Unconventional Coaching

Energizing the relationships in your life

November 13, 2012


I have been asked several times recently if I am in a good relationship. That’s easy. I am.

What I mean by that is that we each feel that we are real, honest, and at the same time, still romantic and deeply in love. There is an amazing texture and complexity to our relationship–an understanding that we truly have each other’s backs.

Of course, we still can get really mad at each other. We both know each other’s yucky habits way too well. We are each addicted to our computers/iPhones at times. And yes, the day-to-day grind gets us down.

We’ve gone through a few periods where we just couldn’t stand each other, too. There has even been a time or two when each of us has thought of leaving.

But something we did early on in our relationship has served us very well.

Since we each had come out of less than successful relationships, we decided together that we would put a high priority on being as honest with each other as we could. This wasn’t a big negotiation–we just realized that being deeply honest was a high value for each of us, and it was going to have to be a part of the equation. We each felt lucky that we had found someone else who wanted that.

Of course, just saying it is the easy part. (I’m sure many couples pledge something similar.)

Being honest has actually been very, very painful at times. We’ve faced up to dumb or seriously hurtful behaviors, failures, and general nastiness. We’ve dreaded having to say the words. We’ve talked about dashed dreams and disappointments.

But, but, but–every time we have crossed the bridge of honesty together, the experience on the other side has been so sweet, so funny, so ultimately healing that we would not trade it.

Honesty matters.

Just yesterday, a client described such a process with her partner:

She had been holding back on really expressing both the pain that she was experiencing in the relationship and the deep dreams and wishes that she had for them together. When she took the step of honesty–taking responsibility for herself and her emotions–the result was the clearest conversation they have had in more than a year. Whether they stay together is unknown, but for her, that honesty, first with herself, and then with her love, has already enriched their relationship here and now.

“If each person can take the smallest steps toward self-disclosure, it can make a tremendous difference.” John Gottman

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment