BLOG: TO DOING IT DIFFERENTLY
Healthy, thriving relationships often require us doing something differently than our norm, yet many of us do things habitually, sabotaging our desired results.
Although this is not news, and we’ve heard it before, we do not practice doing things differently, otherwise we would not see the continued high rates of divorce for 1st, 2nd and 3rd marriages.
We practice fire and emergency drills at work and at school, but we don’t practice doing things differently in our relationships until it often becomes an emergency.
What would happen if just one of us in our intimate relationships made a decision to do something differently and then acted on it before it became an emergency?
Well the great news is, that decision would change the trajectory of the relationship! When sustained over time, the relationship would begin to change.
This is what we share with our clients. It does not take both people to be on board. One partner can begin the process. However, it often takes repeatedly doing the same thing over and over (definition of insanity) before we can see it clearly.
The reason we cannot see what we are doing is because we are actually blind to it. It’s so routine that we have an automatic response. Yet once just one person does something differently, the whole system begins to shift.
In our own 34-year relationship we were blind to our habits for a good part of the first decade. We could see each others blind spots clearly with no problem. Go figure! Generally, we did not have the skills to talk about it without reactivity. Sometimes we’d both get so frustrated that we just went our separate ways to stop the conversation.
We would be discussing something that one of us wanted to change in our marriage. I heard most everything Michael said to me in the early stage of our marriage through the lens of “I’m not doing it good enough” and would start my rebuttal before Michael was finished talking. I was not aware that I interrupted him because it was a habit for me. His habit was saying, “You’re doing it again!” in an accusatory tone which did not get us anywhere. It would start the cycle all over again. It was not pretty. Both of us were competing for who was the biggest victim and who was the worst villain. Of course all of this was our subconscious belief systems (BS!) in operation.
At some point each of us decided to do things differently. The old way was not working. One of us started the process-it did not require the other to be on board. The relationship began to shift. Life became easier and we began to have more fun… Now we teach and share our 7-step system for how we did this.
PS- We had no idea that we had a system back then. We discovered it as we began to share with others how we went from almost splitting up to starting our couples program and falling in love again!
P.S. If you would like more support in applying these principles, give us a call. In between our speaking and coaching engagements, we carve out a few individualized sessions each month. Schedule your appointment here.
To Doing it Differently!