I’ve thought about this next concept for years now. Its one of the simplest ways to start improving your relationship, and its often one of the ones we just don’t do naturally, but it
MAKES A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE!!
When one of you feels like they never win, suddenly resentment starts running the relationship and we get annoyed by anything, everything! Can you relate?
Take a read below and start the conversation with your partner. How are you doing on creating a relationship where you both win?
It’s my way or the Highway!
So, we made a decision to sell our house. We had a baby and I came home from the hospital and instantly decided we had to move, right now!! I felt claustrophobic and overwhelmed. My husband had a game plan to sell our house in a couple of years, before our son started school. We were not on the same page. It was a hard conversation for both of us to explain our views – how I felt and what his financial strategy was – without losing our cools and having a shouting match trying to be the one that won the conversation.
I used to believe that there had to be a winner and a loser; there had to be one person that sacrificed, capitulated, compromised. I entered into my marriage with this belief and had a horrible first year. I mean, it f*cking sucked. I was overly aggressive when I wanted something because I had to win against my husband. Or, I was a martyr when I gave up for him to win. We never met in the middle. Win/ win conversations were an ideal notion but up until the last few years they were elusive in my relationship. It was a foreign concept.
Professionally, I can do win/win. I can negotiate a middle ground with friends and family pretty easily. But to do it with my husband….lord, it was a challenge. It was me against him, and we did battle. We created friction and rage. We created distance and resentment. The damage we have created has taken more time to repair than it did to cause.
How the hell are we supposed to get to “win/win”? We had to develop a different way of communicating with each other. We had to build a space where we could both ask for what we wanted. We had to NEGOTIATE to find something that would work for both of us, mostly.
The “why” of needing to win is still lost on me. I’m still working through it. I guess it doesn’t matter why i’m like this, the important part is what am I going to change so my relationship to be different. And honestly, the best thing that I do in my relationship is practice restraint of tongue. We both get an opportunity to speak, we both get an opportunity to ask for what we want, we both get to work towards the middle.
I will be honest and say that we were not great initially when we started talking about moving. We did get to a place where we were able to speak more gently with each other. We were able to hear each other and discuss our wants.
We have come to a place where we’ve decided to put our house up for sale for 60 days and if it doesn’t sell then we will wait another year or two before listing again. It works for both of us. We have found a space in the middle of what we both want that was reasonably acceptable to both of us. There is no winner/ loser.
There is only a team that plays on the same side – where we both win.