When love fades, it is suprisingly often NOT because of major issues like affairs, drug use or gambling away the mortgage.
Though these are certainly reason enough for a breakdown, the real reason most relationships fizzle is the often “trivial” day-to-day annoyances that undermine a relationship.
Canadian magazine, Fashion, recently polled their readers about relationship friction and 28% of the 400 women who responded said “minor annoyances” were the biggest culprits in their relationship.
Just to give you an idea only 13 per cent of respondents said “sex” and 9 per cent said “money” was the reason they argued. (Fashion Magazine, February 2017 ed.)
Though Fashion may not be the biggest source of relationship wisdom, the results of this poll tells an interesting story: most of us just want him to put his dirty underwear in the laundry, empty the dishwasher and as one of my clients said: “just watch the kids for 10 minutes while I make breakfast.”
We just want some effing support!
But are we willing to ask for it? Clearly + openly?
For many of us, myself included, at times we think: “He should just know.
“He should know to put his underwear in the laundry.
“He should know that I can’t do it all myself.
“He should know to be of help.
I shouldn’t have to ask.”
“I shouldn’t have to ask” are five words to watch out for.
Anytime I hear myself saying: “I shouldn’t have to ask”, I know I do need to ask.
I also know that “my story” is totally triggered.
Yes it is tiresome to have the same old conversation + it’s frustrating to feel that he’s NOT getting it, but if believe we shouldn’t have to ask, then we are expecting him to be a mind reader.
Your partner probably knows you well but he may not have mastered mental telepathy yet.
Don’t expect him to. Instead hold yourself accountable to do the very mystical thing: speak your needs + why they are important.
I’m not saying that you haven’t tried to ask, I’m merely suggesting that he has not understood WHY it is important to you and that he has not really heard you.
When I was first married, it drove me crazy that my husband did not put dishes in the dishwasher but left them on the counter right above it.
I was like: “Ian, why can you not put the effing dishes in the effing dishwasher. Do you think I want to clean up dishes all day?”
His response was, “Relax. I will get to it. Who cares?”
I spoke my needs, right? So why did he not get it?
I did not really speak my needs. I was blaming + shaming and almost everyone shuts down in the face of shame.
I also had not really communicated the reason it did matter to me.
The reason I cared is that my home is my sanctuary and I do appreciate harmony.
The reason I cared is that I wanted to feel that he cared about our home too.
The reason I cared is that I did feel like I had a ton of shit was on my shoulders and he was having a fun time watching football.
I was also super triggered!
I had a story that he did not care and that at some level I was “being used” and was unappreciated.
So I took a look at “the story” and reminded myself that this was not true.
I knew my partner wanted me to be happy.
I knew I chose him in part because I could count on him, so I put on my big-girl panties and spoke up, with love + clarity.
It was uncomfortable to speak to my needs (but so is arguing). I knew that my relationship required me to be uncomfortable at times and vulnerable + honest all of the time.
It was something like this:
“I know you will get to it, but I work from home and appreciate harmony and order. I need it to feel in the flow and a messy house is a major distraction for me.
I see that you are busy too + that you do care about our home, but I feel overwhelmed by stacks of dishes. It’s just something more I need to take care of and I don’t want to feel that way.
I also want to feel like you totally have my back, which I know you do, so when the dishes go in the dishwasher this demonstrates that you do.
I’m not trying to nag at you, but I am asking for this thing because it is important to me.
Do you understand?
Can we find some sort of agreement about the dishes? ”
To which he responded, “Ok. I will totally try to put the dishes in the dishwasher. I don’t want you to feel that way. I did not know this was so important to you.”
I then asked him if there was anything I could do that I was not doing that was annoying the hell out of him.
We both shared our needs. We both felt heard. We both made change.
Here are the steps I took so you can do this with ease yourself:
- I took responsibility for my story – I saw that I was creating a story about dishes not being done and my trigger around overwhelm + took responsibility for it. I decided that he was not a huge jerk face who had the awareness of a flea, but someone who really did want to support me + that I could give up the old “poor me” story.
- I spoke up with clarity and love (no shaming + blaming) – Notice the words and structure I used. I take responsibility for my experience and share how I am feeling and why without saying he caused it. He didn’t. I also tell him I know he has my back and that this demonstrates it. This reassures him and let’s him know I DO see all he does for me. This style of communication gave him an opportunity to correct something that he did not even know was an issue without feeling like a failure (and helped me feel more powerful by learning the skill of speaking to my needs).
- I reciprocated – I demonstrated that I wanted to be there for him too. If you demonstrate that you are willing to hear your partner and respond to his needs, he is way more likely to do the same. Think about a time someone let you enter in a busy traffic line up, you were way more inspired to do it for someone else. Reciprocity is an overlooked superpower!
It can be uncomfortable as hell to speak our needs and share our desires, but in order to create a harmonious relationship we need to be willing to speak up, with love.
We also do have to decide to let some things go…the dirty underwear still lands BESIDE the laundry basket, but at least I have a clean kitchen and open communication. Wink. Wink.
I hope these words help you in any small way + am always grateful to share space with you.
Here’s to unleashing love + harmonious relationship!
Can I Take You For Coffee?
Want a loving hand to hold while you release your own stories, allow the flow of Love + rest back in your relationship knowing he will always be there for you?
I will be opening 3 VIP level mentoring spots with me very soon…if you want more details, please drop me a line and let’s have a virtual coffee date + chat to see if this is the right opportunity for you.
Email my team at email@example.com with the Subject: Coffee Date and we will get back to you to set that up asap.
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Best-selling author, award winning teacher and down-to-earth Canadian girl, Shasta Townsend is your “marriage mechanic” who helps you manifest your relationship dream by teaching you how to apply Universal Laws to create a rich and satisfying relationship, no matter what AND the practical day-to-day tools that can change everything! Shasta is one of the first teachers to combine the teachings of Quantum Physics, Law of Attraction, Spiritual Psychology and good old common sense in the area of marriage, love and intimacy. Her many student’s success speak to the power of her work, and her own story is one of amazing “miracles”. She is here as the helping hand you’ve been seeking. Learn more at www.shastatownsend.com
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