Imagine Sally comes home from work, her husband Jack is sitting on the coach reading a book.
Sally mentions to Jack, “My mom and dad wanted to know if they could come and stay with us for two weeks. I hope you don’t mind but I told them it would be fine.”
Jack puts down his book and glares at Sally.
“You told them it would be fine without talking to me first?”
“What does it matter, you would have said yes anyway.”
“That’s not the point. You never give me the courtesy of asking first and always assume that it’s ok. It’s BS and I don’t like it.”
Jack leaves the house and doesn’t come back for hours. When he does come home Sally smells alcohol on his breath.
They don’t speak for the next day and a half. And when Sally’s parents arrive Jack is cold, standoffish, and doesn’t want to have anything to do with any of them.
What’s going on in this situation? Why does Sally find that it’s ok to allow her parents to come over without first checking with Jack? Why does Jack get so upset when Sally invites her parents over?
There are several issues at work here. There are tons of things you can speculate on.
Maybe Sally just wants to spend time with her family. Maybe Jack feels like a 2nd class citizen and has no say in his own house. Maybe Sally doesn’t like it when Jack treats her and her family the way he does.
As you can see, there are many avenues that can be taken. The question becomes, if you’re in a similar situation how could you handle it? How would I coach these two people toward resolution.
The first thing I would do is help both Jack and Sally realize that they control their own emotions. Jack didn’t make Sally mad and Sally didn’t make Jack mad. They did it all on their own. They need to be RESPONSIBLE for their own actions, feelings and emotions.
You see, often times we blame others and say that they “made us feel that way”. It’s all BS and is our human mechanism for not being responsible. The why of it all I’ll discuss some other time. For now I’d like you to consider that we all do it as a learned survival mechanism.
How would YOU coach Jack and Sally in their relationship?
In this case I would suggest to Sally that she first ask Jack what is going on in his mind when she invites her parents over. I would suggest that Sally let Jack vent, talk, and get anything he needs to say out on the table until he feels understood by Sally. It’s critical that Sally understands where Jack is coming from and leaves him with the feeling of being understood.
I would recommend that Jack do the same for Sally. Ask her why she doesn’t feel like it’s necessary to check with him first. What gets her upset when he goes out and has a few drinks after an argument. He should allow her to talk, vent, and say anything she needs to. Jack should leave Sally feeling as if he understand her completely.
They both should listen openly and without judgment. They should listen with out agenda except to fully understand the other person. When they do that and they are honest about their feelings and thoughts, more than likely the will have new openings for action to take toward their relationship specifically in this area of life. They will gain a new found connectedness and relatedness toward each other and handle the situation different next time.
Everything that I mentioned here is totally hypothetical yet probably fits your life in some way. I’m sure in some area you can apply what I’ve talked about here. When you can see that, be honest about seeing that and then talk to your partner about those things, that’s when your relationship will grow exponentially.
And that reminds me about Bobby’s new book that is out on Amazon Kindle. He covers many aspects of dealing with and choosing a man. One of the principles I’ve talked about here, specifically taking responsibility for yourself, is covered extensively and I think you would get a lot from it. I’d like to you to get a copy for yourself and read it and tell me what you think either as an Amazon review or here on the blog. The book is called @$$holes to Zipperheads – A to Z Guide For Choosing A Man and you can pick up on Amazon today.
Love… to infinity and beyond.