Leftovers

Man GardeningEddie is an avid gardener. He and his tiller unearth countless artifacts from the previous life of the garden plot. Horseshoes, glass, arrowheads, and an engine manifold are recent treasures.
 
In our marriages, we encounter leftovers from our former lives that do not belong to us as a couple. They may relate to family of origin issues, otherwise known as FOOI (phooey). They may come from earlier relationships, old hurts, mistrust, and guardedness.
 
When leftovers are triggered with our partners, we can identify them because they come with more heat, fire, and noise than what is called for by the current circumstances. At our house, when the heat surprises us, it is a cue to stop, look, and listen. One of us will calmly ask, “Where in the world did that come from?” We both understand that coded question acknowledges that the heat might not be all about our partner. Together, we then try to figure out the source of the high emotion. The acknowledgement makes the situation safer for us as a couple and allows us to behave more gently with each other.
 
Are you vulnerable in specific areas?
 
Do you know where those vulnerabilities come from?
 
Where is your spouse vulnerable?
 
Can you learn to say to one another “that was not about you”?
 
Share knee to knee.*
 
 
 
*Face each other, hold hands, make eye contact and give each other undivided attention.
 
 
 
Copyright 2012 Eddie and Sylvia Robertson, Better Marriages Certified Trainer Couple. To order the book, Wonderful Wednesdays, visit www.BetterMarriages.org.

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