ARE YOU GETTING THE LOVE YOU WANT?
I listened to Peter tell me about his day
and as I did I felt increasingly annoyed. He had read the paper,
gone to work, stopped at the gym...a typical day for my partner. So
why was I annoyed? I had been tense that day because of some
difficult decisions I had to make at work. In that moment as I
listened to Peter, his very calmness stirred up resentment in me. My
resentment was irrational, but reptilian responses usually are...they are
also a regular part of all intimate relationships. How we cope with
these responses determines the quality and tone of our relationship.
We are reactive beings, this is our
nature. Human beings experience a "fight or flight"
response just as alligators do when they feel in danger. Unlike
alligators, we also have the capacity to reflect on and modify our more
Keep in mind feelings aren't facts.
Many of us behave as if our feelings hold some sacred and universal
truth...of course, our partner feels the same way about his/her
You always have a choice as to how to
react to your partner. Think of someone you admire...imagine
that person is observing your interaction with your spouse.
Challenge yourself to behave in a way that would allow you to feel
good about yourself no matter who was observing.
Become curious about your own
reactivity. If you are having a negative reaction to something your
partner is doing or saying turn it into an opportunity to learn something