Whichever lens we choose to look at couples through we can notice differences between them. A personalities framework will highlight differences. Love languages, conflict styles, emotional intelligence, employment skills, etc. all of these will highlight strengths that are different between partners.
I’m at the amazing stage of life where my kids are all adults and 2 of them now have partners and kids. One of the things that is so amazing to observe is how our adult children and their partners optimize (not always easily) the different strengths they have.
The pattern I observe in couples - in me too - is an initial resistance to how the other partner wants to do something. That can be money management, meal planning, standing up to unfair billing, exercise habits, etc. The list is endless.
There is likely an inevitable phase of thinking that our way on many things is the better way. Eventually, after many tough conversations and likely a few fights we start to realize which of us is better at which things and create a better ‘distribution of labor’.
“Resistance to change is often based on emotional tension between conflicting commitments and beliefs — not on rational arguments.” https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/tap-into-the-positive-side-of-change-resistance/
This process involves some letting go of ego and control to allow for our partner’s brilliance to benefit us more fully.
This week my amazing granddaughter, Boston, is visiting. In the basket of play things we had ready for her and her brother, Oxford, is a necklace. She informed me that this was for me to wear “to marry Papa” with. Adorable. The necklace was a gift a few years ago and is from the social enterprise organization “Me to We”. How appropriate. Although this enterprise is about societal “we” the point is poignant!
(I hope you want to check out Me to We - here is the link https://www.metowe.com)
What if we resisted the “we” less? What if we resisted the need to be better and enjoyed the benefits of our partner’s strengths sooner?
We will not, nor should not remove all of this struggle. Sometimes the struggle creates these amazing hybrids of our differences.
However, I think we can short circuit some of this pain by intentionally noticing the strengths of each other and strategizing accordingly.
What would it look like if you gave more control over your finances to the person who is better at managing money?
How could you let the one of you that is more passionate about the environment help you get better about product choices and recycling?
What are the categories in your partnerships where you resist each other? Is it possible that there is room to acknowledge that putting one of you more in charge of that area could actually reduce your stress and bring long-term benefits?
Where are you still hanging on to “me” instead of “we”?
Until next time,
The Luv Life Coach
Marilyn Orr, MA, CEC, PCC is a relationship coach with Luv Life Coaching, passionate about equipping couples with the tools for real and lasting intimacy. Learn how to listen better, handle conflict in productive ways and bring out the best in your partner. Contact Marilyn and grow your Luv Life skills today!
Marilyn is hosting her next Couples Workshop on Saturday, February 8th at The Cedars Ranch. To find out more and to register, click here: Couples Workshop at The Cedars Ranch
"I highly recommend this workshop. My partner and I definitely left with a strengthened bond." ~ Couples Workshop Attendee
Posted on Wed, November 6, 2019
by Marilyn Orr filed under