Do you ever have one of those fights with your partner that starts in a predictable way, and out of habit, you both resort to doing the same thing? Over and over again? Like in the movie Groundhog Day…?
It could be your mood, your partner’s mood, a trigger (more on that in my next blog!), a comment that wasn’t meant the way it sounded and you’re off. Routine fights always end the same way for one or both of you: frustrated, hurt, angry, upset and/or disappointed…
What if it didn’t have to be that way?
Sam and I had been talking for a while about me being part of what he does in his business. And Sam wants to make me happy, so he found a way to make my desire happen. Seems pretty simple, right?
I have a lot going on right now. We are selling our house up north, packing, finding a school for my daughter, his son is getting an award in Independence, Missouri over Memorial Day weekend, we are traveling all over… That is enough for anyone. So, I was stressed; and a little out of sorts; and in a bad mood. You know those days? Where you know it is going nowhere, FAST!
So, when Sam called me on the phone, excited to share his good news, I did not receive it very well because I was not prepared for it. He told me he felt let down because he had a vision with which he tried to make me happy, and so on and so forth. I started to lose it.
This fight could have started and ended as others have, with all the old habits and feelings I listed above. But I knew that was not what I wanted to happen, so I decided to do something that we have been using as a fight-diffusing tactic for a while now.
You might be wondering what I did?
I told him to hang up and call me back for a “do over.” I took a deep breath and knew what to expect. And it changed everything.
I have used the do over in a variety of circumstances… We do it on the phone. We do it in the house. I have literally called a do over and turned and walked out of our home – and come back in ready to do it differently. In these circumstances, we are making a choice to have a different experience and, as such, we choose to handle conflicts differently.
It may seem like a lot of work. Or impossible to “unsay” things. But, in reality, it is so simple and so effective, if you both accept it as being possible.
Yep – The Great Do Over really works. Give it a try!
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