WHY CHANGING WHAT YOU DO DOESN’T WORK

I can tell you what to DO to have a better relationship. Maybe suggest some actions to take.

Everyone thinks they want that.

But it doesn’t work. 

Our actions are fueled by our emotions, which are created by our thoughts. 

You can change your actions, but without addressing the fuel situation, changing actions alone won’t get you results.

Turning toward your husband is a good idea.  But you have to know what thoughts and feelings you are bringing to the table.

If I am feeling hurt and thinking, Rich doesn’t care about my thoughts and feelings and I turn toward Rich fueled by my hurt, the result I will leave with is:  I don’t care about Rich’s thoughts and feelings.  Also I  will have  collected evidence that he does NOT care about mine.  (I know this is true because it happened.)

But if I take some breaths, I realize my hurt is not because of what Rich said or didn’t say, rather because of my THOUGHTS (Rich does not care about my thoughts or feelings).

I can allow myself to feel the hurt, without resisting or indulging.  I can breathe it in a gentle compassionate way until it dissipates.  But I first have to be willing to feel the hurt.

I can then ask myself  if the thought creating the hurt is serving me.

I can see evidence that many times I believe Rich DOES care about my thoughts and feelings.  The thought  He does NOT care certainly isn’t helpful or inspiring.  Nor is it necessary.  And I know when I feel hurt by Rich I don’t love him well, so it is not a kind thought at all.

What thought do I want to think? What do I want to feel?

I am committed to always turn toward Rich.  I know the alternative is to deal with things on my own which  begins the cascade of distance, loneliness and isolation.   I certainly don’t want that.  Yet, if I only bring undertones of hurt to the conversation, I collect hurt and I hurt him.

In this situation I might choose the thought Rich DOES care about my thoughts and feelings.  Most of the time,  I really do believe that thought.  Or I could choose the thought, Rich and  are on the same team. Or We both want to feel connected.

I decided to pick the thought We are on the same team.  It makes me feel connected.  Now when I take the action of turning toward him, I am not sweeping my hurt under the rug nor indulging my feelings of hurt.   I allowed myself to feel that, remember?

I allowed my feelings, found compassion for myself, and I created a helpful thought and feeling to bring into my turning toward Rich.

When we allow our unintentional feelings without indulging or resisting, and manage the thoughts we bring into the action of Turning Toward our husband, we get different results.  We can’t determine how he will respond to us, but when we come from a place of positive emotion we show up in a way that makes us at peace with ourselves.