As Hurricane Irma approaches, I have made several observations as people prepare that seem to fit the paradigm for relationships.
For example, when the weather person first begins reporting that a storm is coming, people don’t seem to take it to seriously and just listen for more. Then, a few days into it, when the storm is “really” headed our way, people begin to think about preparing.
A day or more later when the coordinates are more such and include the rate of speed and size of the hurricane, people begin to panic and make every concession to fill up with gas, get water, buy food and batteries and get their generators in shape.
Why is it that so often we wait until the storm (of our relationship) has reached full capacity and is headed straight toward us with a force to be reckoned with that we pay attention?
One reason is that our initial communication efforts fail because words and actions are in conflict. If a wife, for example, says “I just can’t do this anymore” but keeps “doing it”, then her words are void. The “storm” is not really coming; and if it does it will be just a drop or two of rain. Nothing to worry about.
Then, sometime later when one of the parties in the relationship says it again…this time with a little more force, the other may take a little more notice and change for a little while until it “blows over”.
Oftentimes it is not until the papers are being served – the CAT 5 Hurricane – that it becomes serious and people scramble to make things right. They make promises, start to be extremely kind and thoughtful, listen well, and communicate with compassion and understanding.
This is an enigma to me because I have watched this same scenario time after time. Doesn’t it just make sense to be prepared way before the storms come by working toward being your authentic self, speaking truth, knowing your boundaries and holding tightly to them right from the beginning?
Don’t be caught by surprise! Prepare now and keep the storms of your relationship at bay by being the person you want your partner to be. Listen to understand, compromise to show you value the other person, be your authentic self by speaking up and speaking truth, know your core values and beliefs and honor them in your partner.