It was a conversation between me, two college guys and three married men. After many years of listening and participating with men and their conversations, I could tell this particular one was heading into the topic of the “wives." The married guys are trying to advise each other out of misery, while at the same time, warning the college guys to never get married. The complaints were basically all the same. They didn’t feel appreciated for all they did. Intimacy was sparse, communication was in the form of nagging and no matter what they did (and claim to have tried) they did not know how to make their woman happy. The guy who was married the longest, felt stuck. He felt too intertwined to ever get free. He “passed the point of no return” as he put it. He, of course, was trying to save the guy who was married for only a few years (who had the same complaint by the way) to get out now, “because it only gets worse.” For 45 minutes I watched the married men try to help each other. The college guys and I sat as silent observers while being completely entertained with this brand of wisdom….3 guys complaining and validating each other’s misery, with no end in sight. I just felt sad for them. I know the broken cycle they are stuck in. I have coached people out of it many times and it is no easy cycle to break. Men need to feel appreciated; women need to feel cared about. Nobody's needs are getting met. What now?
If there had been a moment where I could have taken the chance to ask a question to change the course of the conversation, I would have asked this: What if…? The words separate from each other hold no meaning or power. Put them together and this question is beyond powerful and can even be quite terrifying. “What if” activates that part of you that can dream about the possibilities.
“What if” you could have a relationship that is fulfilling, exciting, passionate, generous and full of love? I find when I first ask people this question, resistance rears its ugly head! I hear many excuses and rebuttals as to why that can’t happen, because their partner won't change. My wife won’t listen, my husband is stuck in his old ways…blah, blah, blah. BUT!!!! “What if?” Hence the beginning of change. What if what you are seeking is not able to happen with the person you are currently with? What if it takes you having to face your shadow side that you have buried and tried to forget for so long, in order to have the relationship you desire? What if it means having to come clean with your spouse about things you’ve been hiding so that you can have the open, authentic, powerful experience of unconditional love? The answers to “what if” encapsulate all that CAN BE along with all that may not be. What if is really asking yourself, “What are you willing to do for this love that you claim so badly to desire?” If you do not have the courage to answer “what if”, then in reality, you are not in enough misery to make a change anyway. That is okay! Don’t fret! At some point, your misery will magnify in order to push you in one direction or another and offer you choice points for change. Your life is your design, so that means you can ignore those choice points or create a different design.
Here are some questions to get you thinking:
What if you could wake up every morning and feel towards your partner?
What if you could share and have your partner respond like ?
What if you could finish work and then with your partner?
What if you could confront your partner and then have them respond like ?
What if you never met your partner? Your life would be .
Thoughts? Share them below.