It’s 10:45pm. I’m upset about something and want to talk about it with my partner. His time to wind down and get ready for bed is 11pm. He offers 15 mins to talk and to continue tomorrow morning if needed.
Inside I’m going CRAZY.
"15 mins isn’t enough."
"But this is important."
"How could you not give me the time I want?"
"You don’t care about me or this relationship."
And so on.
After 4 years together I’ve never forgotten that I love my partner, but I admit I forget that he is an entirely other human with his own needs.
Before knowing what I know now, I'd get caught up in my story, unmet needs and fears and my coping mechanisms (development in my formative years) would be to lash out, blame, try and change the situation and try to change him.
By doing the inner work I know now there are three options for me when I’m presented with an uncomfortable circumstance I can't control: in this case not having the time I want to talk before my partner’s bedtime.
I can leave it. I can try to change it. I can accept it.
Leaving isn’t an option for me as I’m deeply committed and on purpose in my relationship even when it’s extremely difficult.
Changing him isn’t real love.
So the inner work of finding acceptance is where I am learning to grow, while being in a relationship.
Acceptance in this case looked like:
Embracing the feelings of sadness and refraining from directing anger at him
Telling him, "Thank you for that offer and I would like to talk tomorrow. I don't think 15 mins is enough for me."
Finding a soothing meditation to play through my headphones while touching feet under the covers and letting myself fall asleep.
I’m learning to give myself the things I need rather than demanding he give them to me.
Today I’m experiencing a healthier, richer albeit more uncomfortable flavor of love, that I trust.
It's giving me something I've wanted all along: internal security and intimacy with others.
Women's Mentor @womencanheal