My husband once seemed like a mystery I couldn’t solve, like a puzzle with missing pieces, and with a brick wall where his heart should be. He seemed impossible to get to know – and more important – impossible for me to show my real, true self to.
A minute ago, he walked by me with an air that reeked of “cold” to me. My first instinct is to anger – “How dare you!” I want to scream. “If you want to talk to me, come to me – don’t make me follow you around!” And then I got it…
What I “got” was that my husband going “cold” is either:
- He’s angry and upset with me, and doesn’t know how to say it; or,
- He’s angry and upset with something that has NOTHING to do with me.
So – the “old” me would jump right in imagining that this is all about ME. I’d go over everything that happened with us in the last 24 hours, and try to fix it by thinking up something nice to do for him – like suggesting something fun to do, or initiating affection or sex, or just plain chatting to “lighten” the mood. I’d go into “Overfunctioning” mode, which would just push him away more. (As I explain and help you with in my Have the Relationship You Want ebook, “Overfunctioning” is one of the biggest ways we push our men away).
Or – I’d get angry right back. “What right does he have to get all ‘moody’ with me?” I’d ask myself.
Sound familiar? I’d jump right into “defensive thinking.”
Now (and I’ve been able to do this since I turned my marriage around nearly 15 years ago), I just go do something for myself that feels GREAT. I breathe, I use my Tools to regain my sense of Power and get back into my body, my heart and my life.
Usually, within an hour, my husband chases ME down and starts a conversation.
Do these 5 things when you find yourself in this same situation:
- Catch yourself wherever you are, whatever you’re thinking or feeling that’s a reaction to what your man is doing – for example: either feeling angry, defensive, frightened that he’s losing interest, or starting to “Overfunction” (offering him something like food, or a massage, or asking him how he’s feeling, or picking up after him…)
- Stop. Just absolutely STOP.
- Stand totally still and Find Your Feelings – for now just see if you can find a feeling or a sensation in your body. It will help you feel more grounded, and stop you from following your normal pattern of reacting to him in ways that don’t work.
- Turn around. Find something to do for YOU.
If you’re feeling uncomfortable and strange when you do this – GREAT! It means you’re on your way to shifting your relationship. Let me know how it feels for you to “ignore” your man, and I’d love to know what he does, so be sure to comment here.