When My Husband is Scared to Tell Me Something
Last week I received input from two women who are incredible business mavens. They both had relevant, customized suggestions for me.
The catch is they each gave very different guidance. Which put me in a bit of a conundrum. I respect them both and believe they are both correct. However, it’s not possible for me to implement both plans. It would be like traversing two different roads simultaneously (even if they are going to bring me to the same place)!
After I fully absorbed both communications, and sat with them, I felt confusion, ambivalence, discomfort, and uncertainty arise.
While I am the CEO of my business and mostly just share a bit of what’s going on at the end of the day with my husband, Rodd, I fairly frequently turn to him when feeling as I just described.
Rodd is such a steady presence. He loves me and sees me, he knows I am wise (and he knows I appreciate guidance), he helps me gladly, without ever losing sight of my sovereignty.
Counting on all of that, I shared my situation with him, and the dilemma as I experienced it. He asked me a few good questions, and gave a suggestion or two, and sure enough I had a lot more clarity. His questions helped me find my own answers, and I saw a good way forward. It actually happened fairly easily.
I waited…nothing came.
So I asked if he had something more to say. He said yes, but it was tangential and wasn’t sure it made sense to say it. I said, “okay”. And then it got really interesting.
With a kind of hesitancy and meekness and prophylactic defensiveness, he said he wasn’t sure how I would respond if he told me.
At that point, I let go of the content and became completely focused on how he was reacting and the emotional communication he was making.
It seemed to me that he was anticipating I would be nasty, dismissive, insensitive and disrespectful.
Here’s the thing. If I hadn’t been well nourished and taken good care of my soul already, I might have gone right into the behavior he was guarding against. It would have been a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead, I said that I was putting all my energy into staying openhearted, cheerful, and ready to hear whatever he shared. I knew he cared about me and wants what is best for me and for my business. But it felt like he was seducing me into a dynamic where my role was to be really mean, and I was declining that part.
When I said that, he suddenly felt normal again. He was emotionally neutral, and quite curious. He asked me more about my experience of him. I described it, and asked him what he had been feeling.
We became exceedingly clear that the stench filled barrier between us was built exclusively from experiences in the past.
Those experiences were real and true. And they were years ago. His response came from a time many evolutions prior with respect to our self-awareness and our respective capacity to be kind to ourselves and one another.
Once that was clear, I asked him if he wanted to give me the feedback which had started the whole exchange. He did.
He went on to share an observation about me which isn’t how I want to be. And yet it was true, meaning I fully agreed with what he said. I expressed gratitude for his having named it. Because even if I didn’t like how I was showing up, I felt loved and cherished by knowing he noticed it.
Once we go through the muck of miscommunication, and achieve clarity and energetic alignment, we always feel closer afterwards. If we hadn’t gone down that rabbit hole to begin with, we would have sacrificed the increased closeness that followed.
This is an example of how one can use absolutely anything that arises (be it fun, painful, weird, complicated, etc) to deepen connection and build more emotional intimacy.
Do you use all the flavors that arise in your relationship to create more intimacy and deeper connection?
Do you want to learn how? I’d love to help you.
Comment below and let me know your thoughts. It’s one of my very favorite topics!
With pleasure and purpose,