I think when we first met I was attracted to Crystal’s feeling function, she to my thinking function. That is probably oversimplifying it but nevertheless true to some degree.
I am older than Crystal and at the time had a number of degrees and lived in my head (so to speak). She was the first in her family to go to University and we were able to easily talk about ideas, values, possibilities etc.
I on my part was attracted to her spontaneity, fun, laughter and lighter feeling side.
Over time she became much more confident about her ability to think, reason and discern and I became more able to share my feelings and be present to her in that department. I don’t remember it as conflict, although I am sure there were times when she wanted me out of my head and I wanted her to be more “serious”, but we have both been able to grow to more wholeness because of the initial differences to which we both had to adapt.
I ask clients, “If two people are exactly the same, where is the growth?” Rather than see the differences as obstacles, can we not reframe them in a more positive light and see those differences as opportunities for growth and a chance to regain our original wholeness.
Conflict is growth trying to happen.
Even though I am the hailstorm in my relationship with John, I am more of a turtle. I really don’t like conflict. However, I dislike not knowing what is going on even more … so in our relationship I was the one that wanted to talk now!
Similarly, both John and I are introverts. And that is relative, because beside John, I look like an extrovert even though I gather my energy internally.
So our exercise this week was to look at what we loved about when we first met and what we miss. We had a great conversation on the deck last night about our early romance days and now … in between there was the power struggle.
The wonderful thing about being human is that we forget stuff. We both know that we went through a rough time before we were separated and during that time as well. What is interesting is that the conversation last night was about how we still do some of the fun stuff we did when we were first together. We love to travel, work together on projects or business. We enjoy reading and discussing what we have read. We enjoy one another’s company and intimate moments.
Learning the skills to create safety has allowed us to be vulnerable with each other and not worry that we would be put down, criticized, yelled at or anything else that may show up in a power struggle.
As a result of our conversation last night, we are planning a day away for our 43rd anniversary in a few weeks. We are both excited as we love going on picnics and exploring. Looking forward to a day with my turtle who stays out of his shell at this stage of our relationship.
Next week – Truth #4 Being Present for Each Other Heals the Past