image by Luka Vovk

Today we’re going to attempt something a little ambitious.

We’re going to take you on a journey into….and out of…an argument. Yes, yes I hear you say…why would I need that? I know damn well what an argument looks like! Of course you do. Who doesn’t?

BUT; do you get to go deeper into it? Do you ever get beyond the misery of confrontation and butting heads, to the point where the deep layers of ‘why’ and ‘what’ get revealed? Do you ever get to the place where the heat and annoyance is replaced with a feeling of calm, love and forgiveness??

Well, we want that for you too. We want you to get to the place, at the end of it all, where you utter the words, as we both did earlier today;

“Oh wow. I had no idea you felt that way. I’m seeing this very differently right now. This makes so much sense, and I’m so sorry. Please forgive me. I love you so much.”

So, I’ll begin by giving you the details. Here’s what the argument was about.

We’re in bed early morning. This is a place where we normally wake up, cuddle, Don will get up and bring a shot of espresso back to bed, and we’ll sip and share that whilst we talk, before getting up and getting moving for the day. This particular day I got up and brought my phone into the bedroom – a rule breaking situation for us. I did this deliberately because I needed to check an email from someone in a time zone twelve hours ahead of us. I needed to catch them before they left the office. Don didn’t know what I was doing, and so got upset when he saw me checking emails in bed.

The conversation escalated into an ‘argument’ about something that actually had happened the night before; me tuning him out (his words) whilst I’m watching a TV show.

The situation with the phone in bed, was made worse by the ‘tuning out’ during the TV show. Don connected those two incidents in his head, and made them about me not having time for him and allowing devices to invade our ‘we space’.

Now that’s the physical details, some background, and general minutiae of the situation.

The truth is that most of us, in these kinds of situations with our partner, can spend literally hours going around and around the particulars of I said, you said, this happened, that happened.

Blah, blah, blah, quite frankly. Does that ever get us anywhere? Well, judging from my previous posts and our videos, you know my answer to that question.

There are always, always two sides, and two layers to an argument. The real gold lies beneath the surface, in the emotional layer. Here are ours.

Julia: I began to feel angry. I was doing something (bringing my phone into the bedroom)  that was actually for our business together, that needed to be done in that moment. I felt like I wasn’t really being understood, and that my true intentions were not really appreciated.

When we began arguing, the subject of me ‘tuning’ Don out the night before also came up….because this, like all arguments, was not just a one time incident….the resentments that led to Don being upset about the phone, were coming from a build-up of other examples. For me, it honestly gets annoying when he comes into the room when I’m watching a show and asks me what’s going on. I can’t listen to dialogue and answer questions at the same time. So, I get irritated. I’ll either hear the show, or I’ll hear Don, not both.

So I was irritated, and also felt misunderstood about the phone.

So; what’s underneath these feelings of IRRITATION for me?? This is where the gold lies! What’s underneath? Let’s peal off that layer for me, and feel into what’s emotionally resonating down there.

I’m feeling misunderstood. Feeling wronged. Feeling unheard. Feeling something indefinable….fear of punishment perhaps, fear of not doing the right thing….mainly fear, and ultimately denying myself. As for the tuning out, that’s me just wanting to be in my zone. No one can be there but me – years ago my parent’s nicknamed this place, ‘Polly World’, because that’s my nickname, Polly. I like to get lost there, and sometimes that involves zoning out with a TV show. It’s an escape place for me, and Don knows that. So I feel ‘caught out’ for going there when he wants to engage in conversation. I feel guilty and shamed. I also feel angry at that point, because these days, little Polly knows she has a right to go there, and she resents feeling bad about it.


As Julia mentioned, a phone being brought into the bedroom was the beginning of our discussion / argument.

…But it really wasn’t the beginning at all. It was the red flag – that, uh oh, we need to talk, I mean really talk moment. These moments usually come into focus after a day or so of not totally aware behaviour, out of one, or in most cases, both of us.

And so we found ourselves today, sitting up in bed bright and early working things through.

For me, it had begun over the prior days; a feeling of being not heard, and somewhat tuned out by Julia. Not all the time mind you, just the odd moment. A glance at an email mid conversation, moments of distraction being tended to while I was talking to her, not being listened to or really heard. All red flags because this is not how we really communicate when we are at our best.

Now, we find ourselves in bed, early morning, digging into the ‘what is this really all about?’.

We’re good at this – we have had training for this, and yet it is never all that easy. Slowly we uncover all the pieces, unpack the hard parts.

The tuning out, the feelings of disconnection, the poor lazy communicating. The not really listening to our partner. Then the miracle happens – the one we know awaits us at the end of this difficult, ‘hard work’ rainbow. We start to see our own parts. Our stories that we have brought into this moment to be healed.

Once again, as you’ve heard from Julia, ‘Polly World’ fits very nicely with my feelings of not being seen, heard, or really just listened to when I was a child. This played out all through my prior relationships. It is easily one of the largest pieces in my entire life story.

So, to put it simply, when ‘Polly World’ meets ‘Donny World’, true understanding and healing has the opportunity to take place.

And this happens by truly listening, seeing and hearing each other.

Let’s wrap it all up by saying that, in order to reach resolution in our most intimate relationships, we don’t need to know that it’s a perfect world and that it’ll never happen again. What we both need is to feel heard, seen, and understood. That’s how we get to the magical moment of being able to utter those powerful words that shift everything; ” I had no idea you felt that way. I’m seeing this very differently right now. This makes so much sense, and I’m so sorry. Please forgive me. I love you so much.”

FILED UNDER: Conflict resolution