Today I want to invite you to take a look at one simple key that will help us deepen our relationships. I’ve been applying it as much as possible in the relationship with my wife and it brought a lot of positive outcomes in challenging situations. It brought us closer. It strengthened the bond between us and deepened the trust. It is increasing our intimacy and closeness.
In hard times, when there is blame, incomprehension, drama and tension, it is tempting to stay away from each other. We want to fight, we are defensive, we feel hurt, misunderstood and trust is shattered. We think in black and white so our world becomes dark.
Sometimes it is just one partner involved heavily in that behavior and they try to pull the other one in. Sometimes both partners are in it. Whatever the situation is, do you think there is a way out? Can it be bonding, respectful and done with care? How do you show up for your relationship and the person you love in this dark moment?
The Key: Endurance
Before we go further, I need to introduce a few concepts that might support you in developing and maintaining endurance in the difficult moments of your relationships.
First, don’t take it personally. Drama is a part of every relationship, we cannot avoid it fully but we can learn how to handle it healthily. Even if that drama might look like a personal attack from your partner, it isn’t. If you were the one attacking, it isn’t a personal attack. What it is, is something within the world of the attacker, something they can’t handle or accept. They might have felt hurt or mistrusted and they are striking back. But they do not mean it, at that point in time, they just don’t know better. In other words, they don’t see another way of coping with such a challenge.
Remember that it is NEVER personal, it is always because of their internal struggles. Often from a past experience that is manifesting in a certain form and is damaging for your relationship.
What I have learned is that in these situations, are the ones where my partner needs me the most. Even if it looks like I am being pushed away or blamed and attacked. I stay still, I do my best to keep my mind open and not to let myself be hurt. I remind myself that she struggles more than I do. I offer my support to her, in a loving and caring way.
I do not strike back, I do not push back. I do not let my emotions go through the roof. I trust that it will be okay in the end, it is just a storm and we have been able to handle many already.
One callout in such situations, I need to set boundaries. I can’t let my partner step all over me I can’t be weak. Being caring and loving doesn’t mean being weak, not necessarily. I need to be assertive when she pushes too far, it would look something like:
“My Love, it isn’t okay to say about me. I am your equal. I love you the way you are.”
The importance in these sentences is that the boundary is set and the partner accepted and loved. Whether it is your loved one or your child, the acceptance and love part is crucial. So the person doesn’t feel they are doing something wrong or that they are a bad person for being upset, emotional or needy.
After a while, sometimes hours, sometimes days, you will reach the soul and heart of your partner. They will realize how much you care and what you’ve just done to support them through their inner storms. The storm isn’t over yet, the sky is still dark but you are at another level. You are in the right direction and it is time for the next step to resolve that conflict in a healing and bonding way.
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein
Endurance is required in the beginning, we now need to move to another state to find a resolution.
Setting a mutual intention
Our next step is sitting down with our partner and setting our intention. Here is how it could sound:
“I love you and I want the best for us. We are having a hard time but I want us to resolve this with respect and care. I want us to both heal these wounds at our own space. I’ll provide love, care and time for us to do so”
Provide anything you can! I find that love, care and time help us tremendously in resolving issues we had so far. Even better, provide anything your partner needs if it is within your capacity at the time.
This part is called mutual intention because your partner needs to set one too. That will change the situation, that will bring it to another level so you have finally a chance to resolve and heal it. Remember what Albert Einstein said? We need to be at another level (of thinking) to resolve a problem we created!
When more experienced around setting an intention, we can set one as soon as it is understood that there is a conflict. It will guide you, it will help you to resolve it in a healthy manner. Even better, it could be part of your values and mission statement with your partner and be applied in every situation you face together.
Better late than never. So do it as soon as it is available for both of you.
In life, we do not grow out of comfort and coziness. We grow out of challenges and being out of our comfort zone. If you handle conflict in a healthy way in your relationship, it will create a stronger bond with your partner. It will develop intimacy and make you feel closer. The minute the conflict is resolved in such a way, you can feel the love intensified.
Conflict is uncomfortable to me but this one way I learn how to handle it with my wife. It is working well I have to say. We do not have to build resentment or be unsatisfied, we can communicate and with time resolve fully any issue coming our way.
Today we looked at a way to show care and love while being patient when our partners are having a hard time. We need to listen and be available. We need to show efforts and care in the moments they need us the most, particularly when they are not easy to be around!
I would like you to share how you handle such situations, what is working for you? What are your struggles? Do you have any breaking points where you find yourself stuck with your partner, unable to move towards a resolution?