I wish that I could count the number of hours friends, well and me too, have spent trying to figure out WHY their partner does X. We speculate, we run hypotheticals. We call friends and get them to participate in speculating and running hypotheticals. All the possible variations, all the possible explanations, all the ways the past gives evidence to whatever theory we’re developing.
And it’s not just the speculation. We THEN make all of those speculations and hypotheticals mean something as though they are fact. The “could be” becomes the “is” somewhere between our heads and our hearts. “If this is what’s going on in his head, he really doesn’t love me at all.” “If he doesn’t understand what I’m saying, he doesn’t care about me.” “If he can’t answer this question, we really have no future.” “If she…” okay, I admit I was going for gender neutral there, but do men do this? It’s an honest question. If they do it, they don’t include me in those conversations. Truthfully, I probably wouldn’t include me in them either. I’m not much fun to have around if what you are really looking to do is get yourself good and worked up over a hypothetical. I imagine my girlfriends will give it up soon as well.
Why? There are two reasons I’m not down with the hypothetical relationship analysis: 1) there is no point in reacting to a hypothetical as it potentially has absolutely no basis in reality and 2) engaging in all of this speculation and hypothetical meandering is entrenching yourself in the part of your relationship that is none of your business. WHAT?! Yeah, that’s right I said none of your business.
What IS your business is what you do, what you need, and how you will get it. WHY your loved one is not responding the way you’d like is none of your business. What matters is whether or not that response is causing a problem because of what you need to be your best self. What matters is whether or not YOU are providing yourself with what you need. What matters is whether or not the way you are behaving is in line with you really are, regardless of how your partner responds. Those are your primary business, and well, there’s a lot there. Why waste time with hypotheticals and speculation when there is so much to consider that IS your business, that you don’t have to hypothesize to understand, and that you only need to get to know and be honest with yourself to accomplish. THAT is your business.
How does this transform our relationships? When we stop the storytelling about the actions of another person, we stop hurting ourselves with our worst fears. We stop torturing ourselves with the worst possible outcomes we can imagine. We stop resenting the other for things that may not be true, for events that may never come to pass. We stop developing grand theories that explain every misdeed throughout the life of the relationship. We get real about what we need, and we get busy finding ways to take care of those needs as best we can, leaving the other person to be free to do the same, leaving our partner free to meet us in love and joy rather than out of necessity or bargaining. We come together with clearer ideas about how we best work, play, and live with others and feel confident enough to share that information. We learn to live more fully ourselves and bring our best selves to our union. THAT’s transformation baby.
How we access some relationship transformation, the short version:
- Step 1: Stop the storytelling.
- Step 2: Seriously get into your own business.
- Step 3: Grow.
- Step 4: Love yourself.
- Step 5: Share that glorious satisfied self with your partner.
Will this fix every relationship problem? I doubt it, but I’d lay money on it solving enough of them or making them do-able, and isn’t that really how it goes? We love, we laugh, we enjoy each other and when we run into a problem, we find a way to make it do-able together or apart. When you get into your business and meet your needs, you will have better relationships, starting with that delicious one with your stunning self.