Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Fear Dance, part III

This is my favorite part! Working together on a team...I like to sit down, talk it out, work through things...Miguel not so much, so we're learning to meet in the middle. :)

Breaking the Fear Dance--"WE"

Teamwork--Power struggles are the single greatest ploy to cause trouble in a marriage. The problem is that power struggles involve becoming divided against your teammate (your spouse).

Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, "Every kingdom
divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household
divided against itself will not stand".
Matthew 12:25
When on a team, you either win as a team or lose as a team. So as teammates, married partners either win or lose in any given situation. There is no such thing as a win/lose outcome in a marriage.
Adopt a "No Losers" Policy! Either both partners win or no one wins--it becomes completely unacceptable for either partner to walk away ever feeling as though they have lost. Both recognize that if either loses, the whole team loses. It still may happen...but it's not okay!
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility
consider others better than yourselves.
Each of you should look not only to your own interests,
but also to the interests of others.
Philippians 2:3-4
Seven Steps to a "No Losers" Policy
1. Establish a "No Losers" Policy...it relaxes everyone!
Approach making decisions as a team.
2. Take time to find/understand what the "win" is for each person.
This is the hardest step, but the majority of issues will be resolved right here.
Redefine "winning" to mean finding a solution that both feel good about (also works with children!)
3. Pause, pray, and seek God's will.
4. From a place of unity, brainstorm possible win/win solutions.
5. Select a course of action that both of you feel good about.
Many times a 'compromise' is actually a loss for someone.
6. Implement it.
7. Evaluate and rework if necessary.
If someone isn't feeling good about something, usually it's that they've uncovered something that bothers them...so, rework from step #2


Ellie said...

hmmm.... Becky,do I get the idea you are trying to tell me something???

Would love to work some of these ideas in... would have to mean the ability to sit and talk honestly, which has not yet come.

Keep praying.

I'm feeling better, although not good. Tired, like I've cried for days, and it isn't over yet, but I just need sleep. And my main support person is gone for two and a half weeks... so I'm floundering more than usual without that steadying influence in my life.

I'll try to listen and learn. :-) Although, I find I am less likely to learn when I am crying. I'll write you a letter when I have enough energy here more about my brother and all that mess, too, but it is an incredible nightmare.

Rebecca Conduff Aguirre said...

Hey, Ellie...I have been wanting to write up these notes on my blog for quite a while now, so I wasn't necessarily directing them towards you. Buuuuut, if you feel that this is something that would be useful for your life or marriage, then glory be to God!

In applying this info.....looking back over the years, I see how we were stuck in the Fear Dance for so long! Neither of us was willing or even knew how to give in to the other to de-escalate the fights. Being able to put words to how we're feeling has made a huge difference, at least for me, in being able to work on this.

But then God started working on me. I rebelled at first because I felt like it wasn't fair, why did I have to be the one to change? But apparently, I was the one God chose. Maybe I was more senstive to the issues or just the one more able to change? I don't know...but God started bringing books and articles and teaching my way.

Once I started taking personal responsibility for my actions and responses (tone of voice, lack of respect/honor, etc), I can see how I then progressed to Part II and have been there for a long time (because Part II takes two people with open hearts and Miguel wasn't there yet). I was taking responsibility for my emotions and actions (or trying to, failing many times). Sometimes I have been so tired of feeling like I had to be the one who "carries" the relationship communication/emotional-wise, generally having to be the one who has to de-escalate/respond correctly, etc. But as I've thrown myself on God and healed and grown spiritually, I can see how my choices have influenced/allowed my husband to change as well. I continually have to remember his deep need for respect and how threatening the fear of failure is for him. Those are a couple of his biggest fear buttons. He is also more fragile than I know, I think, his background just doesn't allow him to open up all that easily when he's been beat up so badly emotionally growing up.

Not that things are still all that great, but they are getting better (slowly-change is slow) and every once in a while, we are able to move into Part III for a little while. More often than not, I am still in Part II, just focusing on my own responses and working to create a safe environment in our marriage, waiting... Even this week, at one point, I found myself deeply hurt by something he said and yet having to defend myself instead of receiving an apology...I saw God work a miracle because just a few minutes later, my husband did come back and apologize.

Anyway, if anything in my experience can help others, then that would give me great pleasure...but I know that everyone is in a different place...I do know what it's like to be pushed beyond some of my limits, it is hard to work on stuff when you just desperately need sleep! I will pray for someone to help you get rest...

I have prayed for you, even when I wake up at night (I usually have trouble falling back to sleep, so I pray). Love, Becky