THE Relationship Blog
Since we write a relationship advice blog, we realize that the simple answer might not be as simple as it seems. The simple answer to the question of how to have a great relationship is communication. How do you have a well-adjusted child? Self-esteem. See, easy one word (with a hyphen) answers. Of course, the part where you learn to communicate can be written into a book that rivals the Bible in length and small-fontedness. And raising a child with good self-esteem requires years of therapy so that you have good self-esteem to model for your kids. So when we wrote that the best way to handle adversity in your relationship is to hold on to each other and remember that you are an island in the sea of crazy, we knew that there is a swirly line between point A and point B.
So let’s connect the dots.
When shit goes down, we all take it individually. If you get sick, YOU get sick. If your spouse gets sick, it is YOUR spouse that is ill. Whatever the adversity, whether it is sickness, fire, or flood, we always start with the question, why is this happening to me? The victim response is natural. As much as we hate the whole victim thing, we will give you a pass on this one. As a matter of fact, we encourage you to take a moment and get all victim-like.
As a side note, do the victim breakdown either alone or with a friend that is not affected by the situation. We know a guy that had a full ‘Why did this happen to me?’ breakdown in front of his kid when he found out that that kid was diagnosed with diabetes. We will give you a pass to be a victim but not an asshole.
Now that you know that this is happening to you, let it out. Cry, scream, and shake your fist at God. Blame everyone. Blame the Pope. Blame the milkman. Blame Google. Blame them all.
Good. Now you know where you stand. You know that you are angry and sad and all the rest. What are we going to do about it? This is the part when we can reach out and connect. This is where the honest, loving communication can come into play.
They did a study on mice (We’re glad we are not mice) where they caused them stress by puffing air at their butts (Ok, maybe being a mouse isn’t so bad). What they found was the behavior that was created from the stress had more to do with the possible solutions than they did with the stressor. For the mice, it had less to do with the air on their butt and more to do with the how to get through the maze.
How do we apply this? Does it have something to do with blowing on your spouse’s butt? No. It has to do with coming up with a plan. If you are like the mice, it is not the crisis that will drive you. It is the possible solutions that will dictate your behavior.
The house has burnt down. The tumor is found. The car is totaled. It’s time to talk it out. How do you both feel? You already did the victim part so nobody needs to try and fix you or the situation. Together ask the question, what next?
Ha! Now you are working together. We told you we would get you there.
Come back tomorrow. We have more relationship tips for when life happens at you.