Posts Tagged ‘relationship’

Joy and Pain…Hold It!

April 13, 2012

So much about life is about holding two opposing experiences at once. Joy and pain always seem to go together but we usually just want to feel the joy part. When we experience painful feelings we usually try to shut them down or allow them to take over. When this happens we tend to stop feeling positive feelings and just feel the negative.

Let me give you an example.

In your relationship things can be going along okay. Then a few stressors get in the way. This can be anything from lack of sleep to work stress to a bad case of the flu in the house. Over time, and often this isn’t a very long time, we start to feel disconnected from our partner. Maybe this is as a result of some stress, perhaps you disagree about something and in just a moment it becomes a big deal. It turns into a fight and that turns into a great divide and both of you feel really BAD. Once the feeling of BAD sets in it is hard to put things back on track.  You have both lost perspective and all that is at play is big time reactivity. That’s when we feel NO joy.

Why is it so hard to remember the positive and what we love about our partner when this BAD feeling sets in.

Why can’t we feel a little bad but also hold the reality of our relationship, there is A LOT of good, a lot of love and definitely joy?

This is perhaps the most important part to understand. It seems that we are wired to be in connection with our partner and in fact when we aren’t, things go in the wrong direction in a nanosecond. In fact, we are so wired for this we can’t even control what is happening within us when the disconnection happens. That is why we can’t hold two opposing feelings at once.  Blame your brain not your partner. We are so driven to connect, to be close; to get along that it is very difficult to tolerate any feeling to the contrary. Yet isn’t this what life is about? To hold both experiences at once is definitely the key to happiness.

How can we do this? I have no idea! Really I do not know the answer I just know that we need to find it so we can live happier lives in our relationship. We need to learn to live with difference, we need to allow difficulty and pain and find a way to stay connected so we don’t always go off the rails.

Dare ya?

Try to hold two opposing experiences at once. Next time your partner pisses you off or irritates you try to allow yourself to appreciate them and remember the best thing about them. See if this is the day, allow the joy and the pain to coexist and let yourself be a grown up. Just try it. By the way this is not supposed to be an easy dare, it is a hard one.

Not easy I know!

T.A.

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Ourselves / Our Gratitude / Our Challenge

April 2, 2012

Last week I went for a walk with a friend. It was one of those Vancouver days, after weeks of rain the sun was shining, fresh snow on the mountains, the ocean was glistening. It seemed like a perfect morning to relish in our beautiful city and appreciate the time we had together since we don’t see each other enough.

I hadn’t seen my friend for quite a while so we spent some time catching up on our lives our kids our latest news, it was all good. Then we began talking about a dear friend of hers who is terminally ill. I know of this person and I realized this is the 5th person in the past 2 weeks that I have heard about who is very ill.

It is a very strange phenomenon when we hear about another’s suffering, we tend to pause and take stock of our own life. We usually feel a surge of gratitude about our lives.

It is strange to have conversations about people we know of who are very sick or challenged by something because it activates our deep fears and leads us to thinking about ourselves. This is when we tend to acknowledge our own lives and our desire to be more grateful for what we have. For many of us, the desire to be more grateful about our own life seems so profound in the moment but then it is difficult to hold onto because daily life struggles take over. We get caught up in our own stuff, stress, irritants and the profound moments of gratitude slip away. We want to hold on to those profound moments, we really do but it is so hard.

This is true in our relationships too. While we have times when we are grateful for our partners, our children our parents we often forget about what is really important and let the negatives dominate.

Our challenge of course is to allow the feeling of gratitude and what we have with our partner and our families dominate. We need to allow our focus on what is right in our lives to take up more space and stop letting what isn’t right take up so much of our energy.

We all know that negative thinking leads to just one thing, more negative thinking. Yet we can’t help ourselves, that’s what we do and where we go. What’s not going right, what bugs us, what we want to be different that’s what we spend too much time on.

I am going to propose an idea.

Instead of waiting until we hear about someone we know is ill, or that something sad is happening to someone we know, why not try to be MORE grateful about what our life is really about…everyday.

How do we do this? Actually it is very simple, just not easy! Such is the stuff of life though…

Dare ya –

For the next 2 weeks at the end of every day think about what you can be grateful for related to people in your inner circle. Whether this be your partner, child, parent, other family member or friend make sure you communicate to them what you feel grateful for about having them in your life.

Just say “What I appreciate about you is…” or “One reason I am grateful to have you in my life is…” or “One thing you have taught me that I really appreciate is…” Do this EVERDAY, that is the trick! Be proactive and you can live your life without regret.

Yours truly,

T.A.

P.S. After I wrote this I just saw the film Jeff, Who Lives At Home. What a delightful, wonderful film and if you see it and know I wrote this before I saw it wow, things happen for a reason, destiny, synchronicity, mepoem (mysteriousexquisiteprecisionofeverymoment) whatever you call it, I think it is way cool! Loved that film!

T

How to put meaning back into Valentines Day

February 12, 2012

Here we are again….Valentines Day is almost upon us!

It doesn’t matter if you are married, dating, engaged, in a committed partnership or newly in love. Whether in a relationship or not, Valentines Day impacts most of us.  When it comes to V Day there are bound to be as many experiences as there are different kinds of relationships,  I am sure most of us have  been through highs and lows; some memorable, some we may wish to forget; this one coming up, are you looking forward to it?

What is V Day  really about?

What does it mean to you?

Is it just a plot set up by corporations to make money off of us?

Why does it often feel like a let down?

How can we make it a day of real meaning?

How can it be the day you really want it to be?

What do you think about these questions? (why not send us a response and tell us?)

Honestly, I have mixed feelings about it.

I think it is great to mark a day a year and celebrate love and relationship, commitment and romance. Making  Feb 14th special is wonderful as long as it  turns out wonderful.

I hope this post will give you an idea of how to make it memorable in a good way!

Unfortunately, too often I hear folks complain of being let down. Why does this happen? I think it comes from having hopes that are not met or wanting a partner to do something or say something that does not happen or if it does it’s just not quite right.  Then comes the sadness, the discouragement or worse.

Seems like too many couples nearing Feb 14 come to it with this thing called…it begins with e and is followed by_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _s. That’s right expectations (for those of you not good with words clues).

What is this about? I think we want so much for our partner to be a certain way towards us or do a certain something and it never feels good enough.  Even more confusing is when they do it only once a year  so we are  even more  disappointed about the other 364 days. Valentines Day can be a real set up!

How can we change this???

Seems to me what we all really want is to connect with our lover and feel special. My suggestion is, why not keep it simple and put real meaning into it?

Let’s face it, we all want to feel appreciated and loved! Ask yourself how can I express this to my partner so it will really land? How can I do a few small and meaningful behaviours that will promote connection and help my partner feel loved?

Dare ya!

(Here are some ideas to get you started):

First off…REMEMBER IT IS ABOUT THE OTHER 364 DAYS OF THE YEAR! Yes keep it special on the 14th but why not generalize it to the rest of the year. Don’t we all want to keep it fresh and full of surprises all year round? It really is the little things that matter. Telling your partner what they want to hear is way better than a box of chocolates or roses!

Give your partner what they want not what you want to give them. Forget the lingerie if your partner doesn’t love it, why not come home early, put the kids to bed make a nice dinner and give your partner a massage? Oh yeah, clean up the kitchen too.

Send a sweet and sexy email or text more than 3 times in the day on the 14th.

Tell your partner what first attracted you to them and DO NOT make it brief, make it LONG!

Make a compilation of music your partner loves, include songs from the beginning of your relationship, special times together, relationship milestones.

Make a card, DO NOT BUY ONE….include a beautiful poem, “How Do I Love Thee” is tried and true!

Watch a movie genre you do not like but your partner does and ENJOY it.

Flood your partner with positive appreciations that tells them how much they mean to you.

Tell us what you have planned so we can add more ideas to this!

Yours truly,

TA

 

Ten Steps to Happiness

September 13, 2011

Helen LaKelly Hunt and Harville Hendrix  were in new Zealand in February 2011 and the local paper  (New Zealand Herald)  interviewed them…

According to relationship expert Harville Hendrix a  few tips to ensure a lasting, happy relationship, are to: accept differences, not criticize and give and receive unconditionally.

The man whose been dubbed “Oprah’s Marriage Whisperer” says, “We all want a happy relationship. Few of us have one. I personally know of only a few couples who are genuinely happy, and their satisfaction with their relationship is a result of many years of hard work.”

“That is the magic word: work. That is what a happy relationship requires, but it is a very unpopular word.”

Harville Hendrix and his wife Helen LaKelly Hunt have developed 10 simple steps for couples to help in the journey to a relationship of their dreams. The pair has spent the past 30 years helping thousands of couples learn how to recapture that magical connection and strengthen and sustain it for a lasting and loving relationship. In the process they co-created Imago Relationship Therapy, which is practiced by more than 2000 therapists in 30 countries.

Imago first came to public attention through the New York Times best seller, Getting the Love You Want, co-written by Hendrix and his wife LaKelly Hunt (a famous philanthropist in her own right).

HE SAYS

Absolutely no criticism! All criticism, even “constructive criticism” not only fails to get us what we want but it’s a form of self-abuse since the traits we criticize in our partners are often projections of unpleasant truths about ourselves.

Instead of criticizing, explore why a particular trait in your partner bothers you so much. For example, perhaps him wanting “too much sex” is really about your own sexual inhibitions.

Accept that your partner is not you  We all understand – at least on the surface – that our partner is a separate human being. But deep down we often see and treat him/her as extensions of ourselves. Practice seeing and accepting your partner as someone with different perceptions, feelings, and experiences that are equally valid as your own.

Close all exits  Identify activities that you engage in that become an escape from the day-to-day intimacy of the partnership (any activity, thought, or feeling that decreases or avoids emotional or physical involvement with your partner). Exits can be functional (car-pooling, work, taking care of kids), motivated (watching TV, reading, sports, hobbies), and/or catastrophic (emotional or physical affairs, addictions). All exits, however, deplete the emotional reserves in a partnership.

Use “I” language Own your experience by saying how you feel rather than blaming your partner. For example, “I feel bad when …” rather than “You make me feel bad when …”

Give and receive unconditionally Offer gifts with no strings attached. The unconscious receives only unconditional gifts. It does not accept a “you rub my back and I’ll rub yours” attitude. Similarly, learn to accept gifts. Often we feel unworthy of receiving compliments from our partner and reject it. Instead of saying, “You don’t really mean that I’m beautiful/handsome/smart,” say “Thank you. It means a lot to me that you feel that way.”

SHE SAYS

Put play on your priority list Make a list of high-energy activities you would like to do for fun with your partner. Write down as many ideas as you can think of that you are currently doing, that you did in the early stages of your relationship and activities you would like to engage in. They should be activities that create deep laughter and/or that involve physical movement and deep breathing. Make a commitment to enjoy a playful activity at least once a week.

Amplify the positive resources in your relationship Flood your partner with compliments. On a regular basis, tell your partner what you love about him or her. Talk about his/her physical characteristics (“I love your eyes”), character traits (“You are really intelligent”), behaviours (“I love that you make coffee every morning for me”), global affirmations (“I am so happy I married you”).

Learn couple’s dialogue The most important and challenging step to becoming a conscious partner is changing the way you communicate. Imago Dialogue uses three basic techniques – mirroring, validating, and empathizing – to fortify the connection between partners. Check to make sure you understand what your partner is saying (mirroring), indicate that what your partner says makes sense, even if you don’t agree (validating) and recognize the partner’s feelings when s/he tells a story or expresses an opinion (empathizing).

Make dialogue a way of life Dialogue will not only improve the way you communicate with your partner, it will improve the relations with your children, and with everyone you come in contact with. Practice dialogue until it becomes a habit and a way of life.

See your relationship as a journey A committed partnership can become someone’s worst nightmare, but through intentionality and commitment, a marriage can also be a spiritual journey. If you married because you chose to marry, you are with the right person – especially if you feel incompatible. See your partner as the person who holds the blueprint for your journey to wholeness.

There’s gold in them der frustrations!

August 8, 2011

Flickr / D'Arcy Norman

If only we could begin to see frustrations as an opportunity.

If only we could welcome frustrations because they are a gift in disguise!

Every one of our frustrations contains gold. They are a double gift, healing for one and growth for the other.

Long ago, when you first were attracted to your partner, you didn’t realize that you were also hiring them to “push your buttons”.  This is to motivate you into completing your growing up.  So recognize (and maybe even admit it!) that you have hired your partner precisely to guide you on your growth journey.

So, it isn’t fair to hire someone for a job and fire them because they do it.

Remember that frustrations have long tentacles.  Their roots are in our growing up years. They reach into the recesses of our untold stories. Frustrations contain gold, a magical key.

Our frustrations are the key that unlocks the mystery of the past. Frustrations invite new behaviors. Frustrations knock at the door of psyches, saying: “C’mon, it’s time to grow, mature, and evolve.

Dare ya:

Try to identify something that frustrates or irritates you that your partner does and keep it to yourself. Ask YOURSELF some hard questions…. what is it about me that is getting activated when my partner does this? Does this bring up a childhood feeling or memory for me? How can I see this frustration as a gift for my growth instead of being irritated by it??? Do this as an internal process and do not share it with your partner until you have a new learning to share! Have fun.

Yours truly!

T & M

I Cheated! Now I Want My Partner Back!

July 12, 2011

In this post from YourTango.com, Tim Atkinson interviewed Maya Kollman, MA, Imago Master Trainer

John only had a short affair. And it was a long time ago. Years later the truth came to light and his marriage to Maryanne hit the critical list. Maryanne didn’t want the marriage to end. But how could she ever again trust John? John desperately wanted to be forgiven for the past, and find a way for the marriage to continue.

By the time they came to see me for help, they were completely stuck, hopeless and miserable. Unfortunately they aren’t alone. I’ve worked with many other couples in a similar situation, and always my goal is to leave them with a much more rewarding relationship than they ever had before.

Here are the steps that John and Maryanne were able to take, which illustrates how many couples can rebuild trust and transform their nightmares:

Step 1: Make a Clear Decision

When there is an infidelity, there’s a decision to be made. The unfaithful party must immediately cease all contact with the person they have been seeing; no phone calls, no emails, no texts, no cards or notes, no drive-bys. John’s essential first step with Maryanne was to commit willingly and wholeheartedly to emotional and physical fidelity – and to mean it.

Step 2: Shift from Guilt to Remorse

John felt guilty about his affair and horrible about himself. Unfortunately feeling guilty didn’t help at all. It led John to be quiet and keep his distance. But what he couldn’t see was that as a result Maryanne felt shut out. This formed a downward spiral, leaving her feeling even more tense, unhappy, and unloved.

Guilt is useless! Don’t let it ruin your relationship. Guilty people are so absorbed in their own feelings that they can’t even see what is happening for someone else. John’s guilt was driving his wife even further away from him.

The dramatic change came when John made the huge shift from guilt to remorse, and focused on the pain Maryanne was experiencing instead of his own. He got interested in what was going on for her. Feeling compassionate rather than self critical, John was able to begin creating connection with Maryanne rather than distance.

Step 3: Be willing to sit and listen

If you are going to leave an affair behind, sooner or later you have to talk about it. John had to be willing to let Maryanne ask for whatever details she wanted to hear. What’s more, he needed to listen to her feelings of betrayal and hurt in a supportive way. That’s extremely tough to do, which is why John and Maryanne chose to do this part with me, over several therapy sessions.

To make it easier, I taught John and Maryanne a three-part communication skill called the Imago Dialogue. We worked together to bring respect to the dialogue structure by eliminating shame, blame and criticism as John and Maryanne learned to focus on their own deeper feelings and express them.

John and Maryanne found a deep understanding of one another. A deep connection was building, perhaps deeper than they had ever experienced before.

Step 4: Re-imagine your role in the relationship

Although John felt and understood Maryanne’s pain, internally he still had plenty of excuses for the affair. He still wanted to justify his actions to her in some way, but every time he did he undermined his attempts to rebuild trust.

Instead, I coached John to take on a new role, as protector of the relationship.
He prepared himself, like a martial arts expert might. He knew that he would have to be able to absorb Maryanne’s anger and yet still hold his ground. Just like in Aikido. He worked on calming his reactive tendencies with breathing exercises, used music to calm himself, and learned to sit in a grounded position when he talked with Maryanne.

Creating new mental images was another important step. In addition to seeing the pain he had caused, he also recalled positive times in their years together, and all the things that led him to fall in love with Maryanne. All of these actions helped John’s romantic, creative side come alive, and he began to court Maryanne much like he had when they first met.

Naturally, Maryanne responded by beginning to feel more trusting and secure.

Step 5: When it’s time – explore and repair

Up until now, we’ve really only talked about John examining himself. But it takes two to make a relationship. For complete healing, John and Maryanne became a team to understand how their histories and their present day dynamics may have made them vulnerable to an affair.

But it’s important to complete steps 1 to 4 first. That’s because Maryanne can’t feel safe to explore until she truly feels John’s remorse.

This is very tender territory and can be aided tremendously by the coaching of an Imago therapist. Just like steel rods are broken and re-soldered many times to make them stronger, a relationship can emerge from a betrayal stronger than before when the couple are willing to climb the above steps.

Heart Disease of Relationships

October 19, 2010

Flickr / Carbon NYC

What hardens the arteries of a relationship?

What an amazing question.

Just a few weeks ago at our most recent Getting the Love You Want weekend workshop, Lawrence, Maureen’s partner, asked us this question: WHAT IS THE HEART DISEASE OF RELATIONSHIPS?

Many people had thoughtful answers, ranging from feelings of hurt to frustration at not being listened to, being betrayed and lied to.

Lawrence responded, “Good answers but not the one I was looking for”. He continued, “You know what the real killer is, the real thing that clogs the arteries of a relationship…RESENTMENT.”

The room fell silent. You could have heard a pin drop. People were listening and nodding their heads. We all knew he was right.

This has really stayed with me and started me thinking…

First of all, what does resentment mean and where does the word come from?

Resentment comes from the word sentire which means to feel. When we put the “re” in front, it means to feel again and again. Consider this for a moment. When we resent we put negative beliefs and feelings about someone (in this case our partners) in front of them and we no longer see them. Then we feel the bad feelings over and over until they turn into… dis-ease in our hearts. Pretty soon, it is all we experience.

What happens when resentment builds in our relationships? I think you already know that people usually do one of two things.

  1. Stay in an angry state with either resentment seeping out all over the space between you or exploding in anger. This happens when we criticize, blame and stay angry. What is most dangerous is when we think we have the right to feel this way and then express it whenever and however we wish. We start to feel righteous about it.
  2. Or, we hold it all in. We tighten and seethe anger much of the time. We obsess and build up negative scenarios in our minds and the resentment grows. Just like morning glory in the garden, it takes over. Nobody likes morning glory; soon all the beautiful plants die and all that’s left is the morning glory.

What happens next? Not a pretty picture…

It only gets worse. We begin to live more and more in our heads and we create stories which we believe are true. We make our partner the villain and soon we have created bestsellers. This is when heart disease affects our health, occupies much of our thoughts and generally runs our day to day lives.

At this point we project a myriad of assumptions and interpretations onto our partners and the dance of distance and disconnection become a way of life.

Remedy:

Flickr / Mykl Roventine

What is  the remedy for heart disease in relationships? There is only one answer. Forgiveness. You must forgive to get well. You must let go. You must see your partner for who they really are. See their struggles and limitations, their lack of perfection and their humanness. They must see the same in you and together you must accept and move forward. When you forgive you are able to truly let go and be free. You must dig deep and find the place within you where your compassion lies. This is the single most important factor if you are to cure this type of heart disease. Have you ever tried to get rid of morning glory? I have and let me tell you it is possible but the key is to dig deep.

The Skill (Dare ya):

The good news is that since most of you have experienced the Getting the Love You Want weekend you know what to do…now you must do it. Sit down, face to face, calm your soul, cross over the bridge to your partner’s world and LISTEN with an open heart. Mirror them. You have just begun the process of curing the clogged arteries of your relationship. Begin to dialogue and make sure you validate and empathize and do it again and again and again.  I promise something will shift. It will get better.

I would like to end this blog by quoting a passage from John O’Donohue from his blessing, “After A Destructive Encounter” (page 174) from his beautiful book, “To Bless the Space Between Us”.  I hope it will help to ignite an opening in your heart…

”Now that you have entered with an open heart
Into a complex and fragile situation,
Hoping patience and respect
To tread softly over sore ground in order
That somewhere beneath the raw estrangement
Some fresh spring of healing might be coaxed
To release the grace for a new journey…”

With love and support to all of you and much appreciation to Lawrence for inspiring me,
T

Markers… Yours, Mine and Ours

September 6, 2010

Flickr / ornellaswouldgo

Why mark important events?

What markers are worth marking?

How should they be marked?

Some dates we mark because we love to celebrate happy times; some because we are grieving a loss; and some we feel we must acknowledge even if we don’t really want to (certain birthdays come to mind when I think about the latter! I had one of those this year and let’s just say it remains unmentionable). But back to relationship markers…

The marker that I feel most proud of, my greatest achievement of late is my 25th anniversary with my life partner Sarah. In gay years that’s actually 175 years because it is said that a gay year is like a dog year – you get 7 years for a straight folk’s 1 year because it is so damn hard. Well we have made it this far and wow have we been marking it BIG! 75 or 25 it doesn’t much matter it’s a LONG time believe me!

First off we went to Maui for 2 weeks with no kids. What a paradise: sun, beauty, beaches and pineapples galore. What a place to reconnect and remember what’s important. We had lots of dialogues about little and big stuff. We had tons of fun. We watched the sunset every night and walked the beach every day. We ate, we drank, we rested. It was just what we needed to mark our time together.

It’s been a summer of marking the time….. dinners with friends and family; many indulgences; we keep remarking a few times a week things like, “wow can you believe it’s been 25 years?!” or, “the time has sure gone by fast” or, “wow, feels like a lifetime time moves so slow!” or, “you know I still really like you”.

Let’s be honest. It has not been a bed of roses, sweetness and good moods. OH NO, not at all.

It’s been more like a constant sea of change. Like a wave: there’s the high of course, the crest which is the best part and then just when it seems as if it is going to last, crash we are at the low point only to build up again and the cycle continues. I guess after all these years I’ve learned that’s just life.

Way back when, in the beginning, of course it was wonderful. We were so young and actually had no idea about anything let alone relationships. Determined, in love, confident, conflict avoiders; pleasure seekers, — that was us.

Then a few years later add a dog, mortgage, a renovation, separate careers and 2 kids to the mix…all of sudden we had lots to disagree about!  That was just about the time we found Imago. Goodness knows what would have happened if we hadn’t.

So how have we completed 25 years with grace? I’d say our recipe was  about 3000 dialogues (ok, maybe 500), tons of humour, countless date nights, some serious setbacks and a whole lotta  trying. At the time, we didn’t know it was our recipe. No magic, just a lot of plodding and more commitment to”us” than I would ever have imagined possible.

There is one more key dynamic that I am still learning about and am far from perfecting. As we mark 25 years, I realize we are both continuing to mature to the point where we can delight in the other partner being who they really are, not who we want the other to be (this is another blog entry unto itself so stay tuned.)

I can say I am truly happy and grateful for all the work we have done that has taken us to this point.

Oh yeah, one more thing, happy markers are a great excuse for a party!!

Dare ya –

Mark something about your relationship you are proud of…anything. Contact us and tell us about it!

Yours truly,

T at 25!

One of these things is not like the other!

April 28, 2010

Flickr / bazylek100

Consider 2 words…Discussion and Dialogue

Most of us think these two words have similar meanings. In fact, this could not be further from the truth.

Dialogue comes from the Greek word dialogus which loosely translates to “the meaning” and “through”, which could be understood as the meaning through… Think about this, the “meaning through”…listening…understanding…even loving.

Discussion comes from the same root as percussion and concussion which means to break things up, to throw things and to shatter. Hmmmmm – Interesting isn’t it?

When we ask our partner for a dialogue we are inviting them to engage in a process of understanding and sharing with them. It is meant to be a time when we actually cross over to each other’s world to reach a new understanding through creating a new meaning. Cool!

Discussion is quite different…. When we enter into a discussion we are in a ping-pong match of back and forth trying to win. We employ the “reload and shoot” technique, desperate to be right and upping the ante at every turn.

Flickr / shadowgate

I recently was working with a couple who reported they had a terrible week.

“What happened?” I asked.

They told me they fought all week and hadn’t spoken for 3 days.

“That sounds awful,” I said. “Did you ask for a dialogue, did you try to mirror each other?”

“No” they said. “We talked about it but we thought it would take too long. So we just started to discuss the issue. Then we started to fight and then we kept arguing until finally we stopped talking.”

At this point, we all laughed at the ridiculousness of what they did. But, we’ve all done it and we will all do it!  We need to be right. To win. To convince and discuss. Even if it doesn’t work, we still do it!

Lots of times we would rather be right than be in a relationship!

Here’s a ditty I just came up with:

Have a fight,
Have a dialogue,
Show your might,
And why you’re right.

Know you’re not and make yourself stop.
If you do I promise you, life will rock and maybe even feel hot.
In fact you’ll stop feeling numb and maybe even get some…. tonight!

Dare ya –

Write a love poem to your love that’s better than mine! Ok, some dares are harder than others!!

Yours,
T

Lingo

April 13, 2010
Flickr / D Sharon Pruitt

Flickr / D Sharon Pruitt

A client who recently attended a Getting the Love You Want workshop with her husband shared something enlightening with me last week. She has given me permission to write about it since I found it so fascinating.

Since they attended the workshop and started learning the Imago communication skills, she has begun talking to her husband about many things she wouldn’t have previously.

“Tell me more” I said curiously!

She told me that when she and her husband came to the workshop their relationship was, as Maureen would say, in bad, bad, shape. There was little communication between them and they weren’t even sleeping in the same bed. Because she is a very social person, with lots of friends, she tended to tell her friends her deepest thoughts, daily anxieties and general news of the day. Over the past few months her husband was the last person to hear about anything she had to say.

This is all changing now and she is finding this completely weird!

Flickr / D Sharon Pruitt

She started to notice things were different when she told her friends about the weekend workshop itself. She and her husband, like most couples, found it to be completely transformative and inspiring. Her friends were anxious to hear about it, as they had been hearing about many of her marital difficulties for some time. Her biggest take away from the workshop was learning about herself and how she had been contributing to the state of her relationship. This was a new language to her friends. Up until this point they had only been hearing about the complaints she had about her husband and never about her own role.

So, she had a conversation about this with her husband. They actually dialogued and they continued to have an even better week! A new language was being practiced.

She began to have epiphanies almost daily; about dialogues and new “sender” topics; visiting her husband’s world and learning his language; stretching to meet each other’s needs; seeing frustrations as offering golden opportunities for learning and growth; healing past and present ruptures and the list kept going.

The only problem was when her friends couldn’t decipher this new lingo and had no idea what she was talking about.  The only one who did was guess who? Her beloved of over 25 years!

He was interested in what she had to say. He was even thinking about some of these things on his own. He wanted to talk to her as well. She became more aware of how her friends had become her “exit” (more lingo).

So there you have it: new language and new world and same old relationship.  How amazing is that?

Flickr / sharad 2007

By the way, just an aside, you may wonder why in last weeks post there is a beautiful shot of the North Shore Mountains…It’s because I forgot to mention that is the view from our new office. That’s amazing too!

Dare ya –

Just go to your partner, look them straight in the eye and say, ”You are amazing”… Then see what happens!

Yours truly,

T