What You’ll Learn Today:
- What is relationship gridlock?
- The three ways it’s keeping you stuck in negative cycles in your relationship
- My top tip to get out of relationship gridlock and into a connected, happy and fulfilled relationship
Relationship Gridlock is when your relationship gets to such a point of stuckness that there, literally, seems like there’s no move you can make to get out of it. You’re sitting in your car and it feels like the only way out is for your partner to move their car, so you can move yours. The problem is that your partner is in their car is thinking the same thing. They’re waiting for you to move your car. So, everyone sits there in this hopeless deadlock.
Relationship Gridlock happens mainly because of three lies you believe about your relationship. You might not even realize you’re thinking these things, but they’re driving your thoughts and actions and keeping you stuck.
Here are the three lies that keep you frustrated, sad and angry in your relationship:
Lie #1: Our Problem is We Don’t Communicate
Relationship Gridlock happens because you mistakenly think that the problem in your relationship is a lack of a communication. You’re wrong. You’re alwayscommunicating.
The problem in your relationship isn’t a lack of communication; the problem in your relationship is that you’re communicating constantly, but it’s all the wrong things. On a daily basis you’re communicating that you’re angry, resentful, hopeless, annoyed or frustrated. Your partner is likely communicating the same things back to you, of course, and now the two of you are stuck in a repetitive cycle feeding off each other’s negativity.
Lie #2: There’s Nothing I Can Do if My Partner Isn’t Willing to Change
Even if your partner doesn’t want to do even one tiny thing to improve; won’t read any of the books you’ve suggested, won’t watch a video or go to couples counseling with you, you can dramatically improve your relationship.
Of course, it’s really great if they take part too, but it’s not necessary. You can make the relationship markedly better just by using healthy tools yourself. You can create happiness in your life in a consistent way.
And here’s why: when you start to change, the people around you start to change too. But, I’ll tell you the secret. Your goal can’t be to change them. Nope, your goal can only be to change yourself. Trying to change others is called manipulation and that’s nasty stuff that doesn’t work in the long run if you want a healthy and connected relationship.
Lie #3: It’s Going to Take A LOT of Work to Change (because we’ve been this way for so long or because that’s what it takes for any change to happen).
You’re wrong. Yes, I said it: you’re wrong. As a matter of fact, some of the biggest issues often require only the simplest of changes. What you need are effective tools that work in tandem; Strategies that compliment one another and can start to feel effortless with just a little practice. It’s not about the quantity, it’s about the quality of what you’re doing and where you’re putting your focus.
The Secret to Creating Lasting Change and Eliminating Relationship Gridlock for Good
If I offered you $3 million, or a magic penny that would double in value every day for 31 days, which would you choose? If you’ve been to business school or heard this brainteaser before, you’d pick the penny because at the end of 31 days that magic penny is worth quite a bit more than $3 million. For those of you hearing this for the first time, you might be shocked (and find it difficult to believe) that a meager penny could ever be more than $3 million in just over a month, so let’s walk through it.
It’s day one and you’ve got your magic penny and let’s say that your best friend has chosen the $3 million. Hmmmm, this seems like a raw deal, but you hang in there because you’re willing to suspend judgment.
Day one, you have one cent. Day two, you have two cents. Day three you have four cents (are you falling asleep yet?). In fact, while the penny is doubling those first couple weeks, it looks like you made a BIG mistake. By day ten, you only have $5.12, and at the three-week mark you are only at $10, 486. You’re thinking, “This sucks!”
You’re so upset, that I offer to trade you your magic penny for the $3 million. It’s looking bleak, I mean you only have 11 days left, but you don’t want to give up even though it doesn’t look promising. You decide to follow through on your original commitment, even though you’re doubtful.
(This alone might be a whole new thing for you because, like so many people, you might start to doubt yourself and your decisions once things start getting too hard or if it seems like you made the wrong decision).
As the days continue to pass, and maybe just when you were about to give up, an incredible thing starts to happen; compounding really starts to take effect and the money seems to grow at an exponential rate. You’re feeling happier, but you’re still looking at your best friend and thinking you got the raw end of this deal because, although your money is starting to grow, you’re nowhere near your friend’s $3 million.
Finally, you get to day 29, with only two days left, and you have about $2.7 million, but this is still obviously less than the $3 million your buddy originally got. You’re about to find out that this is when the magic really starts. Since your $2.7 million doubles, on day 30 you’ve got about $5.3 million, and on your final day, day 31, you have over $10 million ($10, 737,418.24 to be exact). Incredible!
Now, compare days 29, 30 and 31 to days one, two and three with this magic penny. It’s crazy, right? There’s NO comparison. And this is the secret to being happy in your life and in your relationship. You’ve got to treat your relationship like the magic penny.
The thing that will eliminate Relationship Gridlock for good is your daily interactions. You need to put attention on your small, daily interactions and decisions. Most couples I work with actually do pretty well when huge decisions or emergencies come up. But life has very few of these. Married life or life with a partner is all about those small, daily interactions and what you do with them.
You can make the relationship different without your partner’s participation. Think about that traffic gridlock. You can sit there all day, so sure you’re right, but stay stuck anyway. OR, you can decide to move your car, even if you don’t believe the gridlock was your fault! You can change your direction and move your car. Yes, maybe you now need to drive around the block or go over a bridge, but it’s so much better to be finally moving in a way that will actually get you to your destination than to be sitting stuck in that gridlock.
For today, think to yourself, it starts with me.