Colorado Life Coach: Now and Not Yet
Isn’t it good to be happy with what you have?
Isn’t it also good to long for more, dream big, keep improving?
What if you’re in a relationship and one of you is tired of working on things. Can’t we just be OK? Can’t we just be happy with who we are, where we’ve been, the life we have? And one of you likes growth, improvement, increased intimacy. Can’t we work on this, so it will be better? I want to continue to grow! I want to be closer to you and not keep triggering each other.
Yes, and yes.
I’ve always enjoyed puzzles and mysteries. I want to know how things work, and why they broke. I like trying to understand how people became the way they are, and if there is anything they can do to change. Call me weird, but it’s true.
My husband likes calm. He likes predictability. He wants things to just be OK.
Can you see where our marriage might run into conflict?
For fun, I like to meet with counselors and hear their methods to bring people greater healing. I had such a meeting last week. Bob invited me to have lunch with him after the meeting. I was excited! This guy works with people who have been through trauma and helps them stop getting triggered. I’m thinking of myself, my marriage, friends, everyone I know who gets triggered and could be helped by this type of treatment. I’m also thinking of the groups I lead. I do some of this type of work, but imagine what healing could occur if I knew more and could implement it with those in my groups! I was so excited!
Guess what? Bob felt overwhelmed. I had hardly started telling him about my amazing morning, than I could see the familiar “deer in the headlights” look I know so well. I don’t mean to overwhelm him. He wants to be excited for me. But it still happens.
Something I said triggered sadness in him. He started to feel like I was telling him I wanted to start intensive therapy…unending, intensive therapy, again. He didn’t want to go tell his life story to yet another counselor (and the intake part takes several sessions), only to have to dredge up hard stuff from the past.
And I get that.
Here’s where my love of growth paid off. I called my own coach, Shannon Ethridge. I had just spent a weekend with her in Texas as part of her BLAST mentoring program. Shannon and I spent time just as friends, not as coach and client. But after my lunch, I needed a coach. Shannon helped me remember that due to our relationship styles (which, by the way, I am writing the book on), Bob tends to view life through the lens of criticism, and I tend to view life through the lens of rejection.
So, he feels like I’m telling him everything that’s wrong with our marriage, and why can’t we just be happy?
I’m telling him all the things I want to work on to make it even better, and feel rejected by his lack of enthusiasm.
So we’re here, and we’re not yet there.
Can we learn to be happy in both?
We spent the last 2 days in Breckenridge for our 27th anniversary. We talked while remembering each others’ woundings. When I share what I hope for the future, I remind him that I’m happy with our life now, and I want to continue to grow closer to him. When he talks to me, he reminds me that he loves me, and just because he feels overwhelmed, doesn’t mean he won’t participate.
It’s not either, or. It’s, “be happy in the now, and keep working on healing and growth in the not yet.”
If you’d like more information on relationship styles and the groups Carrie runs, click here.
This post written by Colorado Life Coach, Carrie O’Toole.