Monday, June 18, 2012
BE AN ADULT IN THE RELATIONSHIP, NOT A KID
We are discussing Chapter Five today. Know That You Are All Growed-Up. In the picture above, Bunny and Bear are actually equal. Bunny just needs to sit up straight, sit tall in other words! How do you stand or sit?
When I suggest to you ways that you can stand up for yourself and BE an adult in the relationship, your immediate, and I mean IMMEDIATE, response is, “Oh, Jack would get really upset if I said that/did that....Oh, Jill would be really upset if I said that/did that.” Again, given that there is no domestic violence in the relationship, WHO CARES? Jack or Jill’s response is irrelevant when it comes to you being a grown-up in the relationship. If you become absorbed in his or her disapproval or criticism, you will absolutely sustain the illusion that you are just a kid and deserve his or her criticism and anger. (Page 32).
Do you live in fear perhaps not of being physically abused, but of having to answer to other people all the time, other people who are supposed to be the people you love or are in love with? Do you feel like a kid in your relationships? And maybe you’re like me, in your sixties? We are not kids!
Do you have to answer to questions like Where have you been? Who were you with? Why do you have to go out in the first place? What do you need that for? Why do you need to join that group? Why did you need to spend that money?
Is your partner physically taller and larger than you? Do you literally look up to your partner? And, of course, the other side of the coin, do you have a sense that your partner is always looking down on you? Putting you down? Putting you down in front of friends and family?
So the next time you have something really important to discuss with your partner, stand on a stool, a chair, a stair, something to bring you physically in line, in eye level with your partner. You can watch your partner’s face. He or she will not like the equality that suddenly exists in the relationship. As uncomfortable as you might be with the equality, you will definitely like it!
Sometimes, the parent-child elements in the relationship are magnified by one partner being physically bigger. It is amazing what happens when I have the smaller partner stand on a chair or stool. Often, that actually brings the two partners together at eye level, sometimes for the first time in their relationship. Sometimes, it puts the smaller partner towering above the taller partner. An immediate fear comes over the face of the taller partner as he (most often) is now looking up at his partner for the first time....
Even when there is no obvious size differential, there may still be an unconscious agreement that one partner will look up to or down on the other partner. This unconscious agreement can be based on one’s history or cultural or religious beliefs about marriage. The chair exercise helps in these situations, as well, to bring those unconscious agreements into consciousness.....
This simple exercise with the chair or stool really makes the point very quickly and gives the partners a concrete image and experience upon which to redefine their relationship as two adults. Try it out. By the way, the chair exercise is a good way to FEEL in your body, what it is like to be both Unequal and EQUAL in a relationship. (Pages 32, 33)
Need a book? Yes you do. AMAZON or BARNES & NOBLE.
THANKS FOR INVESTING IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP.
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