Do You Really Have Your Partners’ Back?

11 February 2015 by , No Comments

When we hear or read, “you’ve got my back, I’ve got yours” what does that mean to you? Most people believe it refers to protecting each other, standing up for each other and/or helping out.

My definition of this well known phrase, is having the capacity to hear your partners’ feelings especially when in conflict, and know what part you own and what part they own. Understanding that when your girlfriend or husband freaks out saying “You don’t value my time. Why are you always late? You don’t really care about me…” – what they really mean is “I don’t matter to you.” Or if your spouse withdraws from you, realizing that they’ re hurting under their cold shoulder and most likely assuming that they are totally alone or not good enough.

No doubt this isn’t an easy task especially if your partner is blaming you. However, couples that understand the real triggers or roots to their feelings and to their partners, are the ones that grow and stay committed.

When any of us feel alone or insignificant or that we are failing, we are in our big bad stories we all created as little kids. Obviously we don’t realize that this is happening in the moment. Those big bad stories or patterns dwell in the recesses of our minds and are retriggered whenever we are emotionally upset.

In my book “The Best Advice Your Mother Never Gave You”, I explain the 80/20 rule: 80% of your emotions are coming from your old big bad stories and 20% has to do with the situation at hand. However, most of us perceive that it’s because our spouse was late, they weren’t listening or they were criticizing us or whatever is occurring. When we are aware of this rule we can own our feelings and hopefully calm down enough to discuss the issue that is disturbing us. Plus, we can have our partners’ back by realizing that they’re in their big bad stories and address those feelings empathetically.

I often recommend couples ask each other questions like – are you feeling like you don’t matter to me? Then you can respond with words such as “you’re the most important person in the world and I’m sorry your behavior contributed to feeling insignificant” – as an example.

Having our partners back can be displayed in many ways, nonetheless knowing the 80/20 rule and practicing it will save and/or grow your relationship. Try it – it works!

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