How often do I give our partner, or myself, the okay to say "I don't know"?
Perhaps my SO forgot my birthday, or an important date, and I ask them "how could you have forgotten this?" If they answer "I don't know", that isn't good enough.
If I think about all the times my mind went blank when someone asked me a question, I'd see that "I don't know" may be the most honest response either of us can give at the moment. Sometimes, we simply don't have anything to say until we've had time to do some quiet reflection.
When I've felt forced to say something, there's times when I or my partner cringe at what comes out. My mind races to find something that seems to make sense, and I find myself feeling defensive, and often irritated.
It is okay for me to have nothing to say, at any particular moment, about any subject. I have the right to speak, or not speak. When I give myself this kind of permission, I also give myself time to collect my thoughts, and mull things over. When I do say something, I'm calmer, and more likely to be able to find solutions to problems I'm struggling over with my partner.
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