Go for it!
During a calm and private moment use the memorized templates:
- I feel X when you do Y so will you consider Z
- We have a problem. I want X and you want Y. How can we resolve this?
Tell your wife what you need and compromise if you are on separate pages.
As we’ve been going through this challenge, you’ve probably noticed that we’ve been focusing on the changes you need to make and not your wife.
The men I treat love to hear me say, “You alone can make the changes in your relationship!”
They also hate me for this:
~~It’s not fair, she has the problem.
~~Why should I do all the work?
~~This is only one problem, but we have so many!
It’s important to understand, like the pointless arguing we discussed in the last challenge, that these are all ways to lose focus on the problem.
And when you lose focus on your goal, remember from challenge day 1 what happens? You lose the goal!
So, I’m going to give you my best tactics for staying focused on your goal for this challenge and for the rest of your married life.
It’s not fair, she has the problem.
Truth: Just like there is no right or wrong, there is no fairness. Let’s face it, we’re talking about your problem. Yes, your wife is a part of that problem, but she doesn’t see it as a problem. It’s like saying it’s unfair that you have to tell the roofer about your leak before he’ll fix it! Focusing on “fairness” is just a way to avoid the problem.
The most common reasons I see for avoidance are: Being afraid to state a negative emotion (anger, neediness or sadness) because you think it’s bad or wrong: But, there is no such thing as a right or wrong feeling! All feelings are natural, biological, just like there is no right or wrong rain. Instead of burying or avoiding a feeling, stating it helps dissipate it so your don’t bury and blow. A negative feeling is your alarm that’s clanging away alerting you to something is wrong and needs your attention.
Why do I have to do all the work?
Truth: But where has that gotten you? It’s a double edged sword that you have all the power to change your relationship and that means you have to do the work to wield that power. But think about all the work involved in continuing to suffer with your problem! You have to keep suppressing your feelings, avoiding showing your anger/hurt/sorrow, walking on eggshells, dealing with the problem’s side effects, etc. etc. Exhausting, right? Isn’t it more effective to do the work of calling, explaining, and examining options about a leaky roof with the roofer as opposed to keep patching and repairing the damage?
This is only one problem, but we have so many!
Truth: The specific problems are just the details and yes they are varied. The Intimacy Heroes I work with have learned they have a couple dysfunctional patterns underlying all the marital problems. For example: They cave instead of putting up boundaries against behavior that doesn’t work for them, they try to change their spouse instead of compromising with them, or they blow up over buried emotions instead of stating them as they feel them. So the new relational patterns you are learning in this challenge can be applied to any problem in your relationship.
So, in conclusion, yes, it takes a lot of work to maintain a healthy, happy relationship.
But what’s worthwhile doesn’t?
>> CHALLENGE CHECK-IN
Stay tuned tomorrow for Day 5 and don’t forget to catch up with us to share your DAY 4 Progress in our Facebook Group! If you have any questions, or want to dive further into these topics, pick up the phone! We’re here for you – 757-340-8800!