That phrase, "If you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all." is something I noticed used here for the first time in my reading. It's a rough one for me to read, and it brings up a question or two.
I grew up in a family where this phrase was The Law. Don't ever say anything about my parent's terrible marriage, or how they'd go weeks without speaking to each other, and my father would go months without speaking to his kids. Later, it was The Law about my mother's severe hoarding issues, which continue to this day. Don't ever talk about how she values piles of old newspapers more than she does her own children and grandchildren, who can't visit her because there is literally not one place to sit in her home. Pretend everything is fine, all the time. Stop speaking entirely if you have to, that's better than ever saying anything that might make anyone else upset.
My question is how can someone learn these communication skills necessary to have the types of relationships a lot of you have? Today I tried to communicate something to someone I love, something I knew would upset them, something "Not Nice". It's taken me a year and a half to be able to even bring the topic up. I can't help but feel that this is not only ridiculous, but something that would doom a poly relationship to failure.
I spent hours yesterday looking for something that functions like this forum but is dedicated to the topic of communication in relationships. I didn't find anything that looked like it would help. Does such a forum exist?
Where did you learn to communicate? Have any of you had to overcome entire lifetimes of conditioning in order to have the type of love in your life that you want?