Recently my wife, Kerry, shared a post about me “flower-bombing” her.
I had a cancellation the other morning and went to my local flower spot. I bought 21 bouquets and arranged them in 6 vases strategically placed so that she would see them throughout the house. Many people responded with comments stating how lucky Kerry is to have me as a husband and things of the like. It looked perfect…from the outside. The reality is that things were far from perfect.
Most people will immediately assume I made a mistake and was playing the classic role of guilty husband trying to get out of the doghouse. This would be far from the truth. Actually, Kerry had been quite upset because she was struggling with her own issues at that time. Despite being life coaches and a psychotherapist, we still struggle with emotions just like everyone else. We have conflict. We make mistakes in our marriage. We have stress. Sometimes we negatively influence each other.
Other times it has nothing to do with our relationship but we transfer our bad energy onto one another. It feels safe to do this. We take each other for granted. We perceive the other as a constant, that he or she will be there no matter how much we fight. And this makes us NORMAL. Is it healthy? No, but it happens in so many relationships. Basically, the only differences tend to be in intensity, frequency, and duration – translation: how wild and crazy we get toward our partner, how often that happens, how long the reaction and separation last.
Back to the flower caper.
Kerry was struggling and was transferring it onto me. It really had little to do with me at all, which we figured out after the end of this story. She was reactive towards me. I was upset initially, but we have learned to be mindful in our relationship to try to avoid explosion and quick reactions that are solely fueled by emotion and brain defense. This does not always happen, but it happens at least 75% of the time more than it did in the past. Instead of yelling or isolating and drawing out a fight for days, I chose to try to show love and support. I recognized that my partner and friend was struggling.
You have to ask yourself:
“What would I do if a friend of mine was struggling? Would I hang up if they called on me for help? Would I yell at them and focus on voicing my problems or my needs? Would I ignore them and isolate?”
I would hope the answer is, “No,” to all of these questions and assume I am right otherwise I doubt you have many friends…cause that behaviour sucks and most people would tell you so. Yet, we do this regularly with our partners.
I chose to support Kerry and extend love to her. I was there to reassure her that I was there when she was ready to turn towards me. I communicated that I was not in conflict, which was true because I took the time to THINK through the situation and take ACTION that ultimately changed my FEELINGS (notice the capital letters – we have to focus on thoughts and action, not on emotions because they cloud our judgement). In doing this, we were able to overcome the problem TOGETHER. By the way, she does this for me as well from time to time.
Slow down! Before you fly off the handle when your partner is in conflict, remember this is your best friend…or was at one point. We have to take time to connect with one another and be mindful not to transfer our struggles onto the ones we love. We have to be mindful of tending to our partners and ourselves. We focus on fixing the relationship.
My wife and I had to learn how to do this more effectively because we were on the brink of divorce…multiple times. If you ask people who knew us in the past, we were not in the best way. But we made a decision to fight for our relationship and work on connection.
My wife had the brilliant idea to share some of the wealth we have enjoyed. We have put together the Date-Your-Mate Challenge to help you find the way back to the loving connection with best friend that both of you deserve. Just follow this link to sign up for the FREE content and support.
This is so true of all of us… Feeling safe in transferring our fears,anxiety, insecurities on to those we love … Thinking that love is a constant. The thing I took from this is rather than react to that transfer ….choose love. I love this blog Brad it is spot on! J