§ We came to this world to LIVE OUT LOUD.
This Can Change Your Relationship
Are you struggling in your primary relationship, partnership or marriage? Or have you been “burned” so many times that you’re afraid to even get into a serious relationship?
I have been with my husband for 25 years and I can definitely confirm that having a close, intimate relationship take A LOT OF WORK.
We have been through so many ups and downs over the years. From falling madly in love in what felt like a deep soul level connection and the romantic stage of our relationship for the first five years to having three kids, moving continents, career triumphs and struggles, health scares, losses of beloved family members, a couple of miscarriages, many sleepless nights, healing tons of past traumas which had us project our crap on each other… we have been through a lot together.
There are times when I feel deeply in love with him and feel so blessed to have met him so early in life (I was only 22 and he 26) and there are times when I can barely stand him and want to run away somewhere. (Although truth to tell, I learned a long time ago that when I want to run away from the family, it’s because I need to set some boundaries and get some “me” time).
Neither of us came to the relationship with stellar “relationship skills” and we have had to work really hard to learn these over the years, especially communication. And we had to work really hard to cultivate patience.
We have done couples therapy, healing work and lots of relationship coaching and one concept in particular that stands out as being super helpful over the years is Wabi Sabi Love.
What’s Wabi Sabi Love?
You may remember that a while back, I interviewed best-selling author and relationship expert, Arielle Ford. You can check out her interview here. She developed the concept of Wabi Sabi Love based on the ancient Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi which seeks to find beauty and perfection in imperfection.
Applied to love and relationships, Wabi Sabi invites us to look for what’s “right” in our partner and in our relationship, especially when things drive us crazy.
For instance, when I’m upset, I need to just get it out. I want to be able to just talk and cry and receive empathy, understanding and a big hug.
My husband, on the other hand, tends to go into solution mode the second he sees me upset. He often interrupts my diatribe (he is Argentine and in his culture, interrupting means you are interested and care) and starts asking lots of “heady” questions all aimed at figuring out “the facts of what’s going” so he can help solve whatever it is.
EXCEPT THAT’S NOT WHAT I WANT.
I just want to be listened to and hugged. And I felt
Can you relate?
It used to really trigger me when he would go into problem solving mode, but since I learned about Wabi Sabi Love, I started to look for the perfection in this imperfection and here’s what I realized:
- He really, really loves me and cares about me and wants to help me.
- He thinks that he can best help me by “solving” the problem because that’s what he would want if he were upset.
- Yes, I have told him a hundred times what I want and need but he forgets. In fact, when he sees me upset, he wants to help so much that he goes into his natural mode of problem solving.
When I allowed this perspective to really sink in, my heart softened and I began to appreciate how much my husband truly cares and loves me.
From this softened stance (as opposed to the pissed off “here you go not listening to me again”), I was able to talk to him about it from a place of love. He could then hear me rather than getting defensive and confirmed that he just really wants to help when he sees me upset and often doesn’t know what to do.
We came up with a solution: when I am upset and just need to talk, I remind him of that before I start sharing and ask him to please just listen and empathize. And he does! It works like a charm. He’s happy to know what to do and I’m happy to feel listened to.
So simple yet so many years of conflict over it.
What about you – how can you benefit from Wabi Sabi Love? How can you begin to see the perfection in the imperfection? And how would that change your relationships?
As always, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a message below and let me know how it’s going with this practice.
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