Giving Space – Relationship Tip

So often I hear from clients – s/he was not happy when I expressed my boundary, or s/he gets so mad when I say what I need. My answer is consistently – well of course!

Who likes being told no or that something that works for them needs to change, or that they have disappointed their partner. Absolutely no-one – that’s who!

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is I have learned to give space to my hunny when he is not feeling the love. He hates upsetting or disappointing me and when he hears something that indicates that, he will often shut down and seem really grumpy.

Today is a case in point. I bought a caravan/trailer to be converted into my office 6 months ago. The plan was for it to be done in a month. My husband got really sick, we moved house. Six months later I’m close to the end of month 3 of working out of our bedroom.

My darling had grand plans for how he would build everything from scratch for me. He has completely gutted the interior, insulated it, relined it etc. We are now down to the wire and I have a goal of being in by the end of next weekend. His goal is to paint this week and be making shelving and a desk next weekend.

I have been reading articles on home offices and scrolling pinterest for months. Today I saw an article that was a game changer. Track shelving!! Why didn’t I think of this before? Mainly because I associated it with dodgy commercial building outfits and thought it looked cheap and nasty. My eyes were opened to the possibility. My brain went – this doesn’t require much building and zero painting. I could be moving my stuff in next weekend!!

The response from my darling was muted at best. I had, quite frankly, pissed on his parade. His vision of what he was creating for me just got shoved sideways in a big way. I asked, far too many times, if he was ok. He said he was fine in the ‘I am not fine but please just leave me alone’ way I know too well.

So I did just that. I gave him space. I researched and found the best place to go and look. I went to go call him about desk leg options and saw I had missed a call. It was a call asking about where I wanted to go to buy shelving.

He had taken the time and given himself space to process the change in plan and was ready to show up and support me. Giving him space to do that gave him time to get there without us experiencing a disconnect.

When we change plans suddenly or switch up what we expect, it’s important we give our partners space to process and adjust. If we make a request that isn’t their favourite, we need to give them time to feel angry or upset or hurt. Expecting someone to jump for joy and be immediately on board is not only unrealistic, it’s also unreasonable.

PS – this approach also works well for boundary setting! Just rinse and repeat.

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