Have you ever wondered why, when we are doing something that isn’t working for us, we take so long before making a change? Curious isn’t it. We stay in jobs we don’t like for years. We live in homes or communities we don’t like far longer than we want to.
Similarly, we keep doing things in relationship that don’t serve us, not only in our current relationships, but in relationship after relationship after relationship. How do we know these ways of being aren’t working? Simply because they don’t feel good, and they aren’t getting us the results we want.
What habits of relating are we talking about? There are many. Maybe you’re in the habit of thinking negative thoughts about your partner. Maybe its the habit of doing everything yourself. If you’re a woman, maybe ignoring your desires has become the normal way of being, causing yourself to be miserable and your partner to feel helpless and useless. If you’re a man, perhaps you consistently set your standards low in terms of what you can produce, causing you to feel powerless, and your partner to feel scared and frustrated. Maybe its the habit of not thanking him; or of not telling her how you much you love her.
Now, there’s good new and there’s bad news.
The bad news is that these “habits” of relating can occur as real, which makes life suck. Your husband really is lazy. Your wife really is indecisive. Men really are egotistical jerks. Women really are scattered brained. When those habitual ways of thinking occur as real (as opposed to simply what you are choosing to focus on in this relationship) they produce very real results – frustration, anger, arguments, contempt, separation and divorce.
The good news is that, as with any habit, habits of relating can be changed. Habits are just engrained brain patterns that we repeat because its what we’ve become accustomed to. If we’ve developed patterns that don’t serve us, we can develop patterns that do serve us.
Now most people get a little nervous about giving up habits, especially when it comes to relationship habits they have held onto for awhile. Why? Let’s look at that.
When people think of “breaking habits” they equate that with having to quit something – cigarettes, alcohol, coffee, or sweets for example. When it comes to habits of relating, however, people can hardly conceive of it. Somehow, deep down, it doesn’t make sense – they can’t just “quit” the relationship. It’s just not possible. They don’t want that. It can’t be the only answer.
So they are left with a dilemma. Exactly what is it I will be quitting? What will be left? What will this look like? They have no idea what will replace the “poor” habits of relating.
But that’s exactly what we provide …the good solid base for NEW habits,
This quote from Abraham Hicks, however, puts changing habits into new light. It powerfully reframes what it means to replace one habitual way of being with another:
A quote from Abraham Hicks:
“Those old habits don’t have to be erased, they just become replaced by a new habit that is more in vibrational harmony with who you are and what you want.” —Abraham
In other words, giving up unproductive habits of relating doesn’t mean giving up the relationship. The answer is in replacing those habits with new ways of being, thinking and acting that are more in alignment with who you are and what you say you want.
What do you want? Well, that depends on you. Generally speaking, however, its safe to say that people want connection, love, trust, intimacy and fun.
And, they don’t want to have to compromise who they are to get those things. They want to be themselves without judgement or guilt.
Now the big question. What ways of being…what habits…will move people toward connection, love, trust, intimacy and fun in a way that honours who they are as a man or a woman?
That’s a question we take two days to answer in the “Between Men and Women” Couples Relationship Retreat. Here’s some examples drawn from that conversation.
Remember earlier when I said that habits are engrained brain patterns that can be “re-programmed” with practice? A common engrained pattern is seeing a man’s ego as wrong, bad or dangerous. What if you shifted your focus to see that his ego is actually what drives him to produce for you and your family? It’s what has him “go for it”. In that light, ego is critical to so many of the great things that men have accomplished on the planet, and in your home. Each time you find yourself seeing his ego as wrong, try consciously shifting that thought to one of ego as a driver of production and creativity. Eventually that will become your default view of ego, and you will appreciate its power, and the man who exercises it on your behalf.
Another engrained pattern of relating that can be a source of frustration and arguments is viewing women as being scattered and indecisive. Again, the next time this feeling creeps in, try shifting your focus to the fact that men and women use different logic. Try on that her apparent indecisiveness is the result of her seeing things that you might not see and shifting accordingly. In that light, a woman’s way of processing what’s going on around her can be an invaluable resource.
When you shift your focus, you shift your habitual ways of thinking; and when you shift your thinking, you shift your results. Give it a try.
I know some of you reading this have done the program recently, and have a good grasp on this. For others, its been a little while, so you may be “backsliding” into old habits of relating and not using your knowledge to its full potential. For still others, you haven’t taken “Between Men and Women” yet, so this conversation may seem theoretical, yet I would bet you are sensing it’s accuracy and relevance to your relationship.
No matter where you’re at, the Between Men and Women retreat in Banff is a great opportunity to revisit, or hear for the first time, the distinctions of this powerful system of relating in the outrageously romantic and fun environment of Hidden Ridge Resort in Banff.
For full details, including how to register, visit “Between Men and Women” Couples Relationship Retreat. Feel free to phone or email Donna or Jason if you have any questions.