Do you find yourself out of sync with your partner or is there an easy flow to your relationship?
Can you talk about the things that are most important to you freely or do you hold back?
What are the foundational values of your relationship? Have you thought about it, and talked about it?
8 years ago I remember looking up at my boyfriend at the time after a major fight and realizing we were not in the same relationship. I thought we were doing one thing and he had a completely different idea. We were not on the same page. Now, after seeing this happen over and over again in the lives of my clients, I have much more clarity looking back.
What if there is a remedy for this kind of fundamental miscommunication?
If you don’t create your core values as your foundation, you will get a default assumptions, defenses, reactions, and past experiences as a foundation. This can end up being a bit of a crap shoot.
Now I have a relationship where everything is on the table for discussion, yet we don’t fight. Why? One of the reasons is we have an ongoing discussion of our core values in our relationship. We experience the freedom of being able to bring anything to each other, no matter how sensitive.
I have all the couples I work with in my Relationship Coaching practice do an exercise around creating core values together. To get the juices flowing I will share the core values in my relationship.
Trust – I own my yes and my no so you can count on what I agree to. You can count on me to show up with everything I have.
Authenticity – I’m willing to share the truth even if it’s hard for me to say or for you to hear.
Respect – I don’t play power games, manipulate or intentionally hurt you.
Responsibility – I’m the source of my life, I look for my role in everything even when I don’t think I have one.
Growth – I’m committed to exploring the highest good for each of us, even if it’s really uncomfortable.
These elements create a commitment to focus on how I’m showing up instead of how I think my partner should be showing up.
With this foundation we can explore juicy edges while still having the security of these agreed upon core values. When a couple practices honoring their core values day in and day out they make massive deposits in their joint bank account. Then when a stressful time or difficult discussion comes along there is money in the bank as they say. The couple can make a withdraw without going broke.
As a Relationship Coach sometimes I get the opportunity to walk the talk. Last week my partner and I had a doozy of a conversation. This discussion that could have resulted in a major blow up if we didn’t practice these principals I listed on a regular basis. The conversation went smoothly, we both learned something valuable and shortly afterward we were laughing about our own issues.
If you’re not honoring your core values, what are you honoring? What’s easy? What you’ve always done? What someone else thinks? This is a great inquiry to be in.
Couples who have this conversation and put their values into practice create a bond through functional choice instead of default attachment.