Ever wonder what to do when something NEEDS to be discussed?
“Hey honey. Everything okay at the gym? I expected you an hour ago and was getting worried,” Rachel said as she placed a plate of eggs and toast in front of John. They had only been married a few months and it still felt surreal.
“Sorry, Rach. I gave Tina a ride home. She had car trouble.”
Rachel felt an unexpected sting. Tina was an old friend of his. As she began to pour him a cup of coffee, John held up his hand.
“I had a cup at Tina’s. No more or I’ll be bursting at work.” John took another bite of his eggs not noticing the shades of red crossing Rachel’s face.
“Wait. You went upstairs to her apartment?” she said, her voice rising.
“It was just a quick cup and a catch-up. No big deal.” John put his plate in the sink and gave her a kiss. “I need to shower and get to work, honey. Love you.”
Rachel was not convinced but she did not want to accuse her new husband either.
What should she do?
What would YOU do?
Tune in to this week’s podcast episode of What to Say & How to Say It as we walk through some steps on how we can inspire peaceful resolve by walking in the spirit according to Galatians 5:16.
Don’t be a victim!
One important thing we can do to help our relationships thrive is to take responsibility. I’m not talking about taking more than your share but accepting the fact that if things are to change, YOU can, and should DO something different. Too many times, people sit around waiting for the other person to start or stop doing something before they realize THEY can impact the relationship by taking responsibility and action. When I take responsibility for my behavior, I’ll own my contribution to the negatives, apologize for the wrong thing I did, and that’s acting in integrity. It’s good for the relationship, and it is good for our spouse, kid, or friend, as it allows them the chance to heal and facilitates forgiveness. If I sit around waiting for you to own your behavior, I’m choosing a victim mentality, and have abdicated myself of the responsibility of the relationship, and set down my integrity.
Set ground rules!
The first thing I do with couples is set ground rules for interactions. Think about it – companies, schools, churches, and restaurants have social norms, ground rules, for what is okay and what isn’t. Families should also. These are boundaries we set that express what we will and won’t do. If name-calling is off-limits, (and it should be!) then I’m less likely to behave in a way that damages you or the relationship. If you cry “foul” on me because we have agreed to this ground rule, we are in an iron-sharpening relationship. Giving your kids the authority to call you out when you break a rule builds their esteem, treats them with respect, and begins a life-long relationship towards friendship with them when they are older.
Manage your emotions!
Many of the people we work with benefit from a process we call The Connection Steps. This process brings their emotions under control, connects them with the Lord, and helps them move forward in a way that builds deeper connections with others. It’s all Biblical and supported by research, and our Strength & Dignity eCourse members LOVE the outcomes and growth they have as a result. Gottman’s research shows the incredible value of becoming emotionally intelligent.
Rachel and John would have benefitted from having some relationship ground rules about how they spend their time, potentially. Subscribe to the podcast to hear how this situation got solved without a major meltdown from either of them!
What about you?
- How have you seen taking responsibility keep you from being a victim?
- What ground rules do you have in YOUR relationships?
- What makes managing emotions challenging for you?
Can’t wait to hear your thoughts! Comment on the blog here, and let’s talk!
Love to you,
PS… we have room for you in our Wednesday NOON ET coaching group! Opens 8/4! Learn what to say & how to say it in the specific situations in your life!