It’s been such a great week for us, Steve and I have had so much fun together! We took our grandkids to the State Fair on Wednesday and spoiled them silly!
Then, my poor guy came down with a Man Cold and couldn’t go to work, so we took advantage of the extra time together and spent many hours driving the canyons and enjoying the Fall leaves.
I’m living my dream, and it’s all thanks to coaching. I will forever be grateful for this life-changing work!
As the seasons change, it brings to mind an analogy I learned from Gary Chapman about the seasons of marriage. I like the idea and thought it might be helpful for you as it pertains to the tools I teach to my clients.
He describes summer as that time where everything is exciting and fun. We are on an emotional high because we’ve met the ONE we think is for us.
Summer is amazing because we love everything we see in this person, and we also love the way they look at us. We think lots of wonderful thoughts about this person that make us feel really good. We also have lots of wonderful thoughts about the things this person thinks about us!
That in turn, helps us think really good things about ourselves! This season of beautiful thoughts increases our confidence, our optimism, and blinds us to possible flaws in our partner.
And then the seasons change. Fall arrives, things cool off and get a little more real. Most of us think the change in temperature has something to do with our partner, but it has nothing to do with them at all.
As challenges arrive and we must give our attention to other things, our thinking shifts a little. And because we have more discontent, we start to notice some of our partner’s flaws and feel a little disappointed that they haven’t been able to fix everything for us. We might begin to feel some doubt.
With that doubt, we’re a little less sure of ourselves.. A little less confident. Perhaps we didn’t make as good of a choice as we thought? We stop thinking all of the loving yummy thoughts of Summer.
But make no mistake, it’s our thinking, and the meaning that we add to it, that causes us to suffer.
If left unchecked, those negative thoughts continue to spiral and soon we find ourselves in winter.
Winter in our relationship feels long and cold and dark. We aren’t getting along, we argue about everything, and it feels like it will never end! The fog, the ice, the snow, -it can be brutal and so disheartening.
But here’s what you need to know about winter, it’s NORMAL. Nothing has gone wrong, all relationships go through seasons.
But more than any other season, this is the time where it’s most important to manage your mind.
Resisting winter makes it worse. When we think things like, “This isn’t how it should be.” “He/she isn’t how they should be.” “I’m not how I should be.” We sit and spin in the freeze.
We also get stuck in winter when we fall into blame. “When he/she does this, it makes me feel…” -or we take everything super personally.
Giving our spouse the credit for how we feel and making ourselves the victim can make winter last forever!
We are ALWAYS in charge of how we feel.
Acceptance of winter will help you move to spring more quickly. Thinking, “This is just a rough patch and we’ll for sure get through it soon.” will give you much more forward motion than complaining about the cold.
Winter is also the season where most people decide to divorce, but this is NOT the time to make this decision.
If we can’t find our way out of winter by learning to manage our mind and create our own happiness, we’ll struggle in our next relationship as soon as winter comes again. (And it always will! Remember, winter is NORMAL.) We must learn to become happy first, and then we can make that critical decision when we’re in a healthier state of mind.
We need to recognize that we’ve stopped thinking the warm and delicious thoughts of Summer, and do what we can to fire them up again.
After the pain of winter, comes the warm breath of spring. In the springtime of our relationship, we feel tender, vulnerable, and also optimistic. We get real with each other and tell the truth from a place of love. We still have pain, but that pain is clean and cleansing, instead of the dirty pain we experienced in winter.
It helps us grow together.
We clean up our thinking and even though we still see our partner’s faults, we are humbled and accepting of them, because we acknowledge our own faults as well.
We love more unconditionally. We are more patient and recommitted.
We get a clean slate and a fresh start, and as those buds of love grow, we bloom into Summer again.
Just like our earth goes through this process, our relationships go through this cycle too.
My husband and I spent a lot of time in winter. But now, we breeze through winter so quickly!
If you find yourselves in a cold spell, here are a few things you can do to get to the thaw more quickly.
Think about your partner and push you brain to find answers to these questions:
What do you appreciate?
What qualities do you admire?
What do you like about his/her personality?
Just interrupting your negative thought patterns will give you the relief you need and get you heading for warmer weather.
And if you find yourself needing help, I’m here for you my friend.
I’ve been there and done that, and I can help you too.