Before I met my husband, I’d had other relationships.
Guys I lived with.
I studied all the books on relationships. I knew that we often relate to others the way we connected with our parents. I knew that we often picked partners that filled a void of love we didn’t get from our caregivers.
Those relationships were good. I’m still friends with them today. But something was still missing.
I still felt there was an invisible wall between us.
The first few months were magical as is often the case in relationships.
Then we moved in together and regular life started happening.
And the distance ensued. Our talks became less intriguing. We just talked about superficial, everyday things, the intimacy waned. And I found myself trying to change myself, do small little tweaks trying to bridge the gap.
But it didn’t help. It just made me feel bad about myself because I was changing to fit someone else’s idea of me and it created more distance between us.
I just couldn’t figure out what was happening.
Then I heard a great talk by Gay and Katie Hendricks. They told of how they’d been married for several years, when they noticed they weren’t sure they wanted to stay married. But being they were both curious and open to new things, they really broke down what was happening, where the disconnect came in.
And after a few months they found it. It turned out to be such a simple change they needed to make, and yet once they made it, their connection deepened exponentially (and they’re still happily married 40 years later).
What was the magic switch?
They were blaming each other for how they felt. If one wanted a clean counter and the other left crumbs, the clean one would blame the other for ‘making them’ have to clean up the crumbs and the anxiety it caused for them to have crumbs on the counter.
If one was late getting home, the other would blame them for their anger, fear, and feelings of abandonment.
So they decided to keep a jar and whenever one person blamed the other for how they felt they had to put a dollar in the jar.
After they had about $35 in the jar, the blaming stopped.
If Katie was mad about Gay being late, instead of yelling or getting upset with Gay she would stop and feel her anger, and either ask what it was about, or just sit with the feelings.
If Katie came home with a bunch of expensive supplements, instead of telling her she was spending too much money, Gay would ask her why she bought the expensive supplements instead of the cheaper ones.
This led to them understanding themselves and each other more. It led them to realizing how much they wanted the same things but went about getting them differently. It led to them having deep conversations because they never felt the other was blaming them for how they felt.
My husband and I integrated this into our relationship at the beginning. And one of the thing I’ve always loved about our relationship is our ability to talk through things. We get into fights but they are short lived, because we remember quickly that we’ve chosen not to blame each other for how we feel.
So we either talk through it there, or we may just need to walk away for a bit until we can talk to the other without blame.
It truly makes for magical relationships with your partners and friends.
If this feels impossible to implement in your life, message me, there are a few tweaks we can do to get you on the right path.
Or if you want to know more about how to integrate not blaming into your relationships, email or message me.
This is a game changer in all your connections. Including the connection to yourself.