ASK, don’t assume

ASK, don’t assume
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Welcome to day 15 in the series… 

Yesterday we finished addressing Habit #2 – Be CAREFUL, not crushing by looking at how to reconnect and re-establish the warmth in a relationship “after battle”.

Over the next seven days we will be looking at Habit #3 – ASK, Don’t’ Assume.  This is about recognising the deeply held values and beliefs we each hold, and learning how to have courageous conversations when we find our values and beliefs in opposition.  

Have you ever done or said something you thought was fairly trivial and got a deep, visceral, angry response from your partner?  Or have you ever surprised yourself by how intensely and negatively you responded to something? Those are big clues that a core value has been trampled on.  Something that is held dear has been very disrespected.  

Sometimes we don’t even know what those core values and beliefs are until they get challenged. Seldom do we take time to think about what is truly important to us and is driving our choices and behaviours.  Even when we do know, sometimes it’s hard to articulate it without feeling vulnerable and exposed.

There is a “sacred space” between couples in a romantic relationship, a space that in an ideal world is uncluttered and free, where partners are each able to stand naked and bare – body, soul and spirit.  Yet this space is so easily cluttered with misunderstanding, unaired resentment, anger or hurt, because we don’t have the skills to talk about deeply held issues. 

That’s why learning about core values, and learning to have a courageous conversation about the needs and values driving certain behaviours – yours and your partner’s – are vital skills to develop. These are the building blocks for a foundation of mutual trust and respect in any relationship and the key to keeping the relationship tender.

Here’s something to think about: What is one courageous conversation that you probably should have had with your partner a while ago?  Now, don’t just jump in and confront them with it! Over the next seven days we’ll give you some additional pointers on how best to go about it.

Tomorrow we will be looking at some of these core values that drive our behaviours.  Stay tuned!

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