Unconventional Coaching

Energizing the relationships in your life

July 23, 2013
Fighting Fair

Problems Bubbling Up On Vacation?


You are finally alone together–no kids, beautiful environment, amazing hotel room, (or amazing camping spot), cell phones off (for the moment).

Opportunity!  Romance, sex, fun, wild and crazy times.

And what happens?

Suddenly every slight irritation that you’ve had on the trip seems to blow up bigger and bigger. You feel compelled to get tell all–let everything out. And your partner responds in kind.

Then it morphs into each of you saying every dark thought you’ve have had about him/her. All smoldering resentments are fanned into flame.

The wine, the hot tub, the view? It all fades before the towering fury you both feel.

Ever have this experience?

I have.

And I just saw this played out on the screen in the movie, Before Midnight. It is the third movie in a series about a relationship as seen over time–18 years, in fact.

This couple in a long-term relationship finally had a special night alone with no kids and distractions and suddenly all the stuff they had been bottling up came out in the worst possible ways.


Who’s right, who’s wrong.


As I walked away from this movie, I thought it was a great example of how we can mess up so easily. I wanted to tell them that these impossible conversations in fabulous situations can actually be avoided.

Just as we make arrangements for the vacation, we can make emotional arrangements with ourselves and each other.


Here’s what I’d say:

I know you were all charged up–on the ride of this heated conversation–blasting with intensity. It may have felt like an all-or-nothing moment. But, actually, what’s going might be something simpler.

Because we all live very complicated lives, with so much compressed into time and space,

when we begin to let down,

to decompress,

everything that’s been pushed aside can burst to the surface.

It is the sudden whoosh of a pressure release valve.


Just understanding ahead of time that this could happen, we open the opportunity for being creative about what to do.

We don’t have to deny that all these issues exist. We can deal with the deep stuff between us at another time. (And get help from a coach if necessary!).


And…we can set up the arrangements:

Maybe we agree that as we step through the door, we’ll be leaving our ordinary identities behind.

Maybe we suggest that as we slip into the hot tub, we slip into the present.

As we pour the champagne, maybe we toast to the next 24 hours of living in a bubble.

Maybe we promise ourselves that we will deal with the issues later–and even set up a later time.

Maybe we just get silent and watch the view for awhile, as we let the pressure escape from our minds and bodies.

Maybe we honor our relationship and say it’s okay to just let go and have a good time!

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