I'll never forget the day, I walked in the house, exhausted, after a long day supporting couples in distress, and after my own 90 minute yoga class ...
To see my husband sitting on the couch, watching tv, loving on our sweet pup.
Nothing wrong with that.
My eyes immediately scanned the room for what needed to be done, and hadn't been done.
Do you ever do this? Do you immediately look around to see what they COULD HAVE done, but instead are choosing NOT TO, meaning that now YOU have to take care of "the stuff?"
Yeah, that happened. And my eyes found the counter littered with dishes from last night's dinner, that I HOPED he would have done before I got home.
Then all that negative mental chatter started ...
"Seriously? You couldn't just look around when you got home 2 hours ago, see what needed to be done, + just do it?"
"Why is it so hard for you look around + see what I would see?"
"How come I have to be the one to do EVERYTHING?!"
Yep, I went down that rabbit hole, silently, + full of resentment. All in my head.
I felt my blood begin to boil.
And then ... tears. Yep, hot tears came streaming down.
And before my husband could even get a greeting out of his mouth, he'd hopped up and anxiously asked what was wrong + attempted to soothe me.
In the past I would have lost it. Crying, begging, and pleading with him to just get these things done. "What's so hard about looking around + seeing what needs to be done + just doing it? I do it all the time!"
And his frustration would inevitably (and rightfully so) say some version of...
"I can't read your mind!! I didn't know you wanted the dishes done before you got home! This is so not my fault."
In that moment, something happened for me. Something magical clicked.
This was not the first time I'd gone through this silent (and sometimes) not so silent pleading with my husband.
But for the first time I realized something ...
It wasn't that I wanted him to read my mind, I just wanted him to KNOW ME.
When you are known.
Here's the thing, so often we expect our partners to just read our minds.
"They should know what I want, I've asked for it so many times!"
Let me see if I can shift things just a bit for you.
What if instead of your partner just knowing what you want them to do ... they knew YOU better.
- They knew that a clean, clutter-free living space is the most relaxing thing to walk into at the end of the night.
- They knew that there's nothing you love more than the smell of your fave jasmine candle burning in the bathroom.
- They knew that your favorite time is 30 minutes before the sun came up every morning, so you can sip hot coffee, while cuddling with your babes or pup.
Here's the thing, when you are actually KNOWN, your partner is more likely to show up in ways that you can appreciate + that say, I get you.
How often do you feel like, "OMG, you just don't get it. You just don't get ME!"
Yeah, it can feel disconnecting, exhausting, + hopeless when you're constantly feeling like your spouse just doesn't know you.
Help them know you + Get to know them, too.
No one wants to constantly nag to get what they want.
And no one likes to be asked over + over + over to do or remember to do things.
So let's move the focus from "Why can't you just ... (read my mind)" ...
to "Let's learn more about each other."
Start with some version of this:
"I don't want to expect you to read my mind anymore, that's just silly + not fair to you. Besides, it's crazy frustrating for me, too. Let's get to know one another better so we can start doing the things that actually fill each other up."
Here are a few questions to get to know each other better:
- What's your favorite time of day + why?
- If you could create your dream day, what would it look like, leave out nothing. (Have two versions, a regular work day + one weekend/vacation day)
- What's your least favorite chore to do around the house + why?
- How do you get through stressful times when you're at work/home with the kids? (anytime they're not around you)
- What's the thing that relaxes you most at the end of the day?
- Tell me what smell makes you smile the biggest.
- Who do you talk to when you just need to vent or gain some perspective?
- If you had a gift card for one "get pampered" activity, what would it be? (massage, personal fitness training session, facial, mani/pedi, personal chef, etc)
- You've got 4 hours all to yourself, no kids, no work, no phone/computer ... what's your ideal way to spend it?
- You've got 24 hours to do anything you want, with me ... what would we do, where would we go, how would we get there, what would we eat?
NOW ... here's the important part.
What you do with this information is how your partner will feel that you truly know them.
Here are a few examples from the questions provided.
1. Fave time of day is morning. Pull out a coffee mug the night before + stick a little note on it wishing them a productive day + mention that you can't wait to see them tonight.
2. Dream Day includes making time to listen to their fave podcast while cozied up on the couch. Purchase the softest blanket you can find + new earbuds for them to enjoy.
3. Least fave chore: cleaning the bathroom. Take 10 minutes, wipe down the bathroom + light their fave scented candle while they're gone so they return home to see their least fave chore is done.
4. Stressful times: they grab their phone for a quick scroll through FB or check football stats. Next time they're all stressed out, ask how their fave football team is doing or if they've seen that hilarious new meme on Facebook.
5. End of day relaxation: Clean counters. (Yum!) Make sure to get a heads up when they're 15 minutes from home + quickly do a tidying up of the kitchen. it will make their day!
OK ... you get the idea, right?
The more you + your partner KNOW one another, the better you can show up for one another.
The more you know what lights them up, what calms them down, what brings them joy ...
the more likely you are to want to do those things because you know the response you will get vs trying to remember the exact things they've said they need you to remember to do.
It's not about mind reading.
It's about KNOWING your partner. And it's about making sure they KNOW you.
If you're struggling to get to know your partner or simply struggling to DO something with what you know, reach out.
Click the button below + let's get you truly KNOWING each other. Today.