I have been talking about the importance of the Space Between. Typically we think of a relationship as you and you – two people. The challenge is to view your relationship as the two of you plus the Space Between you. It is a real energy field and you can tell, can’t you, when there is tension in the Space Between? It is either tension free or it is not. There is no middle ground. You cannot keep putting negativity into the Space Between as the negativity causes disconnect and from the quantum level up you want connection. It’s time to amplify the positives.
Breakdown of The Space Between Series
Part 1 of the Space Between series suggested that the fastest way forward for any couple is to remove all negativity from the Space Between – no blame, shame or criticism.
Part 2 explored the challenge that for whatever reason, sometimes the negativity is unconscious. The caveat is, it is the person on the receiving end who determines if something is negative or not. So how do you let your partner know that what they did came across as negative to you without getting their back up even more? I suggested a code word or action that alerts your partner to something negative. Pick one you have both agreed on beforehand. Then, you want to go about repairing the rupture as soon as possible so whatever happened doesn’t happen again.
Part 3 encouraged couples to use the Safe Conversation Process – mirroring, validation and empathy – to repair the rupture as quickly as possible. The structure of the Safe Conversation process allows couples to: talk without criticizing, listen without judging and connect through their differences.
Part 4 was an example of how negativity can show up in the Space Between unconsciously. I used the example of a woman who felt dismissed. That was not her partner’s intention but because it triggered a feeling she had had in childhood it caused a disconnect. The example occurred in the office and we sorted it out; the trick is to have the tools to fix it at home.
Amplify the Positives
Here in Part 5, the last part of the series on the Space Between, I am suggesting you want to refill the Space Between with positives. In the honeymoon phase of a relationship, the Space Between tends to be pretty positive. It is new, exciting, and romantic. But then, slowly or quickly, the Space Between can start to become more negative. It generally is small things – a criticism, a turning away, a shutting down, rolling the eyes, etc. but if it becomes too negative, then people start to avoid it. Why would they go into a toxic space? The key is to first, remove all negativity from the Space Between and secondly, refill it with positives.
I encourage couples to say the positives out loud. “Thanks a lot, I really appreciated that, you did a great job”. Think about it from your old brain point of view. If you are constantly hearing positives from your partner, your old brain can relax, this is not the enemy over there, it is your partner, your ally; you are on the same team.
I keep saying, having a great relationship is not rocket science, but there are four key pieces to creating the relationship you really want.
4 Keys to The Relationship of Your Dreams
- Safety is essential. The oldest part of our brain, the reptilian or lizard part, has a 500 million year track record. You are not going to change it. If it senses danger, it will go into a defensive stance. Your old brain is just trying to keep you alive but generally your partner is not the enemy; you are on the same team.
- You cannot keep putting negativity into the Space Between, as the negativity causes disconnect and what you want is connection. I came across a great quote yesterday: “The greatest illusion of the universe is the illusion of separation.” Your relationship is part of this beautiful universe of ours – the illusion may be of separation, but everything is in relationship to everything else. You want connection.
- Imago theory informs us that negative issues will surface in the relationship because we are partnered with someone who has some of both the positive but also negative traits of our original caretakers. The reframe is to recognize, in fact, you have married your healer.
- You have to learn to talk with your partner, about anything, in a way that feels safe. The structure of the Safe Conversation process gives couples a way to talk to each other in a safe manner. The mirroring, validation, and empathizing structure of the Safe Conversation process ensures safety.
These are the four key pieces to creating the relationship you truly want. There might be new skills to incorporate into your interactions with each other, but over time the new behaviours will become as automatic as the old, but the outcome will be pleasure, not pain. All the best going forward.