Can I share some girl talk I had with a friend?
I was talking with a friend this morning about her marriage and she started to tell me the familiar story of her husband’s anger. It was territory we covered frequently and while his anger was never really directed AT her, the general discomfort of sharing life with someone who could get SOOO mad burdened her. “How can he waste so much energy on such trivial things?” she often mused. Our conversations about this normally involved a healthy degree of strategy about how she could manage his upset. Or avoid it. Or calm it. Or change it.
But this morning when the topic came up, something was different. There wasn’t an lump in her throat. There was an…an amusement?
I listened as she set the context of why her husband was so upset this time (family dysfunction) and as she got more involved in setting the stage, she started to giggle. “…and then he went on this whole colorful rage about how dumb so-and-so was and all the ways this family member was just such an absolute disaster…” She described the combination of explicit words he concocted in his tirade and she was suddenly belly laughing through tears about the rant.
And in one clear statement she said the magic words to him:
“Honey, I don’t know anyone who does rage as well as you do. You are so skilled at that expression!”
As quickly as she said it, he relaxed- as if her recognition popped his rage balloon.
I asked her what changed in her that she was able to arrive at that place and she said, “I just realized I had an obstructed view of my marriage. I looked at him through how I thought he should be, instead of how he IS. It was just like having an obstructed view of the stage! And I realized if I just scooched over two seats to the left, instead of staring at my own judgements of him, I could actually see the full show- and it was so much better!”
Of course it was! Giving witness to your partner- in all of their strengths and weaknesses- is such a great way to experience intimacy. Into me you see. All of it. Without an agenda or a need to change it. Without conditions. Without judgement. Without foregone conclusions of how things will play out.
How would your relationship change if you both just scooched over two seats toward center? And saw each other for the full show without the obstruction of your own judgements?
What part of your partner has been obstructed? Are you willing to scooch to the left?
P.S. Next week, I think I’ll share my open letter to Alpha Females. Is there anything else you’re experiencing right now you’d like support on? Let me know and I’ll add it to the mix!