Sometimes I wish I could get into a boxing ring (in an inflatable sumo wrestling suit, so as not to inflict any real pain) and just have at it with my husband, and that is exactly how I felt one evening this week after a somewhat irritating conversation that I had with the dear fellow.
Why was I fantasizing about that boxing ring?
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You see, he had been away with “the boys” for a 4-day weekend at the Coachella Festival, during which this group of 40-something men likely behaved like 20-year-olds (this of course is my opinion, which naturally my husband doesn’t share), returning home on Sunday in what I consider to be a less-than-desirable state of “vitality”. Unfortunately, a day after coming home, he came down with a little cold….delightful.
We had plans to meet with some friends this weekend for a drink, and while we will still went, I suggested that perhaps it would be best that he give his body a break, and pass on any booze. His response was, “If I feel better, then I might have a glass of wine or two. If not, then I won’t”.
Now, I suppose that was a reasonable response. Unfortunately, I did not think so at the time. At that moment, in my mind, simply feeling better was not enough…it was my opinion that his body needed a break, that health should be a priority, and this meant not drinking. So, I proceeded with a slight rant about how I felt he did not take his health seriously and that he needed to be more responsible, blah, blah, blah.
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You might think I went a bit overboard, and today (in a more conscious and balanced state) I would agree with you.
Here’s the deal – I place a lot of importance on health and wellbeing. Not only is it my personal lifestyle, but it is my business as well. So in my fantasy world, my partner would share this value to the level that I do. Notice that I said fantasy world.
The truth is that I often find it challenging to have the same level of compassion for my husband, the man that I love so dearly, that I do with my friends and clients. I am always able to meet others exactly where there are, without judgment, and help them co-create their ideal vision of life, health and wellbeing; it is not about what I think or believe, nor should it be.
In the case of my husband however, I often catch myself trying to impose my beliefs on him, and this is never a winning strategy – not for him, and not for anyone. The best thing anyone can do is lead by example, and hope for the best. If your opinions are welcomed (as my husband tells me mine are…bless his heart), then by all means, voice them. After you do though, the most important thing you can do is let it go, without being attached to a particular outcome. This is advice that I often give to others…if only I could take heed myself!
Can you think of any ways that you might impose your beliefs or values on others? What kind of response do you get? Are you met with resistance? How do you react when people do not agree, or concede to your opinions/requests? Do you think it is a productive approach? These are all good questions to consider.
I encourage you all to join me in allowing our partners/loved ones to have the freedom to be who they are, to grow at their own pace, and to love them with compassion and acceptance in the process. While I am not always successful in this practice, I am committed to becoming better, one day at a time. And I know that my relationship will only be better as a result.
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