Turning your partner into furniture

Your relationship is not furniture. But if you are going to continue to speak and behave as though it is furniture, then at least emphasize its attractiveness so that you can enjoy it.

Have you ever described your partner as being a particular way – e.g. “He is stubborn.” Or, “She is forgetful.” Or, “She is always thoughtful.” Or, “He is never really interested” – even when he or she may be somewhere else and you don’t really know how he or she is being in the moment that you’re saying it?

Have you found yourself taking a view that you’ve had of your partner in the past and speaking as though that’s the way your partner is now and will be in the future? Have you ever caught yourself speaking as if you know how your partner has always been, is being right now, and will always be – even though THAT IS NOT AND CANNOT BE TRUE?

You might find yourself automatically speaking and behaving as though your partner, like an old chair, was a certain way last month, is the same way now, and will continue to be that way next month and forever. Voila! Partner = furniture!

You even do this with yourself when you say, out loud or silently to yourself, “That’s just the way I am.” Voila! You’re an old table – just a piece of furniture.

Your automatic way of thinking and speaking can make a lot of mischief in your relationships. With statements like those in the first paragraph, you are asserting that the way you perceived your partner in the past is complete, accurate, and immutable.

But look, aren’t you different on different days, in different places, with different people? One day you feel and act one way, and another day you feel and act another way. Your partner and you are changing and expanding every day, even though it may not be readily noticeable.

Your relationship is not furniture. But if you are going to continue to speak and behave as though it is furniture, then at least emphasize its attractiveness so that you can enjoy it.

We invite you to go beyond furniture!

Carol Herndon & Paul Bennett

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