“If I’m being really brutally honest, yes,” our student admitted, after I asked her if she was white-knuckle-gripping the idea of staying home and homeschooling her son.
Earlier in their relationship, they’d reached an agreement: Her husband would be responsible for their livelihood, and she would stay home with their son, and homeschool him.
But it wasn’t working out, their income was intermittent, and they’d become locked in a grueling death match, where neither of them felt their needs were being met.
That’s when I asked her if she was white-knuckle-gripping being able to homeschool their son.
So often we enter conversations with our spouses white-knuckle-gripping our viewpoint.
In this case, our student had that grip on her vision for her son’s future – that homeschooling him was the best way to ensure it – as well as the vehicle she wanted to use to get her own needs met.
There are zillions of ways to get your needs met! Yet, we get one certain way in our mind, refuse to see or even consider alternatives, and end up butting heads with our partner.
It’s like a vicious game of tug-of-war. The harder you pull, the harder your partner pulls back.
Your partner has dreams of their own and dreams for the kids, just like you do.
They also have fears, same as you.
Yes, their “hows” and “whens” may directly clash with yours.
But when you’re able to release your need for control of the how something gets done, and have faith and confidence in yourself to find another way to achieve the best outcome, it creates an opening for a new approach
I’m not talking about “caving in” and settling, and doing it “their” way. That’s the non-power player role of demand relationship, and it’s as destructive as the power player role.
No, I’m talking about true collaboration – where you and your partner co-create.
It means putting the rope down, getting curious and being open, and asking your partner what their ideal scenario is. What are their dreams? What are their fears?
Really listen, tell them you’re ready to listen, and mean it.
It may need to be a series of conversations that happen over time, but the point is to put the rope down.
Only then can you be open to a solution that’s co-created by both of you, meets both your needs, puts your marriage first and is best for your kids.
P.S. Obstacles… sometimes you are not ready to put the rope down, yet. You have triggers, hurts, fears and blocks from being willing. I totally get that. If you want our support in solving this, join one of our programs!
Other times, you are ready to drop the rope, but your partner is not, and you don’t yet have the skill set to navigate that and create collaboration. That’s exactly the skill set we teach in our programs! Which is why we say “it only takes one partner”. We can empower you with the skills and training you need to navigate these moments to success if you want….