Navigating Relationship Stalemates
Are you stuck in a painful ‘stalemate’ with your partner? Going around and around the same subject like you’re both on some insane hamster wheel? This isn’t only miserable, it’s exhausting. It’s also a dead end, one way street called ‘Futility’. Argh.
Is there a way out of this kind of argument?
I’ve been here many times. I’ve experienced this kind of situation in all relationships throughout my life, as I’m sure you probably have too.
More recently, over our eight year relationship, Don and I have been through phases in which this kind of argument keeps happening over and over, and neither one of us is willing to budge.
Over the years, we’ve learned ways to dissolve the resistance that blocks either of us from moving forwards.
When it comes to relationships, most of us understand that communication is essential. But what about those conversations in which both people spoke, but neither person heard a thing? Oh, and what about those moments in which neither of you said anything at all, and yet you both understand what’s going on perfectly?
First things first, it’s important to remember that communication is a two way street. It’s not simply one person’s experience or viewpoint. Communication only occurs if one person speaks, and the other truly hears what’s being said.
Secondly; clear, genuine communication starts as soon as we are willing to take responsibility for where we are coming from before we even open our mouths to speak. The intention, the attitude behind our words (or silence), is the place from which we generate conversations that either build the bridges between us, or burn them.
In order to get clear about where we’re coming from, it’s helpful to recognise two basic places that drive our intention.
We can come from our head or we can come from our heart. Guess which one provides us with the most opportunity for transformation, resolution and happiness?
Your head will always justify resistance with a story, and with fear. Your heart carries the balm of love, which activates openness, right thinking (notice, that’s not thinking you are right!), and the space for resolution. Despite popular belief, hate is not the opposite of love, fear is.
When we come from our heart, we set forces in motion which are far greater than the sum of our relationship, and our relationship problems. Miracles like healing, empathy, forgiveness and reconciliation– these all activate when we choose to approach any situation from our hearts. The human heart is so powerful, that we can let someone know whether we are coming from love, or fear, without saying one word.
(This is good to remember the next time we’re busy thinking that our partner doesn’t know what we’re thinking , or how we feel!)
So, the next time you and your partner are busy arguing over who’s right, dig deep and recognise that you’re both coming from fear, from story, from unnecessary details.
If you can do that, you’re halfway there already. All you have to do next, is to make the choice to step into your heart. Release the story. Release the need to be right.
Sounding too difficult already? Use this magical question when you hit that moment of resistance;
‘Would I rather be right, or happy?’
Now, take a deep breath into your heart, and remember – this takes practice. It also only takes one of you, and it shifts EVERYTHING.