by Gladys Diaz
“I don’t know how to say this without hurting your feelings. I think you’re being a hypocrite.”
Those were the words that I heard from my husband’s mouth last week. No matter how much spiritual and personal growth work I’ve done over the years, it was still difficult to hear my husband sharing how he felt about who I was being in our relationship.
As I write this, I want you to know that my hands are sweating and I’m asking myself whether I’m actually going to hit “Publish” after I finish typing. It’s not easy being this open and vulnerable and sharing what I call “the ugly side of my closet” (You know, the side people can’t see unless they really step in to look inside). However, I think it’s important to share this, because I don’t ever want to give the impression that having a great relationship means you never have to have the hard conversations, that you don’t mess up every once in a while, or that once you get to that great place, there’s no more work to do.
As I mentioned in my previous post on listening for the heart message, I believe it’s important that I practice what I preach. I believe one of the reasons my clients appreciate and get the results they get from the coaching I give is because they can see that I live what I’m teaching in my own life and I have the results I am promising they can have, too.
So, as I sat there listening to my husband tell me how he was feeling, I didn’t defend myself. I didn’t tell him how mean that statement was. I didn’t start telling him all of the things he could be doing to make the relationship better. No. I listened. And, as hard as it was to admit, I had to agree with him. I was being a hypocrite.
See, the month of February was very busy for me as a relationship coach. Throughout the month I had been making public appearances, speaking on TV and radio shows, and delivering training to the members of our group coaching calls on how to keep the intimacy alive in a relationship. All of this busy-ness had me working around the clock, staying up late – sometimes way after my husband went to bed – making calls, returning emails, and feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. Basically, I was not making time for intimacy – physically or otherwise – in my own relationship.
In essence, I’d forgotten to practice what I believe and teach my clients:
Having a great relationship is about making a daily commitment to love and honor the person I am with. It’s about creating partnership, intimacy, and workability every day. It’s about living out my wedding vows each and every day for a lifetime.
Does it take work to have a wonderful, loving, intimate relationship? Yes.
Does it have to be hard? No.
Am I perfect at it? Not by a long shot!
Is it worth the effort? Absolutely!
Having that conversation with my husband helped me in so many ways.
- It helped me see what I was doing (and not doing), the impact it was having, and what I could change.
- It helped me understand how important it is to make sure that I am making our relationship a priority, even when I’m busy.
- It helped me to see just how far my husband and I have come in our love and respect for one another and in our ability to have the tough conversations without them turning into an argument.
And, more than anything, it helped me realize just how committed we are to making this relationship work!
It wasn’t easy for my husband to tell me something that was upsetting him, but he cared enough to tell me and not let it eat away at him.
It wasn’t easy for me to hear what he had to say, but I cared enough to hear him without defending or justifying myself.
And it wasn’t easy to have the conversation, but it ended with hugs, kisses – and, yes, a few tears – as well as a promise to make things even better than they already are!
And, to me, that’s what it’s all about!
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