Brett and Sally had been married for 20 years and lately they seemed to be going in different directions without knowing how to fix it.
He was spending more time at work, with his buddies and taking care of his parents than he did with Sally. She missed connecting with Brett, didn’t feel important to him and although she tired to keep busy, she felt lonely and wondered if this was what their marriage would be in the future.
They seemed to argue about everything but it usually came down to Sally accusing him of not caring about her and Brett defending himself by arguing that how he spends his time is out of his control.
They were both entrenched in their positions and they couldn’t resolve the issue until they came to us where they saw something new and different.
Here are a few insights they had they can help you if you and someone else in your life are going in different directions…
1. Don’t believe your thinking
Our habitual thinking blinds us to a possible way to get on the same team and going in the same direction.
Brett’s thinking that he had to do things with his friends every week or they wouldn’t like him and his thinking that he had to take his elderly parents wherever they needed to go kept him stressed, filling up most of his free time. He saw that he “thought” he had to do all these things for other people to be loved and that might not be the case. Maybe he didn’t have to watch every game with his friends and maybe he didn’t have to mow his parent’s yard every week like he thought he had to do.
Sally’s non-stop thinking that Brett didn’t care about her had kept her stirred up and angry most of the time with him. Even when they did have some time together, she saw that her anger kept them from connecting and even having fun together.
When you begin to have some space around your thinking and it doesn’t look so solid, you can begin to see something that you hadn’t seem before.
2. Focus on the commonality and where love intersects
When you focus your attention on where love resides between the two of you, you’ll see and feel more love.
When Sally realized that part of what she loved about Brett was that he was a caring person, she began to see the small ways he was caring with her as well as his friends and his parents. Just last week he had taken her car in for repairs and she realized that he had done that out of love.
When Brett realized that he had forgotten how much he used to enjoy taking walks with Sally and talking with her, he saw that he had allowed the stress of “the shoulds” to push times like their walks together to the back burner until they were non-existent.
When you re-discover your commonality and focus on it, a more loving space does open up.
And it doesn’t have to mean doing things like you used to do together. It can simply mean opening your heart to loving this person again and seeing the love that is there.
3. Open to other possibilities
Possibilities are always there when you see that your way isn’t the only way or even the best way,
When you drop into kindness for yourself and for the other person, a path go in the same direction can open up.
Brett saw that in keeping up what he’d been doing to get love from others wasn’t really getting him what he wanted, he could feel himself falling out of so much stress and he could see an easier life for himself. He could see the possibility of more time with Sally, doing things they both wanted to do together. He could see that being kinder to himself and to her was a way to go in the same direction.
Sally saw that when she opened to the possibility that their life together could be happier and easier, she was less critical and less stressed. She saw that she had been holding so tightly only an awful future with Brett that that’s all she could see–until she allowed something different.
A more loving space is created when you drop your expectations that a certain thing has to happen or things will always be the way you think they are.
And within that loving space, you can find a way to move together toward lives filled with more peace and love that you thought possible.