May 20, 2018

You're Both Right - A Blog by Michael Barmak

You’re Both Right

During my first session with a couple, I’ll ask both partners to turn and fully face each other.  Then I’ll ask each of them to point to their right.  I’ll wait until both partners figure out which direction is their ‘right’ and then I’ll ask each of them, “Who is right?”  i.e. whose ‘right’ is right?  I’ll get answers like, “Neither of us is right” “I’m right and my partner is wrong”.  Sound familiar???  Once in a while someone will say, “We’re both right.”  Yes!  I let them in on the best kept couples secret:  You’re always both right!  The partner who thought he/she was right never looks very happy while the other partner looks relieved.  Anticipating the most common objection, I quickly qualify this to refer to emotional issues not factual information.  I share that each of them is always right from their perspective and that from my perspective, validating each other’s experience is at the heart of couples work.

I hope you’ll continue on this journey with me as I share with you in the coming days my thoughts and feelings about the couples I see.  I hope that you’ll stay open and be curious about what you hear and that you’ll learn how to live a more joyful, purposeful and harmonious life.  And so we begin…


Creating Your Emotional Generator

One of my clients shared with me how after being without electricity over the past week she was determined to become self-sufficient.  She was going to buy a generator.  She felt good taking care of herself by preparing for another power outage.  I thought about her relationship with her partner and how she would benefit by also learning how to be self-sufficient in this area.

So what would it look like to have your own ’emotional generator?”  Here are a few suggestions on how this would look:
1. You don’t make your partner responsible for your feelings.  You take personal responsibility for either causing your feelings or personal responsibility for managing your feelings.
2. You create inner safety rather than relying on your partner to make it safe enough for you to share your feelings and take loving actions for yourself
3.  You have access to your own source of strength, truth and wisdom.  This could be your  intuition/gut feeling, a higher part of yourself, a connection to your spirituality, whatever helps you know what is in your highest good.
4.  You are able to move into compassion for yourself rather than judgment.
5. You accept your partner rather than needing to change him/her
6.  You are willing to feel all your feelings rather than avoid them.

These are just a few ways to take control of what you ultimately only have power over: yourself.