Over the last seven years, I've helped couples restore "C.P.R." (Communication, Partnership, and Romance)
to relationships that were being battered by the crushing demands of owning a business.
Here are three + hidden tools you can use now to turn painful conflicts into peace and closeness:
1. Deny the Lie -
To the Human Heart, there is no such thing as "Balance."
The most crucial ingredient for a peaceful and joyous relationship is for you to know your lover is:
- aware of your needs
- happy to meet them, and
- willing to drop anything to rush to you when needed.
The most important people in your life are longing for you to show them that they are exactly that:
THE. MOST. IMPORTANT.
As you read this, you might be thinking, "This is ridiculous! My partner is a grown,
capable, successful, secure person, and so am I. We definitely don't need to be at
each other's beck and call in order to feel loved!"
And to a degree, you are right. Adults are capable of meeting many of their own needs for
safety and security, and most adults are able to handle times when a lover is simply unavailable
without significant damage to the relationship.
When your partner experiences (or wrongly percieves) you as unavailable, or--worse yet,--
as unwilling--to connect, trust is weakened, connection is severed, and the heart feels
abandoned or rejected.
There is a reason Solitary Confinement is the worst punishment we can inflict!
It sounds illogical, but to the human brain, which is wired to connect with
other humans, isolation (real or imagined) is the most dangerous circumstance of all.
The worst isolation is when your partner is right there, but you just can't reach them.
This danger can be neutralized very simply by learning what I call the Relational Law of Increasing
This law states that the more your lover experiences him/herself as your top priority, the more
secure your bond becomes. The more secure your love bond becomes, the less
reassurance he/she needs, and the freer you both are to put in the sacrifices of time and attention
that building and running a business and family requires.
So quit trying to strike some kind of mythical "balance," and prove that your lover is your priority.
2. If You Have Competing Priorities, You Don't Have Any Priorities.
One very successful entrepreneur I worked with set up a pact with his wife that he would ALWAYS answer the phone when she called. I've observed him interrupt high-dollar negotiations to take her phone call, simply explaining "It's my wife. I never miss her call."
Then, he would answer it with, "Hi, Honey. Is it urgent?" which was her cue that he was there for her if she really needed him, but also let her know that if the call could wait, it should, and he would get back to her
as soon as he was free. If her need for him was not urgent, she would respond with, "I need you to call me when you are available." They would hang up, and he would refocus on the task at hand.
I never observed this interruption cause any negativity in his work. Rather, the people he was doing business with applauded his committment to his family, and if anything, their respect and desire to work with him increased.
This how one couple easily dealt with the sometimes competing needs of providing financial support vs. providing emotional support.
The definition of "priority" is "the highest of importance or rank." Therefore, to have a priority
is to put everything else below or after it. For couples in business, the ultimate purpose of the business is to meet the needs of the family.
When you "get" this one overlooked concept, you will be able to meet the "right" need first, your most important assets (your loved ones!) will be taken care of and will then be more able and willing to support you, freeing you to quickly address the other pressing demands.
Learn how to talk about the family's needs and establish "cues" that can clue you into which need
(financial or relational) is most pressing at the moment.
This will enable you to focus on it, fill it, and return quickly to the other pressing tasks at hand.
3. Learn to Manage Your Life in the Extremes
When you find yourself searching for more "balance," you probably don't realize that you are actually seeking better timing... you're really longing to better understand how, when, and where to invest your time and effort for the most returns.
Being successful in business requires risk-taking. We intuitively know that success lies at the outer edges, not in the comfort of the status quo. Those who win do so by consistently operating outside of their comfort zones and constantly pushing themselves away from the safety of mediocrity.
But we humans are creatures of comfort. Our bodies aren't designed to thrive in a constant state of stress--it causes high blood pressure, muscle aches, irritable bowel syndrome, sleeplessness, and on and on.
In addition to all the physiological dangers of stress, living on the edge makes most humans grumpy. We're not much fun to be around when we're stressed, which can ignite resentment and avoidance in our loved ones. Even if you love what you're doing, the roller coaster of business can throw your lover off balance and sow the seeds of contention between you.
You probably already understand this on some level--that's why you keep searching for answers.
The true secret lies in knowing how to manage your life while you are "out there, working the extremes where success lives.
Learn how to task-switch quickly, so you can take care of the distractions that intrude on your priority. Part of efficient task-switching includes establishing proper discipline, focus, and safeguards, to prevent eternal and insistent demands of business from bankrupting the family.
Another key to managing your life in the extremes is the principle of counterbalance. In physics, a counterbalance is a weight that balances another weight.
In life and love, strong, secure love bonds are our best counterbalance.
This type of bond can withstand the tests of consuming work. Your secure attachment to those you love most is the core to your courage and drive to get out there and work and sacrifice in the first place. Counterbalancing bonds ensure that you never go so far that you can’t find your way home, or stay away so long that there is nothing waiting for you when you return. These are also the only bonds that endure the stealthy tests of success and abundance.
Only very strong love bonds can withstand the extremes of Imbalance that are necessary when starting and growing a business. Because when you focus on what is absolutely important, something else will always be neglected. Therefore, counterbalancing can provide the anchor you need to be able to address the areas that are underserved while you attend to your priority and give it all the time it demands.
But the beautiful secret is that the more certain these bonds are, the less tending they need.
They actually FREE you to risk more, knowing you have a safe, soft place to return for comfort and connection after you brave the battles of business.
4. Learn to Spot the Iceberg
Arianna Huffington once said, "the essence of leadership is being able to see the iceberg before it hits the Titanic," and love is the same: the essence of true love is being able to recognize and respond to what's below the surface.
Great businesses are built with one productive act at a time. Great relationships are built one positive interaction at a time. And positive interactions are fed only by awareness and sharing of attachment needs so your can each recognize and meet these critical needs each time they rise to the surface.
In love, your partner's words, expressions, and behaviors are the tip of the iceberg, and they are driven by private thoughts, feelings, and needs hidden way below your view. Unless you are a mind-reader, the only way to really know what is making your partner act and say the things he/she does is for them to show you beneath the "waterline."
If you feel a conversation with Gina would help you learn the best way to communicate with your lover, what your partner really needs, and why they do that thing that drives you crazy, click here to schedule a free consultation.