It’s time to share a relationship question you need to ask when something has gone south with your partner, in order to start healing and righting the ship.
Before I share that question with you, I’m going to share a similar one I heard at an event recently. Jack Canfield, an author, motivational speaker, corporate trainer, entrepreneur and co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series asked:
What if we went through life every day with a perspective that says “I will act as if I create, promote or allow everything that happens to me?”
Check out this video for a discussion.
Love & Marriage Advice: A New Perspective on Responsibility
Jack’s question relates to a definition of responsibility that I shared recently: responsibility is really about response ability – our ability to respond. Only when we realize that we are responsible do we have the power to create the life that we want.
What really hit me about response ability is that it’s relevant to EVERY relationship. You want to be able to respond rather than react, because in reactivity you’re a slave to your reaction and a slave to your ego.
You’re trying to work something out that’s not connected to your heart or to your love for your partner. When you react, you see your partner an enemy and a threat. If you look at responsibility as being responsive rather than reactive, you choose to be free rather than enslaved to your reactions.
What do you think would happen if you changed your perspective on responsibility? What if you lived every day as if you promote, create or allow everything that happened to you?
Now, the relationship question I have for you is relevant whether you need dating tips or marriage advice. The question is:
How have I created my partner behaving like this with me?
This may feel counterintuitive, because a big part of an argument is focusing on your partner, not on yourself! To be successful, you’re going to have to slam on the brakes on any reaction – defensiveness, counter-irritation, or a disrespectful response.
I know, it’s a bit scary! I felt the same when I heard Jack’s question. At first my stomach dropped, and I thought, I don’t like that. But whenever I have that reaction, I know it’s the just the thing I need to hear, for whatever reason. It’s either something I need in my own life or something I need to pass along to you.
What will happen if instead of reacting in an argument, you take response ability? You say “Hold that thought…wait a minute. My partner just said so and so in an energy that doesn’t work for me. But if I pause and look at how I have created them being this way with me, what do I see?”
Related relationship questions might be:
- How am I creating that I’m really annoyed or irritated?
- What expectations do I clearly now have that I didn’t know I had till I got upset or resentful?
- How am I showing up right now that has invited this kind of reaction, or what I’m judging to be a nasty way of being with me?
This will break the spell of reactivity and give you the chance to reconnect, allowing you to engage in a different type of intimacy – even in an argument.
I’d love for you to use this dating, relationship and marriage advice with your partner. If you feel comfortable, share your experiences in the comments below. If you do, you’ll get a gift from me!
I’m Your Relationship Architect Geoff Laughton. I work to change the paradigm of gender relations, transforming the way we interact in a powerful way for increased harmony.