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#59992 - 05/28/04 06:01 PM any ideas for safe conversation topics?
mickie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/26/04
Posts: 8
Loc: east coast
Sometimes it seems like we talk about superficial things like tv, movie, etc but that it is difficult to get deeper. Not that it doesn't happen. Am I correct in thinking that sometimes abuse survivors like to keep it "light"? Talking about any aspect of the news is way off topic right now--he's not watching news. I assume the prison stuff is an awful trigger.Plus the news is violent and depressing in general. If I refer to fun stuff from my past I feel now like I am not being sensitive to his past and what was missing. There are fun things that we have done together that we can talk about but how do you move forward in conversation? OR is it just ok to sit and be.
Sometime, we just look at each other and smile or grin.
Would love to hear what all of your thoughts are on this.

Two of you sent me personal emails. I will respond!


#59993 - 05/28/04 08:28 PM Re: any ideas for safe conversation topics?
MikeNY Offline

Registered: 03/07/04
Posts: 927
Loc: NY
Sorry to generalize, but, why do women always have a problem with silence? Conversations would be much more pleasant if we weren't pushed into talking about the things that we are thinking about until we are ready to discuss them. There is nothing wrong with just enjoying being around each other. As for part of your question, sometimes I like to keep it light when I just want a break from things, when I don't want to think about anything seriously. Other times, I'll keep things light when I am thinking deeply about something very complex. Most people that I know would rather have it silent than listen to me philosophise about something for days or weeks.

Also, the question "Does this make me look fat?" is the same as a survivor performing self fulfilling (defeating) prophecy. You already know that nomatter what we answer, it will be wrong.

Yes, I know it is hard to tell when reading something, so I will tell you, these are some facts intended in good humor.

"Every child asks the questions which hold the answers to the secrets of the universe, WHAT?, and WHY?". --Me

#59994 - 05/28/04 08:49 PM Re: any ideas for safe conversation topics?
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA

I think everyone likes to keep it light sometimes. And everyone likes--and needs--to just "sit and be" sometimes too. As Mike's pointed out already, some men enjoy these pasttimes more than the women in their lives have patience for... and I don't think that's limited to Survivor relationships. If he wasn't a survivor, and had just come home from a bad day, wouldn't you expect that he'd want to wait a while until having a heavy conversation?

I think a lot of survivors worry that after they disclose, the "Abused" label will get attached to everything they do. That's a legitimate worry--the same as any other fear of being limited. No one wants to hear "Are you saying that because you're a ___?" or "You're just doing that because you're ____"

Of course it's important to be senstitive to conversation that is triggering or off-limits, but make sure that he's setting those limits, not you. Trust him to let you know if something you say is bothering him, and if it is, show him that he can trust you to let it go. If you take it upon yourself to determine what's okay for him and what isn't, then he's not setting up boundaries for himself, and he probably won't appreciate your attempts to protect him if he catches on.

If you worry about everything either one of you says, you really won't be able to talk about anything but the movies--and you'll probably only be able to talk about BAD movies. If my boyfriend and I didn't run the risk of triggering each other with our conversation, we'd never be able to raise our kids! Basically every parenting conversation we have could possibly trigger one or both of us. But only once in a long while does one of us actually get triggered.


#59995 - 05/28/04 09:34 PM Re: any ideas for safe conversation topics?
mickie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/26/04
Posts: 8
Loc: east coast
hey guys, thanks. yeah we women can be on the intense side and do always want to "communicate" something meaningful. yeah, too a lot of guys do just want to chill. you point is well taken about being overly safe in conversations, i guess it does/would come across patronizing. i am so glad i have some new friends to bounce this kind of thing off of. have a great holiday weekend....


#59996 - 05/31/04 11:18 PM Re: any ideas for safe conversation topics?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
some day's it's just good to be a couch potato. Last night all I did was slouch in my recliner and drink too much wine while watching two awfull movies in a row, I couldn't be arsed to pick up the remote and change channels !
I had a great time \:D


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#59997 - 06/01/04 03:34 PM Re: any ideas for safe conversation topics?
PAS Offline

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Originally posted by MikeNY:
Sorry to generalize, but, why do women always have a problem with silence? Conversations would be much more pleasant if we weren't pushed into talking about the things that we are thinking about until we are ready to discuss them.

I'm a big talker and I know I annoy my partner.. so this is extra funny for me.


Ah.. such a wide gulf between men and women sometimes!


#59998 - 06/07/04 06:03 PM Re: any ideas for safe conversation topics?
fhorns Offline

Registered: 08/10/02
Posts: 706
Many a time, I have sat in silence thinking I couldn't talk about anything. I didn't think he'd want to hear about my day Especially if he's had a rough one himself, I couldn't discuss the news, the dogs, finance, anything.... so we sat in silence. You know what I learned from our silence together? I learned that my husband is a very deep person, very intellectual, and very sensitive.

I finally blew up and asked him what was I "allowed" to talk about.

He looked at me like I had two heads. He had no idea what I was talking about. He had NEVER put limits on our discussions. I had assumed. I had taken it upon myself to "protect" him. Now communication isn't the problem. If I am in doubt, I simply ask. Otherwise I babble to my little heart's content. My husband is naturally quiet and shy and he doesn't feel the need to talk all the time, but he is willing to listen.

Since then, he has opened up more and more and now there are times when he babbles on and on. But I love it. He told me once that it takes time to formulate his thoughts and think things fully. It also takes time to learn to trust. I used take it personally that he didn't "Trust" me. Afterall, I didn't abuse him. But when you're abused, you can project onto just about anyone. But he is atleast talking now.

When in doubt....Ask. The survivor knows better than we do what they need.



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