There really isn’t a perfect relationship,
It’s how you deal with the imperfections
that makes it perfect.
Sarah told her man, “Don’t you dare talk to me like that… I won’t tolerate it!”
Yet, a man will respond based on how he thinks you feel about him.
If he feels from your energy and words that you think he is a jerk… he will see that as an attack, and he will attack back.
Then you will have a battle on your hands… a battle you don’t want and can’t win!
So, what do you do? Are you supposed to just stuff it!
What happened to the idea of being authentic?
You might be thinking, “And by the way… I am authentically angry and resentful, insulted and bitter! And I don’t want this to continue!”
Of course, you don’t want it to continue! So, let’s examine this a little further.
A friend of mine owns a horse farm in Ocala, FL. Her daughter got a new horse from Europe, but no one can ride it… It just bucks everyone off. “That’s probably why they sold it”, I said.
“Oh no!” my friend said. “He’s a fine horse. When my daughter got the horse, she boarded it, and the caretakers there, let him get away with it. You can’t let a horse get away with anything or it will continue, and the horse will develop bad habits!”
And I assure you it’s the same with your partner. You can’t ignore bad behavior, or it will develop into bad habits and the bad behavior will continue.
But your partner is not a racehorse. It’s not about controlling his behavior. It’s about controlling your own reaction.
(Yes, I know he’s the one who’s wrong; he is behaving badly! But do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? Just stay with me for a moment!)
The trick is to stay focused on expressing your own feelings, not trying to change him.
Simply say, “That hurt me, and that’s not OK.”
Clearly, confidently, concisely, (and yes, softly, politely) express your authentic feelings with no drama, no long-winded, guilt-ridden explanations or justification for why you feel hurt.
No need to allow your strings to be pulled like a dangling marionette. No need to allow yourself to be controlled by his bad behavior!
Hurting you is non-negotiable. Period.
Truth is, he can say anything he needs to say, in a kind, gentle manner, no matter who is wrong.
And yet, know that criticizing, lecturing, making him wrong would be like throwing gasoline on the fire… sure to blow-up in your face and cause you pain!
Remember, he can feel the energy of your thoughts.
Are you thinking that he is a nasty jerk… insulting, disrespecting and invalidating you?
Or are you simply intending to teach him how you want him to behave with you? That’s your responsibility, you know.
The sense of insult comes because you think he should already know this is unacceptable!
But the truth is he doesn’t know how deeply this rudeness, this unkind action, these insensitive words have gotten under your skin!
Everyone simply lives from their own perspective… seeing their own behavior in context with their own intentions. They are not necessarily crazy, mean or psychotic… they just need more information.
So calmly, vulnerably state what you authentically feel,
“That hurt me, and that’s not OK.” Then walk away and allow him to process, this confident you.
He may get defensive… Just walk away. Let him grumble if he needs to.
He may say, “So you’re just going to walk away?” Respond with, “Yes, I need to cool off.”
NOTE: You are not telling him what to do… not telling him he’s wrong. You’re taking responsibility for your own feelings.
And when you return to the room after 10 minutes or so…you just might find he has suddenly become a much nicer man.
You may see that he has corrected his own behavior. Now… don’t cross your arms and stay mad!
Don’t hold a grudge! After all you have just gotten what you wanted didn’t you?
So, go ahead, give him a warm smile and enjoy this fresh new moment together!