High Fidelity: Talking It Out

By : Miguel Fuller
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I am not a psychologist.

I am not a therapist.

I am not a counselor.

I’m just a human being who over the past 10 years has had the great fortune to sit back and listen to thousands of people spill their innermost secrets and tawdry scandals on the radio about their relationships—the good, the bad and definitely the scandalous. Most memorable is the story about the woman who called up to win a TV and told us a secret that could have put her behind bars for years. I’ll get to that in just a bit.

Over the years of doing a morning radio show and hearing people’s relationship drama, I have carved out some hits and misses on what to do in a relationship. I have been able to apply a lot of these to my current relationship with my boyfriend because we both have agreed that our relationship has been one of the most open and loving we have ever been in. There’s one lesson though that I thought I had down. I thought I was a pro and could teach a class on it. I was so wrong.

That lesson is communication. Haven’t you heard that in every relationship you should communicate? Of course you have. I always thought I was a great communicator in relationships since I did it for a living with strangers on the radio every morning. I. Was. Wrong.

I’ve learned over the course of my relationship with Mr. Silverfox (it’s the nickname we gave him on our radio show) that there is a difference between talking at someone and truly opening up every day and communicating. When you communicate effectively you are learning your partner every day. This goes for just about everything.

Recently I found out that my boyfriend would be traveling up North to his hometown for a couple of weeks with work and family commitments.  Then he will be traveling with his entire family overseas to Thailand to see his older brother marry his longtime girlfriend. He’s going to be gone for a month, an entire month. That’s four weeks and four weekends. At the time I found this out, I quickly went through two scenarios of how I should respond. I could be fake Miguel and say oh I’ll miss you, but have fun with your family on this wonderful adventure. Or I could be silent, hold in what I really felt, mumble some words about what a great trip he’s going to have and not express what was really happening in my heart and mind. Of course I chose the latter. Communicating isn’t easy.

After a few tense weeks of me making passive aggressive comments toward him leaving me for a month, I finally had to get my act together and explore my mind to figure out why I was so sad, mad and hurt that he was leaving. Here’s where the communication comes into play. As we sat down, I started to apologize for being passive aggressive and making remarks that weren’t needed. Then my mouth and heart wouldn’t stop. I began to open up and communicate about what was really going on. I was hurt. I’ve always lived by the rule that you can’t let someone be the center of your joy. I’ve felt like your partner should add to your life but you should be a complete and whole person and not have to depend on them for your happiness. Well for me in that moment I realized how flawed that type of thinking was. We as humans, especially LGBT humans, are probably walking around with some kind of hurt from our upbringing or coming out. If that’s not you, you are very fortunate. After all these years of building this wall around my heart and being prideful that I didn’t need anyone to make me happy, Mr. Silverfox had just come in like a wrecking ball and opened it all up. Now I was feeling vulnerable. I was also feeling a little guilty because there are so many couples that deal with long distance relationships or some sort of drama. He so correctly said, “But those people aren’t you. Your feelings and emotions are valid. You can’t compare yourself to other people.”

Boom. We just communicated so hard Oprah would be proud.

It seems so stupid. So simple. So basic. I’m not speaking for all gay men, but I have found through the years that even though we are gay and stereotypically supposed to be in touch with our emotional side, that generalization does not hold up. We were told to toughen up, don’t cry, don’t be a “girl.” That sort of socialization has led to some of us not wanting to open up and be honest and communicate with our partners.

Communicate. Communicate. Communicate and see how you and your partner grow. Oh—about that woman from the beginning of the article. We asked listeners to call into our radio show with their deepest, darkest, secrets. A very unassuming, polite sounding woman called in and calmly told us that her husband had forgotten to do his chores so many times over the years, she had literally plotted to kill him. After planning it out and starting the process she decided that she didn’t want to go through with it. She was still married to her husband at the time. Communicate!​

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