Tag Archives: partners

Little Children Come Out to Play

26 Jan

It would be nice if they would ask our permission, but they don’t. Our little children come out to play without any warning at all. I’m not talking about our sons and daughters. I’m talking about that outer child we all have. the outer child that protects the inner child inside of us. Sound confusing? Maybe but you know the one… they are always causing problems for us. They get in the way of happy, healthy relationships.

One little comment to a grown up can come off one way but once the outer child hears it, it becomes quite the problem. Not because the comment was anything big and not because the outer child is overly dramatic. It is solely because the outer child feels the responsibility to protect the inner child also known as the wounded child. And they are hurting – always. They lie beneath our surface and wait. When they hear anything that sounds remotely like the hurtful words of our parents or they see something happening that reminds them of the hurts and fears of childhood, they call on the outer child and well let’s just say it is downhill from there. As adults we can no longer see clearly or think rationally. We are overtaken by the tantrums and fits of our outer child. We operate from a place of hurt and start moving further and further away from healing. Who knew these little people could do so much damage?

The bad news is the inner child and the outer child are a part of us now and forever. The good news is they are not strangers to us. We know them well and they are close enough to call on and speak directly to. First you have to make sure you recognize your outer child is there. Go back to a previous blog called Identifying Your Outer Child and see if you recognize yours.

The next step is to get to know them a little better when things are calm. Start talking to them now before they jump out and yell at your partner on your behalf. The irony is they think they are helping. They go into attack mode to try to defend because they are protecting the hurting child inside of you. It gets even more complicated because as it turns out, they weren’t really yelling at your partner at all. They were fighting with your partner’s outer child. Now we’ve got multiple children who have come out without permission and they are really getting into it. It can be ugly.

The best way to get to know your inner and outer children is to start talking to them. Be kind, because they are typically in a state of hurt most of the time and only have the reasoning of children. Be patient when they are immature and not listening to you or your partner. Then… lay down the law. For example, I had to start by explaining to my inner child that she is safe because I am a grown up and I will take care of her. That job belongs to me I will never abandon her. I am here, always. I tell her that I understand she needs attention and that I will work hard, in a grown up way, to get it. I explain that fits of crying and sarcastic comments from the outer child will not help me and my partner. I tell my outer child that she needs to stay quiet and let the grown up part of me take care of my relationship. I tell my inner child that I love her but that I’ve got this and she is not to send out the outer child and start causing problems. Most of the time she listens and the grown up side of me gets to stay happy and healthy.

But there is something else that is really important. It’s not enough just to see your own inner and outer children. You must recognize that there is a wounded child inside your mate. That child was told ugly things and hurt in ways you may never fully understand. You don’t have too really you just have to keep your outer child at bay when dealing with your mate’s “children.”. The grown up in you can step up and soothe their inner child. You can say kind things to build them up or calm them down. See the child, be the grown up. You would never yell at a hurting child on purpose but that is essentially what is happening if we are not clearly seeing who is standing before us, our grown up mate or their outer child who has come out without permission.

Look Both Ways Before Crossing…

23 Dec

I know you’ve heard those words of wisdom, at least in reference to crossing streets.  I’d like to put a new spin on it for you and encourage you to look both ways before crossing your partner.

Remember first that you are with them for a reason, hopefully many reasons.  One of the reasons is because they get you.  Most of choose someone who understands us, and knows us like no one else.  Sometimes they can see us when we can’t even see ourselves.

I’m the first to admit that I am stubborn and I usually start off every argument sure that I’m right and it is just a matter of proving it.  In my head it sounds like this… “Once I state my case I can go on my merry way of doing things the way I do them.   They’ll see that I was right all along.”

I have often fallen into the trap of preparing my evidence rather than listening to the other side and the perspectives of those who matter to me.  Listening can be difficult when I’m on a mission to prove myself right.  And I find the hardest thing to do is to stop talking and hear how I am being perceived by those I love.  But eventually I do it and I call that looking both ways, my way and their way. 

I know their way matters.  I respect their way of seeing things, it is one of the reasons I chose them to be in my life.  They are smart, observant and they shoot straight with me.  Yes it hurts.  The truth always does.

It’s not in my best interest to cross them and walk around being right all the time.  It’s not in yours either.  Look at the loves in your life.  How and why did you let them in?  Is it safe to be you?   When they call you out on something is it out of love and their hope for you to be accountable and be your best?  For you to grow and be more of who they learned to love in the beginning?  If so… look both ways before crossing your partner.

Strengthen Your Relationship – It’s Worth It

4 Nov

Things my be going along just fine in your relationship.  Congratulations!  This is the perfect time to bring up some discussion questions and do a check-in with your significant other.  Most people don’t want to “rock the boat” if they don’t have to but there is no better time to check-in and see if the two of you are on the same page.   When we don’t “check in” on a regular basis we can find our relationship in a really yucky place before we know it.  Even worse – we aren’t sure how it got there which can make the recovery period even more difficult.

Here are some discussion points for you and your partner.  You can try to answer for each other in a game format and see how well you know each other, but be sure by the end of it  your partner knows where you stand on each one.  When there are differences in your responses don’t panic, just dig a little deeper and discuss them.

  • I am important to our marriage/relationship because…
  • What I contribute to your success is…
  • Ways I have fun with you are…
  • The ways I seek space in our relationship are…
  • Ways I am intimate with you are…
  • My most important role as your spouse is…
  • I feel most feminine/masculine in our bond when…
  • I deal with stress by…
  • I need you to…
  • I feel most loved by you when you…
  • You may not know it, but I am loving you best when I…

Fear is a primary emotion.   Men’s biggest fear is failure.  Women’s biggest fear is abandonment.  These may be likely culprits if you are having any troubles in your relationship.  Women: Check yourself and the kind of messages you are sending to your male partner.  Are you criticizing a lot?  Are you sending the message that he can’t cut it or that you don’t even need him?  Are you cheerleading him and supporting him?  How often do you say you are proud of him and all that he does?  Showing gratitude can be invaluable.  Men: How are you speaking to the woman in your life?  Do you remember to call when you are running late or your plans change?  Do you remind her how important she is to you?  How often do you express that you look forward to “forever” with her?    In a relationship, these small acts of kindness can go a long way to soothe our biggest fears.  After all, this is the partner you chose.  Remind them why you had to have them.

If you have other ways of “checking in” or connecting with your partner, leave a comment, I’d love to hear it!