DEVELOP Your Sensitivity For A Better Marriage
DEVELOPING your sensitivity, instead of suppressing it, may be one of the best things you can do for your marriage. Here's one of many examples of how this is true:
At dinner the other night, I finished my husband's sentence for him when he was having trouble figuring out what he meant to say.
Yesterday, I grabbed a stuffed animal and brought it up to my son as he was getting ready for bed. He said “YAY! I was wanting Raccoony.”
One of my clients HSP partner knew Valentine's Day was more important to her than she was letting on, so he scheduled a special weekend for her around the holiday.
Another client knows her husband tends to be ornery at the end of the work day, so she gives him a welcome hug and then lets him be for a while, until he relaxes and comes forward more on his own, when she knows it’ll be way more fun to talk with him.
This is one of the things we can be really good at as sensitive people -- and it’s super important in our marriage to be good at this: really knowing our partner. His innermost world. Like:
What he likes and doesn't like.
Where his thoughts tend to take him.
What fascinates him. What stresses him out. What makes him mad. What thrills him.
When he is likely to light up, when he is more likely to shrink away or not want to talk anymore.
What this typical first reaction is when hurt or unhappy with something you said, or happened in the world.
What it will take for him to feel better (a run?, a days space?)
What times of day he's more open for connecting, and which times he’s cranky.
When we are familiar with such things, it not only helps us understand what he's going through (so it doesn't bother us so much), but also be more understanding, which leads to him feeling supported and respected--and feels good to us.
I've spent a lot of time getting to know my husband's inner world (even when he isn't explicitly telling me about it). Because of this, he's told me many times some version of these words:
“With you I feel so cared for, seen, and loved for who I am. I feel you really get me. I’m in awe of how in tune we can feel."
We all want that! And-- good news!-- it starts to happen when we really know our partner...when we become sensitive to (i.e. aware of/ responsive to) who he is.
You're likely to already know so much of your partner, since as sensitive people we pick up on subtleties, and moods of others, and are very aware of what's going on around us.
But we can get EVEN better at this, intentionally.
To know him better takes continuing to get to know him as he evolves, on-goingly.
A great place to start is by simply observing him over the coming days.
~noticing how you can get a sense of his mood or what's on his mindjust by observing his face, his body language, his tone. (Be be careful not to turn your observations into personal attacks agains you...can you just observe and notice and allow?)
~asking great questions, and responding lovingly or with interest (versus taking offense to things he says) to encourage more opening up.
~not reacting too strongly when he does things you don't like and being open and curious about why he’s saying what he’s saying or doing what he’s doing.
Hmm, notice how there is a theme here? To really get to know his innermost world, you need to take yourself out of the equation for moments of time.To stop weaving stories about what this or that thing about him means about YOU or your relationship. To observe from a neutral place….
When you can do that, you will be freed up to make use of what you’ve learned to be true about him.
I’ve found knowing my husband in this way helps me respond better, and not take his quirks and flaws and any “misbehavior” personally.
And it lets me know -- seemingly “psychically”-- when he needs love or space, or to hear certain words.
This is one way we sensitives can build the kind of relationship with our partner that feels so harmonious and in sync that others just think we got lucky.
Sometimes it DOES feel like luck to have such a good thing going in my life.
But I know the truth: it doesn't come from the luck of having met the perfect guy (I don't think that's even a thing!). It comes from the luck of having been born sensitive, and the dedication to developing the skills it takes to have a healthy loving marriage. Which any sensitive person can do.
Want to feel lucky to be sensitive? And happy and fulfilled in love? Then come join the ranks of others who have done the work it takes to get there (and are so glad they did) by coaching with me.
If you're ready for that now, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and say "I'm in." We'll pick a time to talk and take it together from there.