How can you hear what your spouse needs and wants in your relationship?
When your relationship is full of deep listening and you and your spouse both feel heard, you have a true companion. You rest easily because your secrets are known and treasured.
Listening–to yourself and to your spouse–contributes greatly to your happily ever after. This skill is where the Friend in your relationship shines.
In this episode we’ll examine the secret power of listening. When you listen to yourself first, you hear your spouse completely differently.
- You’ll hear a story about how a sweaty stranger ended years of conflict in my marriage
- Why it’s the Friend in your relationship that has magical powers to negotiate between the Lover and the Partner
- And I’ll give you a habit that turns fear and embarrassment into a magic wand that brings you and your sweetheart greater connection and intimacy.
How can you truly hear what your sweetheart needs and wants?
Short answer: truly listen to yourself first.
Do you know how to listen to what you want and need?
Decades ago, I didn’t know how to listen deep inside for what I needed and what I wanted. Everything was in conflict. I was confused.
Guess what I did? I blamed all my confusion on my husband:
- “You’re always leaving me to go kayaking.”
- “When I come kayaking with you, you ignore me as if I don’t exist.”
We were young. We were newly married. We had a lot to learn.
Quick review for your relationship
You and I have been talking about the Partner—who knows how to get stuff done—and the Lover—who craves everything new and takes adventures.
These two rarely agree.
When they disagree, it feels like a tug-of-war inside you: The Partner keeping you safe. The Lover constantly adventuring.
This tug-of-war inside you can cause confusion about what you really want.
That confusion REALLY causes trouble in your relationship because you send mixed messages.
Repair Your Relationship History
Yes. I blamed my husband for kayaking with and without me UNTIL I made peace with that inner tug-of-war.
Once I was able to see that my inner struggle was about the balance between staying safe and gaining excitement, I actually saw the kayak moment in my history completely differently!
Not only was my husband not leaving me, I could see how his choices to go kayaking—with and without me—were his way of investing in the longevity and health of our relationship.
Relationship Date Night Discussion
For this week’s date night discussion invite your Inner Friend to help you understand the tug-of-war differently.
“Sweetheart, I want to have a discussion because I don’t think I understand you. When I don’t understand you, I become fearful—afraid you’ll leave me or make fun of me.
“When I don’t understand you, I become resentful—I think you’re getting more than your fair share and I feel left out.
“But I am hopeful that understanding will ease those fears and resentments. I want to ask you about ___.
It can be hard to untangle the inner tug-of-war you feel.
Habit for Your Happily Ever After
This week’s habit for your happily ever after is to go on a hunt for your hidden dreams.
Could you tell in my story about kayaking that I have deep compassion for the part of me that’s afraid to jump into the river waves and get tossed about?
That compassion for myself only came because I was willing to feel my embarrassment wash over me. Feelings you resist will only persist, right?
So today’s habit is to stop the resistance. Today I invite you to FEEL the embarrassment. Feel the shame. Feel the resentment.
Because your dreams are hiding on the other side of these fears.