R & R - Rovena and Rick's Relationship Moments - Will It Fit Around Your Neck?
I haven’t posted anything about me and Rick in a while - and it’s because not much is happening. I guess I am looking for moments that stand out, that are funny and made us laugh out loud, or moments where we applied the tools I teach. But we’ve been good, we’ve been great actually and there hasn't been anything out of the ordinary to share.
But a conversation I had recently made me remember something I wanted to share.
A friend shared with me a situation about her and her date. He said something that was very hurtful and she felt shamed and maybe even shocked - “Why would he say something like this? "
They went out and when she ordered her food he said "Are you gonna eat all of this?" And to add an insult to an injury, when she was done he said "I can’t believe you ate it all."
Now, not everyone would have a problem with that. Some people would laugh and say "you bet, and I'm gonna enjoy every bit of it". But it's not just words, it's the energy behind it. Is it a comment or a judgment? In this case, it was clary a judgement and my friend felt shamed. Of course it also depends if food is a trigger for you, your past, the state of your relationship, the state you are in, and so many different aspects.
It made me think about a time when I was showing Rick a new necklace, a gift from a dear friend, and he said “oh, it’s beautiful”.
And then he said …..
“Are you sure it will fit around your neck?”
I’m sure he meant well. I’m sure there was a genuine concern to make sure the necklace will fit well. But what kind of thing is it to say?
I was shocked for a millisecond, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, and then I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes, and then we were laughing together, and now, once in a while we remember it and still have a good laugh.
I am sure if a man asked that about a dress “is it going to fit?”, I think a lot of women would find it insensitive. I think most people would know to stay away from this. But it was a necklace and it was funny. And so we laughed.
And I think that’s a sign of a really strong relationship.
It’s not that we are never going to say the wrong things, it’s that we can laugh about it, and often do.
I know for a fact that he didn’t mean anything by it, there’s not a single mean bone in his body.
I know for a fact that if I was hurt he’d see it and help me fix it and heal it - immediately.
I know that if for whatever reasons he didn’t see that I was hurt, that I could come to him and share my hurt and he’d listen and hold me and love me and not turn it around and be defensive or reactive or passive aggressive about it. I know that I’ll be able to share my pain and he has the capacity to hold it and help me melt it away - because we did it in the past. I know we both can , so I know now that I can relax into it.
We don’t have a backlog of little hurts, jabs, resentments - so when something happens it’s not added to a huge pile of stuff. It’s all cleared. We have tools that we use regularly, so if we fight (and we do sometimes), it doesn’t stay. Neither of us can remember (I asked) what our last fight was about. Or when it happened. So we can’t use that against each other. We clear it thoroughly.
He also knows that I’m not going to use it against him. That’s I’m not going to hide if I was hurt and then turn it around. We don’t play any games.
I think that’s why it works - we work it. It’s not the tools, it’s the commitment to each other. It’s “you come first” attitude. Like Dr. Gottman says “If my partner is hurt, the world stops”.
If you are hurting, I’m here for you. I’ll set everything else aside and I’ll show you that you matter and that I’ll do whatever it takes to fix this.
I had a hard time sharing this post. I thought it was very funny, but writing it felt vulnerable. I’ve decided to share anyway. Tell me what you think.