Monthly Archives: June 2015
Do you ever have something you really want, but you are afraid to ask for it?
Do you ever try to ignore it, hoping it’ll go away?
Unfortunately, there is a consequence to not saying those things – withdrawal, upset, tension, distance, illness…
The longer we don’t say what we really feel and think, the worse it gets.
After almost two years of very-long-distance relationship dating, I remember the first time I dared to tell Christian something I’d been thinking for a long time:
I really wanted to live with him and build a life together.
Up until that point, he’d been reticent about leaving his home country and I had been reluctant to ask for what I wanted. I didn’t want to appear selfish and uncaring; I didn’t want to risk pushing him away further. I was scared he might end our relationship if he knew how deeply I wanted commitment and marriage.
But I couldn’t make my desire go away, no matter what I did.
I remembered someone saying …
“When the truth is told, peace is inevitable.”
These words gave me the strength to say what was going on for me. I decided to trust that my desire would take us to a good place, even if it meant not being together.
So one day, when we were in the hot tub, and we were both out of sorts, I blurted out …
“It’s true. I WANT to build a life together. I can’t do that if you keep going back to Denmark and we have to start all over every three months. I want YOU. I want to live with you and share every day with you. I WANT to build with you!”
The power of my words hung in the air.
Then, an amazing thing happened. It was like Christian woke up. Right there and then, he realized that he wanted to build with me too.
That was eight years ago.
I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I had continued to play it safe.
How much longer would it have taken for us to commit? Might we have wrecked our relationship before then by not telling the truth?
The feelings and desires that won’t go away are trying to tell us something. They are our friends, our guidance system. If we don’t listen to them, they just get louder.
So here is a question for you:
What deep feelings are you hoping will go away if you don’t say them? What could you dare tell the truth about?
In the previous blog, we talked about how differences can drive you crazy, and how you can have a little fun with them, using the simple strategy we gave you.
But there are SOME things your partner (or friend or date or kid or ex or co-worker) that you get really mad or hurt about.
What to do then?
We’ll give you a simple but super effective way to start turning this around.
It’s not the full solution to big stuff that drives you crazy, but this piece has to come first.
The reason you feel angry, hurt, sad, or scared when you partner (or kid, ex, or co-worker) does “that thing”, is because you got “triggered”.
You partner doesn’t trigger you.
They merely reveal a trigger you already have.
Here’s an example of something that drives me crazy and triggers me:
I hate it when I am hanging out with Christian and the kids, and my son or daughter runs up to Christian to show him a YouTube video. When they do that, feel so hurt and mad. I get triggered.
So here’s the simple strategy to begin to unravel these triggers:
I ask myself:
“What do I think it means about me when my son or daughter runs up to their dad and shows him a YouTube video?”
And be brutally honest with yourself or it doesn’t work.
Well, I think it means they like Dad more than me. That I’m invisible and left out. That I am unimportant and unloved.
How do you think I feel when I think this? Yeah, absolutely awful!
And do you think I ever had those thoughts before in my life? Yes, many times. In fact, those are pretty much my biggest wounds in life.
So when I see my kids sharing a YouTube with their dad, I feel bad, because I’m instantly thinking I’m not important and they love him more than me. Ouch.
Next time something drives you crazy a big way, and you feel really mad or hurt, ask yourself this question:
“What do I think it means about me when _____[someone] does ________[what they did]?”
This is first step to freeing yourself from the tyranny of other people’s behavior.
So try it out, as best you can. And be honest with yourself when you ask this question.
Until next time, reach out and love somebody…
Sonika & Christian