BLOG: If you just did things my way we’d get along great!
Have you ever found yourself saying or thinking how easy life would be if your partner really understood and thought more like you? We might laugh at the subject line, yet most of us, at one time or another, have just wanted our intimate partners to do it our way.
I will be the first to admit this and not without some discomfort!
With my background as a social worker and a transformational coach who has done deep personal development work, you would think I’d have this down after 38 years with my partner, Michael. However, I do experience this BS thinking (belief system) at times. Then I usually can snap out of it as I realize there is absolutely no way Michael could do it my way because he is not wired the same. I am not talking about ‘men are from Mars and women are from Venus’ here. I don’t believe it’s that generic.
Everyone is as unique as his or her own DNA. When we fail to understand this, attempting to change our partner to our way of thinking, we experience real challenges. Often when we first get together we believe (erroneously) that we can change our partner or give our partner advice on what would be best for them.
It’s a trap to be avoided!
Maybe in the early stages of an intimate relationship, we may ‘give in’ to our partner’s way of thinking without understanding the toll it takes when we are not being our authentic selves.
Here are two suggestions if you find yourself in this trap….
First, acknowledge to yourself that your BS (belief system) needs some updating without judging yourself. In a healthy relationship, you want a partner that thinks for themselves and can be authentic with you even when their views differ from yours.
Get curious about your differences and listen to your partner’s point of view. You may think you know what your partner’s point of view is because chances are you’ve heard it before, yet do you understand why it is important to them? Maybe they say ‘that’s how we did it in our family ‘and have never explained much more. Ask questions that delve deeper. This does not mean you ultimately agree, just that you learn more about your partner in the process. And this is a reciprocal process you share your unique view and have your partner listen and get curious.
Opening up the conversation in this way can help us discover that genuine connection can exist even in those difficult discussions and even when our partner does it differently.
*More on this topic can be found in chapter 7 of our recent book, Courageous Couples, Loving, Living and Working Together, available on Amazon.
Here’s to your BEST LIFE!