doesn’t understand it but he does know how I feel. At least I think he does.

So much of my life consists of talking that I cherish the quiet space between it all. I literally gulp, choking up when I hear the blowing wind against the palms of trees.

Tears build, fall, and drop when I see clouds swirl and that beat that blends with the flap of a bird’s wings. Silence seems to slip through my fingers like water running through the tap. So when I’m wrapped in it, when it surrounds me, I warm myself with it.

It’s not the same as people who stare at the glare of their smart phones and just ignore each other.

Two people appreciating silence seals their bond as if sitting together in a temple or a church. Only, there’s nothing to worship or think about because you’re already there…in heaven.

There’s that breathing, the heavy kind. The kind that you hear right before you fade into each other.

Merging
Merging

Written by Lisa Chesser

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22 thoughts on “Sometimes, we just don’t need to talk.”

  1. I understand your way of thinking. You are likely a solitary person (I know I am). I am quite content to go for a drive, read a paper, daydream for hours without speaking. It has nothing to do with the love, care or interest in the relationship. The exception for me is a date night. I prefer some conversation if seated at a table waiting for a meal. I hope you two find the middle ground. Your appreciation of the *sounds* of silence is something that needs to be shared with him!

  2. I loved this! Do I say that a lot here? I GET it! I love friendships where there is no need to talk. And everything is just fine. Or I have friends who I don’t talk to for months and can start right back where we left off without guilt trips. But I know what you mean… My husband needs to talk things out. If he could let me think things out alone… more times than not…. he’d get what he wants… but his need to discuss things have been frustrating to say the least.
    I loved your husband’s reaction to that old couple. I remember watching a young mother and her little girl. They shared an entire meal together as the little girl looked around and the mother read. I felt so sorry for that mother missing those moments. It was so sad as an observer.
    My friend who I have been friends with since childhood and I stopped staying in touch with after daily contact. During our last visit… I realized how I was the recipient of a barrage of her snapping at me when she couldn’t hear what I said or didn’t like what I said or understand… I finally wrote her an email and told her I didn’t appreciate the way she talked to me (and everyone else for that matter but didn’t say that) and after that we exchanged one or two short emails and we haven’t spoken or written for over two months. In this case I am not sure what this post can guide me to do… but I did appreciate it! Love your writing!
    AS always!
    xoxo

    1. I know he won’t completely understand but maybe he’ll learn to enjoy it. As for friends, I have the same, but there are some I really don’t need. For whatever reason, we either stopped and can’t continue. Sometimes I’m really happy about it. Other times, I just have to cry then move on. Anyone who enjoys hurting you though doesn’t deserve you.

  3. The song immediately popping into my head after reading this was Alison Krauss’s “You say it best, when you say nothing at all.” I can’t listen to it w/o tearing up. Beautiful post!

  4. Love it! My husband and I are a little more of the opposite…I like to talk and he likes the silence. I get it, though. I do like quiet too – like you said, when you are a teacher and talk all day, I come home and have used up my words. But I love the FEELING of it being a comfortable silence…both of us happy and content in each other’s presence. That’s when it’s good! Thanks for such a universal post!

  5. Your blog is so true! I mean, I LOVE to talk and communicate my feelings, thoughts and opinions to those that I love, to friends, to acquaintances and basically to anyone that would listen lol. But…I also cherish the sounds of “silence”….when no words are spoken but yet, me and my boyfriend can just exist in the same space together, knowing that we love and adore each other madly and can just “be” together in the same room without filling up every minute of every moment with conversation. Great blog!

  6. Reblogged this on Gail's Blog and commented:
    I was lucky enough to stumble upon Lisa Chesser’s post that I know many of you will appreciate. The story addresses romantic/ lifetime partnerships but I think it applies to all long-term relationships. We will never see this depicted in fiction, movies or TV relationships because it would be boring to watch people in silence, but the reality is that sometimes silence between partners/siblings/friends/parents truly is golden.

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