Is it all really about me?

"...about a week later, I caught myself complaining to Paul that he is always telling me how to park the car in the garage."

October 29, 2016

A couple of weekends ago Paul and I were leading a Relationships: The Real Deal workshop here in Washington, D.C. One of the issues we addressed was the recurring complaints that partners often have about each other.

About a week later, I caught myself complaining to Paul that he is always telling me how to park the car in the garage. He said that I parked too close to the left wall and it was difficult for him to squeeze into the driver’s seat. I finally exploded and yelled, “I’m trying my best. I just can’t always meet your standard. So please stop complaining and telling me your opinion about how to do it better.”  We were both frustrated.

Very soon after that, I realized that I had been resisting Paul’s suggestions because I had been listening to what he was saying as a complaint and criticism of ME, not just my way of parking. And I also remembered about making requests. So I asked Paul to sit in the passenger’s seat and teach me to do it his way.

Voila!  I learned how to park so that Paul can get into the car comfortably.  It’s easier and more pleasant for me, too. I simply stopped resisting his request – which I had only heard as a complaint and criticism of ME.

A short time later, I found myself arranging our kitchen utensils in the utensil carousel in a way that Paul had been suggesting (requesting) for years, with like utensils placed together instead of randomly in any old opening. I had finally become aware that Paul’s intent was to make our lives easier, not to complain about or criticize me. It only took me a few minutes to rearrange a few items. I’m pleased with myself and smiling, and I feel less tense.

Paul is now not occurring to me as a critic, complaining that I don’t do things his way all the time. When I’m not viewing him as a complaining critic and I’m not defending my point of view, I can see that it is his intention to have our everyday life be one that we both love. Now that’s a MIRACLE!

Wishing miracles for all of you,

Carol (and Paul)

More To Read

Find out more about relationship.

27

Mar'21

On the Defensive?

We hear many conversations between spouses, partners, and family members. And what do we hear a lot? People defending something.

By
Carol&Paul

19

July'21

Steadfastness and Freedom

The best and strongest promises are made in order to create a future that would not otherwise happen.

By
Carol&Paul

17

Oct'17

Relationships and Money

Why is money almost always an issue in relationships, even when there’s no shortage of money?

By
Sandy&Lon

5

May'20

Anxiety and Relationship in Uncertain Times

Uncertainty seems to be in our faces these days...

By
Carol&Paul

28

July'20

Arguments in Relationship

Is your point of view really more important than your relationship?

By
Sandy&Lon

15

May'21

Who’s To Blame? Anyone? Part 2

Then what about responsibility?

By
Sandy&Lon
VIEW ALL ARTICLES