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Remember that day? You met him. Or her. Unexpected or intentionally, it was love at first sight. Or, maybe you knew him already and he grew on you, and all of a sudden, you were struck? As little girls, we dream about and plan for what our romance will be like, who he’ll be, and what he looks like. Tall dark and handsome, or a blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty? How many of us marry our childhood ideal, our romantic, dreamy version of the perfect love. Did you marry him or her? Maybe. Or maybe not. So much for planning, right? But that’s just it, we can’t plan. Only dream, wish, fantasize, and hope we get our wish, our guy. The bottom line is this…If he’s good to you, respectful, funny, you feel safe, and he turns you on, you’re good.

Falling in love is exciting and scary all at the same time. The butterflies, the nervousness, the what-if’s, and all the pining, waiting and wondering. And then one day, it happens. You fall in love, say your I- do’s….Life’s good. Hot. Heavy. Busy. Fun. Until it’s not.

The Love, it’s gone. Get me outta here.

But what if you find you don’t love the one you’re with? Or you’ve fallen out of love? What if you can’t even seem to stand him anymore? He crunches potato chips and you cringe.  The laugh you once loved now grates on you. His cologne now stinks and makes you gag. You dread him coming home, and you dread going home because you have to look at him and be in the same house as him. It’ bad. Just bad. It’s clear. You can’t stand him.

There may be many reasons why you’ve found yourself here. It’s a very unhappy, lonely, and frustrating place to live. Many of clients are here, or have been here. Most have tried to work through it it me. Most have successes, I’m happy to say, even when infidelity was involved. But it took work. Lots of work, personally, and together, with their soups or partner.

Sometimes, staying, and working through it, is easier than the alternative, and a lot cheaper too. Sometimes, staying is the better option. It’s a slow process, but it’s very doable. You can put the like and the love back into it. It’s all about the connection, baby. And here’s how we do it…

 List the reasons why you feel in love in the first place.

Because life happens, and sometimes it happens without warning, or with a sucker punch, we often loose perspective about what’s important in our relationships. When we end up angry or sad, everything the person does or says irritates us, but they may not be doing anything differently from how they did things when you were falling in love. In other words, it could be you. It’s all about connecting.

Give the list street cred.

Giving credibility to the reasons why you feel the way you do, will help you see if you should legitimately be feeling the way you do, or not. Find some quiet time by yourself when you’re not feeling so angry, resentful or upset, and spend some time thinking about what you’ve come to ‘hate’ or can’t stand. Often, when we take some time to identify our feelings, we realize they’re just that; our feelings. The other person hasn’t changed, we have.

Now, we can think about how we’ve changed, why we may have changed, how we may have changed, decide if it’s resolvable, (it usually is), and move forward. In my experience, unless the other person has changed drastically due to their own experiences or what they may have experienced in their lifetime before their relationship with you, it’s usually us who have changed, and we need to take the time to see and understand why. Now, we can begin the re-connect. It’s all about connecting.

Settle the unresolved issues. 

You have to talk in order to get issues out in the open. Communication is key if you don’t want feelings and issues to accumulate, fester, and layer, to the point where everything your partner does makes you cringe. Open the lines of communication and share how you feel. Work on being understanding, kind, validating, and most of all, conversant. It’s all about connecting.

Listen, don’t just hear. 

A real conversation is very different from a battle of egos, wits, words and vitriol. The ‘art of the conversation’ is a skilled practice to master in order to be able to successfully invite someone in to a conversation, stay in it, and share thoughts, feelings and issues. All you have to to is be an active listener. The skill comes from participating, being kind, and actually hearing what the other person is saying. Acknowledge and validate as you go along in the conversation,  and don’t interrupt. This creates bonding, and adds to the connecting to one another thru effective conversation. It’s all about connecting.

Give more of what you want. Give, to give.
Stop the complaining about what you’re not getting, and demanding to be heard. He may not be listening. He hears you, but he may have tuned out. You know how it goes; “Why can’t you just…” “you don’t…”, or “you’re this…,” or “you always…”. After hearing too much negativity, people tend to shut off. If you give to your partner what you want to get in return, you are actually modelling behaviour that will make you feel good. It’s all about connecting.
The Love Note.
Don’t cringe. Who doesn’t love a little surprise in their lunch or an unexpected text. It doesn’t have to be long, or fluffy. Just as long as it’s kind, caring and nice . A thank you for having done something or for a thought to do something, a compliment, or an expression of appreciation. Whatever you say, just say and hit send or pen it. It will be appreciated either way. It’s all about connecting.
Date Nights, Coffee Breaks, Lunch, and the mid-day Hook-Up.
What about surprising your guy for a cup of java , planning a quick lunch with some vino, or even playing hookie, leaving early, and hitting the sheets? If your day doesn’t allow for this, no problem. Once you both get home, set aside a few quiet moments together. Turn the phones off, and just be. If you feel comfortable or daring enough, go up to the bedroom or share the sofa, and just lie together. It doesn’t have to sexual. Sensual does the trick, and yes, you can create a very strong connection by just lying together. Hugging bonds the synapses of like and love, so make sure you hold the hug for at least 6-10 seconds. It’s all about connecting.
Life and love after hate isn’t easy, but it’s very doable, and can be very successful in mending and repair, and igniting that flame again, man or woman. I know I’ve written this from a female direction, but this article applies to men too, as many men find themselves in these situations too. Either way, it’s all about re-connecting, and figuring out what needs to happen to make it work for both of you. Don’t throw it all away so fast. The grass is often browner on the other side. Water your own backyard first, see what grows, gets nourished, flourishes, and begins to blossom again. It’s all about connecting.
Relationships take work. They key is to have good and frequent communication. Don’t be afraid to check-in with one another, ask questions, listen, and be open, and most importantly, be honest about how your feel, what you want, and what you need. Be forgiving, compromise, and agree to disagree. Often. Knowing these basics, it’s easier. and it does get easier, you just have to keep working at it.
If you need help, support, guidance, or a non-judgemental ear, I’m here.
Lauren

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