Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Power of Acknowledgement

Who wants to fight with their spouse or significant other? That might not be such a a good question! But seriously, although painful, arguments can also be a wonderful place to learn and grow. I have learned some really important things as a result of some really awful arguments. Let me give you and example.

I can have a very "Lucy in the sky" disposition. I like structure when it comes to work but otherwise I like to feel free and untethered in other areas of my life. Example: I plan to clean the house tomorrow. BUT if I wake up the next day and it's a beautiful outside, scratch cleaning, let's go to the park! Let the house take care of it's self. YIPEEEE! I'm off and running!

The Hubby, on the other hand, likes structure and order. There in lies my challenge. I found myself feeling resentful when he would try to bring some of his order to my life, to me it felt more like a strait-jacket! Life is to be lived! How can life be lived to the fullest on a schedule? How could he not get this? It's impossible, right? I felt stifled. Oh, and I argued my point and so did he!

He felt that order is a very necessary part of life and that life without it has no structure. And he needed structure. Order helped him to see what was working and what was not and where he needed to adjust. He couldn't understand how I couldn't see the benefits of order or why I resisted. On top of that, he felt that when I resisted his idea of order that I was actually rejecting him. That left him feeling unappreciated.

We were dead locked.

As I sat there, with my arms folded and lips poked out I began to realise something. As much as I didn't want to admit it, he had a point. I could use a little more structure in my life. I also began to see how he could have felt that I was rejecting him when I resisted his idea.

I've done enough "relationship work" to know that, despite the fact that I wanted to continue to argue my point, there was really only one thing I could do. *Deep breath* I had to acknowledge The Hubby's point. So, after more deep breaths, that's what I did. It went something like this," I'm sorry if you feel rejected and you have a really good point. I do need more structure in my life and I am going to try and be more receptive when you offer suggestions."

Then I sat and waited to see how it would land. After a few moments he apologized and acknowledged my feelings too! Can you imagine that! We were both honkered down ready to defend out points to the death (at least I was!) and a little acknowledgement turned it all around!

So as we continue to try to find the balance between too much and not enough structure, we've learned a very important lesson. Acknowledgement is powerful. I'm not saying that our arguments always go this smoothly but I have found that trying to hearThe Hubby's point of view and acknowledging it certainly goes a long way. Not to mention how great it feels when he does the same.

Are there any area's in your life where you know you need to acknowledge someone or something?

What holds you back? What could you discover on the other side of acknowledgement?

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