How to Talk to Your Partner About
Coming to An Event or Participating in One of Our Programs
Please watch this video we made for you about How to Talk to Your Partner!
“Our partner’s response to us is directly related to HOW we ASK!” – Stacey Martino
Very often, our students will ask us, “How can I talk to my partner about coming to an event or participating in a program?” Sometimes, they ask us before they approach their partner (that’s awesome) and other times they ask us after an “ASK GONE BAD”…where they asked their partner and it didn’t go well!
Very often, the way we would organically approach our partner results in a “less than successful” result!
So please watch the video above that Paul and I made for you about HOW to have this conversation with your partner!
Frameworks and Conversation Help
How should you structure your conversation with your partner? Paul and I have developed a great tool, to help you format it, called the ‘Brick Conversation™’!
Please use the following framework to map out an authentic Brick Conversation™. The goal of this conversation is to create a dialogue that strengthens your relationship, instead of tearing it down.
Brick Conversation Framework:
Timing: choose a time when you’re both in a good place emotionally. This means above the ‘50%’ line in your emotions, and not tired or distracted.
Energy: In order to have a successful Brick Conversation, you must be coming from a place of compassion and vulnerability. Check your energy here. You cannot be coming from a tight energy of “I want you to see this my way; come over to my side or agree with me!” NO. You must be able to have heartfelt compassion and understanding for your partner before beginning this conversation.
GOAL: The goal is to say what you need to say, with an open heart, in a way that honors BOTH you and your partner. You cannot have the goal of convincing your partner. You can’t be attached to how they feel about what you share. Your goal cannot be “I want you to either change your mind, agree with me, or give me whatever I want”.
Example: If your brick conversation is to let them know that YOU are coming to our Relationship Breakthrough Retreat® (“RBR”), then you cannot be attached to how they feel about that. They may be ok with it, and they may not immediately be ok with that. And that’s ok. You need to honor where they are with it – not making them wrong for the way they feel and not needing them to see it your way, while still honoring yourself and your choice. It’s not easy, but doing the “right thing” is not always easy!
Example: If your brick conversation is about inviting YOUR PARTNER to attend RBR with you, then you cannot be attached to a “yes” or a “no”. You must honor them for where they are, and come from a mindset of abundance. There is no fear about them missing out, because this is not the ‘last chance’ for anything, and all is well.
Structure of the conversation:
The following is an EXAMPLE conversation based on coaching many students through this. Please modify the content of the statements to reflect your authentic truth. These words are only used as an example!
1. Take personal responsibility.
Explain that you have come to a new awareness about the part you have played in creating the relationship dynamics.
Apologize for all of the things you’ve unknowingly or knowingly done that have contributed to the state of the relationship.
Come from the heart here. It’s your time to own your piece.
2. Tell them your commitment
You are willing to do the work, because they are important to you, your relationship is important to you, and so is your family.
Tell them what you commit to, on behalf of yourself and your relationship. What you are “on the spectrum” with to create? Let them know you’re doing it so that you can be a better version of yourself…for you, for them and for your kids!
Explain to them that the thought of not having a great relationship is unacceptable to you, so YOU’RE stepping up and taking responsibility to do this for you and your relationship. (Use words are that are authentic for you.)
3. Explain the opportunity
Explain a little bit about the Relationship Development® work that you have been doing already, and give examples of the big results and key benefits you’ve been able to create! This is a time to celebrate your progress – while still reminding them that you are a “work in progress” and still have farther to go!
Tell them of your intention to sign up for a program or attend an event.
Speak from the heart about why this matters to you so much.
Make it clear we don’t do couples work in our programs or live events. You are participating in order to create the shift in YOURSELF that you need to be a better partner, parent and person!
They do NOT need to participate at all.
If they have any desire to participate, they are welcome to, but it’s not couples work and they won’t be doing any of the work directly WITH you (it’s personal development).
Make sure you convey that there are no requirements or expectations of anything from THEM.
4. Present your solutions to potential objections.
You must come to the conversation with a solid PLAN to address any objections or challenges that you anticipate they’ll have.
Tell them the potential arrangements that you’ve already made for coming up with the money for the thing you want to do. If it involves attending a live event, let them know about the arrangements that you are making for getting childcare or finding pet sitters, and handling business or work.
Tell them you’re open to exploring other possible options for financial or childcare arrangements that you might not be seeing, in case your partner wants to help strategize with you.
5. End with GRATITUDE.
Thank them for who they are, for everything they’ve done, for listening, and for anything else you’re authentically grateful for.
Video of Stacey Doing a Brick Conversation of How to Talk to Your Partner:
Scripted Example of Partner Brick Conversation:
This is a sample Brick Conversation for learning purposes.
“I’m starting to see my responsibility in some of the shit that’s been going on in our relationship. I’m seeing things with new eyes – things that I’ve unknowingly or intentionally done that have created the mess we’re in, and I’m so sorry!
I know things are really hard right now, but I also know there’s something I can do about it. I finally see the solution for me.
I can see how to transform MYSELF to make you happier and to make our relationship easier, in a way that honors you for who you are, and where you are.
This is important to me because you’re important to me. The thought of us not having a great relationship, or losing you, is unacceptable to me.
I’m not blaming you anymore, because I see my part now. I’m finally taking 100% personal responsibility for myself, and everything I’ve created in my life.
I see that I can shift all of it. I’m on a spectrum with it – not there yet! But, I’m committed to putting MY time, MY energy, and MY attention on you as my first priority.
I’m working on personal development for my relationships, and there is a Retreat/Program I’d like to go to/invest in.
This is not couples work and you don’t have to participate in this. If you want to come with me/If you want to do it with me, that’s great; but this is not a couple’s event/program, and they don’t do couple’s work.
YOU don’t need to do anything – I’m HAPPY to do this for us!!
This (_____________________) is my plan to generate the money to invest in myself for this live event or online program.
I’m also open to exploring other possible arrangements, or solutions, which I might not be seeing, so I’d love your input on it…
But, I’ve figured out that if I can go these days, make these arrangements, and do these things, then, I can create this for myself.
Thank you so much for listening; thank you for being you; thank you for all you are to me, and all you’ve done for us – I love and appreciate you!!”
To register for a Relationship Development program visit: http://RelationshipDevelopment.org/programs
To register for an upcoming LIVE event, visit: http://RelationshipDevelopment.org/events
Special Conversation Help for Stay-at-Home Moms/Dads:
Many stay-at-home-moms and dads DREAD talking to their partner about investing in them selves – whether it’s for an online program or live event.
It’s a symptom of a Brick Conversation™ that never happened, about how money would be allocated in the budget in order to provide for the things that the stay at home parent would want or need to do financially, once they were a single income family.
Because they haven’t had the conversation, the unspoken agreement often defaults to: the one making the money makes ALL of the decisions, and the other spouse must get permission.
When partners do not have a Brick Conversation™ BEFORE making the choice to have one parent stay at home, it typically slips into one of two most common scenarios:
Scenario One: your partner provides financially, makes all the financial decisions and you have to ASK for permission. As a stay-at-home parent, you don’t have any financial say of your own.
You’re dependent on your partner like a child, or you feel like a household staff person, because you have no authority to make financial decisions for yourself.
When you ASK your spouse to buy something or spend on something, sometimes they say YES and sometimes they say NO, because their decision is based on what they think is best, and that’s it.
You accept the financial decisions of your partner and feel helpless to change it, without the ability to get paid work of your own. (This leads to negative dynamics in many other aspects of life, not just around money!)
Scenario Two: you secretly scrounge and hide budget money, so you can reallocate it for something that you want or need, because you fear that you won’t get ‘approval’ from your spouse for it. You might have a secret stash of cash hidden in a coffee can, or even multiple credit cards your spouse doesn’t know about. This sets up a dynamic where you are keeping secrets and/or telling lies to your partner – both of which are destructive to a relationship!
Who am I to speak to this? I am a woman. I am a mother. I am a business owner. At one time I was a full-time, stay-at-home mom, and at another time I was the bread winner for my family. At one time I was completely dependent on Paul’s income for both myself, and our family. I’ve been completely broke in in the past, and today I am financially free. I feel that I’ve had MANY experiences that prepare me to serve you here. That said…. I’m just here to serve, and only you know what’s right for you.
After you’ve make a joint decision about WHO will stay at home, and who will work outside the home for the family money, you must also agree about how the money will be spent or allocated TOGETHER!
The invisible assumptions that the partner bringing in the income has ALL of the say in how it’s spent, because after all – they’re the one that ‘earned’ it – and that what they do for the family has more ‘value’ because it brings in direct financial compensation – erodes the foundation of trust and love between partners over time.
Many partners will make the financial decisions for the family with the BEST of intentions! In most cases, it’s NOT that your partner is trying to keep you “under foot”. It’s very often the case that the partner in “control” of the money is doing so to serve his/her family!
They are trying to make decisions that take your family to the financial goals that he/she has for the family. But, despite having the best of intentions, Kerfuffle happens!
The challenge with this is that if the Brick Conversation™ was never had, then he/she is not necessarily acting for the stay-at-home-parent’s best interest, because your financial goals are not a part of the vision he/she is heading towards.
This is extremely common!
If any of those dynamics apply to you, then you MUST have a Brick Conversation™.
Scripted Example of Financial Brick Conversation:
This is a sample brick conversation for learning purposes. Please use it as a framework or sample to script your authentic brick conversation.
“You know what? I really need to apologize. I did not think this through.
When we made the decision that I would stop working and stay home to be a Mom/Dad, I did it because I was thinking about our children and what’s best for them and our family.
Unfortunately, I had no skill set to be able to see that I wouldn’t know how I’d be able to have my own money, or how I’m going to buy a pair of pants, or a book, or a program, or go to an event without checking with you.
I’m so sorry I did that! I didn’t know any better.
But I’m now discovering that this is creating a dynamic between us, where I’m not your partner – I’m like your child.
No one intended for this to happen. It just happens after years of doing it this way, and it’s causing too many fights and upsets.
I don’t want that for us. I don’t want you to feel like you’re my parent either, so I’m really sorry that I participated in this and let it go on for this long.
I want to be a grown-up in this relationship. I want to be your partner, so I’d like to talk about how we’re going to do this.
I can’t be your kid, and not have any cash in my wallet. I can’t get an “allowance” from you based on what you decide is cool, and I can’t have to ask your permission if I want to buy a pair of pants.
We have to create something that works for both of us, because I cannot be made to feel this insignificant in my own home.
I’ve created this home, just as much as you did.
I’ve created our bank accounts, just as much as you did.
I’ve created these kids, just as much as you did.
So I have to be able to live, just as much as you live.
So, please tell me: how can we make this work?”
(…and start the conversation, from the heart)
From our Heart to Yours!
We honor you for wanting MORE for your family. We honor you for what you are doing to step into a more authentic version of yourself, with the tools and training to create a better relationship and experience for you, your partner and your family!
We look forward to seeing you in one of our upcoming programs or live events! Please let us know how we can best serve you!
Reach out to us…[email protected]
Paul and Stacey