Inviting Him To Improve Things WITH You
You’ve heard me say again and again how much it's in your hands to make your marriage so much better. And I cannot impress upon you enough how very true this is! But this never means you don't invite your partner along for the ride. Please do, if he’s open to it. And he may well be, if you communicate in a way that levels the playing field, does not lay blame on him for things going wrong, shows how much responsibility you’re taking, and how much you want both of you--him included!-- to feel great in your marriage. Most of us don’t come at it this way, and therefore many men resist doing their part to improve things. Or they say they want to, but then...nothing changes, right?!!? WHAT is going on here? It is so often because they feel blamed. They feel we think it’s all his fault. They feel controlled. They feel like they can’t do anything right in our eyes. Which leaves them feeling defeated, frustrated, or ashamed. When any of us feel such emotions, we are NOT likely to be motivated to change. Instead, we shut down, or get reactive to try to NOT feel the discomfort of such feelings. Or we simply avoid the topic in our minds altogether, so as not to feel so bad. If this is going on for your man (and it likely is if you’ve talked to him about how much you want him to do things differently and he’s still not doing much to improve things in your relationship) it means: he’s not going to change--at least not WHILE he’s having those feelings. He will not try. He will not introspect, or take a look at how he could change, or how he talks to you or interacts with you. Instead, he’ll avoid the issue, forget about it, or get mad at you whenever you bring anything about it up. And you’re more likely to feel alone in changing things. EVEN IF your man is actually totally committed to you and wants things to feel good between you. (And of COURSE he does!!!) So how can you sway the tides and invite him effectively to be a more active part in the improvement of things? There's much to it, and I work closely with clients on this in many ways. But I’d like to share an example now of where you can start.
My hubby and I recently decided to level-up an aspect of our communication that tends to take us to negative places unnecessarily. Here’s how I got him on board to actively work on this with me: First, I took total ownership of my side of the problem (this is SO KEY and is so often not done at all!) and proclaimed to him: “This is my part of it: I don’t ‘deliver’ well sometimes.” (I won't share details on what I meant exactly, but he got it). Then I shared my pro-love reasons for wanting to improve it: “I want to improve this unskillful delivery because I love you-- and us. “It’s hard for me to change this...it feels just like who I am sometimes… and yet… I want to do it. I want to communicate better in this way. I want us to feel even more amazing together. YOU deserve it. I want that for you. I want it for me, too. For our family... Then… once he heard that… I went on to invite him to do his work, too: “I can also see maybe you don’t “receive” so well when I deliver my words poorly. That would be the work I see that's yours to do. Would you agree you have some room to grow in that way? If so, do you see a way I can support you in that? I'm happy to help in whatever way I can. (Here we had a good back and forth.) Then I detailed how that could look: “Here's how you could support me as I work on my “delivery”, if you‘d like. . .” and I specified it... See how there’s not much room there for him to use my words as a reason to feel frustration, defeat, or shame? Instead, he felt inspired, loved and motivated. This is one way I, on my own, open the door to both of us growing together so beautifully. Do I ever feel alone in growing my relationship? Very rarely. And only when I fall back into a communication style that tends to trigger feelings of defensiveness, defeat, frustration and shame in my husband. Then he falls into the stubborn patterns that perpetuate us being at odds. But I no longer see any evidence that I'm alone, and I notice how supported I am in having a thriving love with him, when I take responsibility for my way of interacting with him and communicate sensitively so I can reach his listening ears, get in touch with heart, and invite him back to being loving allies again. Then we are able to grow and evolve together into places of more and more true acceptance, admiration, love and joy. I love being able to open the door to both of us to grow together so beautifully. I love how amazing it feels to be the leader of love, the steward of a marriage that only deepens in its loving sensitivity, intimacy, connection, and mutual support the longer we are together. You can do the same. I’ll show you the way when you coach with me. Learn more here. With Love, Hannah
P.S. Did you know that I LOVE coaching not just you, but your partner also? I don’t share this much, but when you are my client, your husband can be, too! We do a mixture of individual and sessions, and now, couples sessions, too! Find out the best approach for your relationship on your consult.