Earlier this week, one of our students posted this question to me and our support team …. I asked if I could share her question (and my response) with you so we can all learn from this and she HAPPILY agreed!!! (thank you Lovie!)
(maybe you can relate to a situation like this?)
“I’m looking for some feedback on how to navigate a situation where my husband does something that I don’t agree with in front of the kids.
This morning we all came upstairs to change diapers, then I was going to shower and take the kids grocery shopping to give my husband some time to himself.
We had just talked about this downstairs and I said I wanted to hit the store before it got too crowded.
I’m changing my 2.5yo son and my husband asks him if he wants to convert his crib to a bed, and my son says ‘yes’.
I was a bit dumbfounded. We’d talked about it but had put it off, and he mentioned it earlier in the weekend with a few other things. I guess that was my big clue that I missed and that would have been my chance to speak up but I didn’t think he was going to actually do it so quick!
So my husband just gets going pulling the crib apart. I’m frustrated but I didn’t want to undermine him in front of the kids. [notice what great progress Melissa has already made in intentionally creating a rock solid relationship with her husband]
I just thought it would be a good idea to make sure our son was ready and prepared for such a big change.
I hung around while he was working instead of showering, to keep my toddler out of the way and the baby from eating anything. The whole time I was annoyed but i think i managed to keep it under wraps and I was trying to honestly understand my husband’s actions.
At the end my husband was happy for the progress (which I get), but I don’t think he always thinks about the impact his actions have on the kids or has unrealistic expectations of them.
After the project got started I tried to be supportive and get my son excited about it. When I put him to bed he asked me to close the bed back up ???? but didn’t cry when I said I couldn’t tonight.
Shortly after the project was done I asked my husband what his plans were for the day because what I thought was going to happen didn’t happen the way I thought and I was trying to get on the same page. I believe I said this from a place of heartfelt understanding. He indicated he hadn’t come upstairs with the intent to lower the crib but that it was overdue and something else about progress. [very key info conveyed there, I’ll come back to that in a minute]
So # 1. How did I do? Should I have taken a stronger stance in front of the kids? Did I just lay down broken glass? I wasn’t trying to avoid the topic so much as not have an argument in front of the kids (I give myself points for keeping calm despite being frustrated and annoyed and not feeling well)
And # 2. How can I do better next time? What should I do in a moment like this when I disagree but the train has left the station and the kids are involved?”
My Response to Melissa….
I wrote this response directly to Melissa… I can’t wait to see what you GET from this!
I inserted a few notes to YOU, the reader, in pink, to explain a few of the tools and strategies that I mention to Melissa – who, as a student in our program, already knows some of these tools.
“Hey Melissa! this is a great opportunity to put your tools into practice!
I’m really celebrating your progress already! You did NOT do what most people do – which is just “huffing” and using indirect negativity to “let your man know you are unhappy”
Here are some next level tools for you.
There is a LOT of expectation you carry for how to navigate your days with 2 kids, your responsibilities and your husband.
There is Accidental Alignment Predicament happening here. [Accidental Alignment Predicament is when you fall in love and start living your life with your partner, and you assume that you are going to align on the big things because you are married… but you don’t. You will NOT accidentally align with your spouse just because you fell in love. They won’t parent the way you would just because you got married. And when you have those moments where you EXPERIENCE that lack of alignment, it’s usually because there was an “assumed” alignment, but it was never actually created.
It’s time for more conversations OUTSIDE the moment about how you can DESIGN your days to be more transparent about your schedule, plans, etc.
While YOU as a woman, understand that when you express “let’s go change diapers so I can get the kids to the store before the rush” means – My plan is to go change diapers, and then I’m leaving for the store – and there’s NOTHING ELSE Happening but that.
That’s not what you said…
Women speak in implied communication – and men only understand DIRECT communication (without training). [write that down!]
Also, men have single focus.
I’m betting that while you were SAYING your plan, there were 5 other things going on in that moment – and he was focused on something else.
If your husband, as a man, KNEW clearly that you need to leave for the store in NO MORE THAN 11 minutes from now – you would have been out that door in less than 11 minutes.
So, it can be tough for women to learn how to do this… but as shocking as this sounds… it goes like this….
In a VERY playful energy….. you say something like…..
“Babe, I would really love your help in getting me out this door, with both kids, in no more than 11 minutes. Would you come upstairs with me, do diapers with me, get shoes on and help me get out this door in less than 11 minutes?”
Now my husband would respond with ….
“Challenge Accepted… and do I get an extra cookie if I do it in 9?”
To which of course, the answer is YES!
Next, let’s address what goes on for your husband when he goes upstairs and he sees the BED – which is on his TO DO LIST.
UNDERSTAND THIS PLEASE – men have ONE operating system – get shit done. And if he feels like HE can knock this one off his list right now – then he’s going to do it.
stay with me….
This is where MOST women start judging about how INSENSITIVE and SELFISH it is when men do this.
Which is SUCH an IGNORANT statement to make!
MEN DO NOT NEED ANYONE ELSE’S PERMISSION IN LIFE!
read that again……
until you get this – you will keep suffering.
So, read that again….
Men do not need anyone else’s permission in life.
Their brains are actually wired this way – they take action. They don’t need permission.
Women are the opposite.
We need other people’s permission – or we need to get their opinion – or we need to make sure that we are being considerate of what they want first – etc.
Here’s the KERFUFFLE – are you ready!?
Men THINK that women also don’t need anyone else’s permission – and they treat you that way. [this is really huge, so stay with me]
Follow me now……
So when he starts working on the bed….. he ASSUMES that you are going to continue to do whatever YOU NEED TO DO – without needing his permission or for him to agree.
It’s TOTALLY OFF HIS RADAR that you are standing around because of HIM.
Men just don’t DO THAT – so they have NO IDEA you are doing that.
Men do what they want.
You can call that selfish – and judge them….
You can be JEALOUS of them and judge them….
Or you can accept that they do this magnificently and when they are in the mature masculine, this fantastic trait serves us women well.
Most mature women see it as “CONFIDENCE” and really appreciate it.
So, instead of continuing to operate by seeing this whole situation through the lens of what he did/said/didn’t do as if he were another woman, behaving badly. See him as the man that he is.
After that, I went on to teach Melissa the difference between “Inside the Moment” strategies and “Outside the moment” strategies for creating alignment with her husband.
And also taught her 3 quick tools to use to create alignment right in the heat of the moment, when you disagree with your partner but still want to create a united front and rock solid relationship!
I loved this question so much because it gave us, yet another, opportunity to show how you CAN navigate a moment DIFFERENTLY to create alignment and build your relationship up….. even when you disagree with your partner!
This is real life!
If you want more tools & strategies like this so you can be empowered to create the love and passion that you want…
Join me for our upcoming 2-hour, content-packed LIVE web class next Wednesday at 1:00 pm!
This class is FREE! But you MUST register in advance and we will fill up!
Register Here: RelationshipBreakthroughSecrets.com
I’ll see you on the live class!
p.s. Post your take away from this article in the comments below!