One of the cornerstones of any relationship is trust. That, of course, begins with forthright and open communication. We all want it. We all expect it form our partners. Rightfully so. Years of trust can be shredded by one breach of a couple's virtual relationship contract.
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But can that there be too much of a good thing? Can some people' ironclad adherence to the concept of complete and total honesty actually be problematic, even harmful, to a relationship's long-term success? As I've appeared at more and more relationship forums and panel discussions, one of the more interesting debates into which I'm drawn, is the one about being too honest - too communicative.
Let me be perfectly clear, we should all strive to be open and honest with the ones we love. Heck, one of the joys of being in a loving partnership is that you have access to someone who's committed to being a sounding board for whatever is on your mind.
Women are generally more open communicators - maybe not always better - but absolutely more willing to share their feelings about….everything. This is a good thing.
Here's the rub; there doesn't need to be a conversation about everything. And there's no real need to know everything. I'm not insinuating that you stick your head in the sand and ignore major issues -- that would be ridiculously destructive. But just as damaging, is the process of oversharing. I continue to come across people who simply haven't mastered the art of picking their battles. These folks are well-meaning. They want to get everything out in the open, they want full disclosure.
Unfortunately, that person can be absolutely emotionally exhausting. To them everything, every little disagreement, every personality difference is cause for the dreaded, "Can we talk?" And quite often there's a, "This isn't a big deal" thrown in as well. I'm not sure if people understand the dual message sent by those two statements - especially to guys.
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"Can we talk" is a dog-whistle guys hear as, "You've done something wrong and I'm upset about it."
"This isn't a big deal" means this isn't a big deal. Okay, then why do we have to talk about it? Guys want to fix things. Guys want to offer solutions. And as sure as I am that women know this general truth about men, I'm just as certain that they forget it. If you put it out there it becomes an issue that we need to address - even if you say it's no big deal.
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