Yes, forgiveness is essential to love in relationships… but vision is vital to forgiveness.
So how exactly do you communicate to him, that he has hurt you?
And how do you say it in a way that doesn’t make him guilty… in a way that makes him want to listen, that makes him want to partner with you find solutions?
First, let me ask you a question about your relationship. Have you ever thought, “This is really a wonderful person. If only he would stop doing this one thing!”
Yet despite your best efforts, every conversation around this issue turns into a defensive battle!
He just doesn’t get it… doesn’t seem to want to understand the negative effect this one thing is having on your nerves, on your trust, on your love. (Does he have similar feelings about you?)
Maybe he speaks in a diminishing, dismissive tone… not all the time, but often enough to rattle resentment. (Maybe you’re often late… and can’t see how that impinges his credibility.)
So, what do you do… more of the same that is not working, and never will work? No! Stop, take a deep breath, and gather your thoughts. In fact, I’m asking you to grab a pen or tablet and write…
What is it that you want to happen… What do you want to feel? How does he see this? Remind yourself of when you did have what seems lost now? Awaken it again in a way that:
- Doesn’t make him wrong.
- Doesn’t tell him what to do.
- Doesn’t talk about what he did or ask why he did it.
Speak your vision… of what feels good to you. Include him in that feel-good vision… Speak not only in terms of you and me, but of the larger we.
- Acknowledge his frustration.
- Understand that acknowledgment doesn’t make his nasty reaction OK!
- It lowers resistance… There is nothing to defend against, since you’re not making him wrong.
- Not being wrong allows for introspection… He is free to correct his own behavior… Inspired to step into a better version of himself.
- Apologize if appropriate.
- Again, an apology for you part in this frustration, does not give him the right to be unkind or hurtful!
- It’s not even saying that you are wrong here.
- It’s just assuming responsibility for what’s yours to do.
- Paint a better picture… Let him save face!
- Appreciate the shift in advance. Use gratitude to design a new scenario.
- Now he can change himself without losing face.
- This builds trust in both of you… and strengthens the “we”
For example, you might say,
“I’m sorry I didn’t time it well, so we could leave when we planned. I so appreciate it when you show patience for my running late! I love feeling that we can allow for each other’s humanness.”
Even if he was grouchy a minute ago… he will most likely shift and step into this new picture of himself that you just painted… and validate the wonderful “we” you’re creating together.
Inspire rather than demand love and loving behavior…
- Because demanding never works.
- Making him wrong or telling him what to do creates defensiveness.
- Ultimatums will backfire!
Instead, gently grab his and and grow roots together!