marriage

Ever Felt Like You’re Walking On Eggshells?

Day 13: Eggshells

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Have you ever felt like you’re walking on eggshells?

Trying to behave a certain way so that someone else feels a certain way?

It can be exhausting.

I was in a relationship once where I thought that I could manage my boyfriends emotions by being and acting a certain way.

I thought that if I could anticipate what he was thinking and feeling, I could tell what would make him upset and do the opposite, so that he could be his best self.

The problem was, I then wasn’t being my best self.

I was altering my natural behavior to accommodate his behavior.

It was unfair to both of us.

I was not being true to myself.

I was not allowing him to grow into his best self.

It didn’t last.

Here’s the thing. You and only you, are responsible for how you feel.

You cannot delegate how you feel to someone else.

If they don’t do what you want them to do, you’ll feel bad.

When you are responsible for your own feelings, no matter what someone else does, you will be fine.

You can feel fine.

No matter what they say or think about you, it all works out.

They can be wrong about you.

They can be confused.

You know who you are.

Curious how that works?

Let’s talk.

~Shaun

The Three Assumptions


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Let’s talk about relationships for a minute.

I’ve been married 27 years.

Pretty early in our marriage we went through round one of marriage counseling.

We didn’t have much money, had young children, and I was pretty sure we weren’t going to make it without some drastic intervention.

To be honest, at least once a month I was at my wit’s end. I was done. I was tired of things feeling hard and bad, so much of the time.

I was young (19 when we met).

He was older than me (by 13 years).

He had been married before and had kids already.

Not to mention our personalities were (and still are), polar opposites. Which was super fun at first (and then quickly became super hard).

We are in many ways as opposite as opposites can be. Still. Today.

Anyway, back to the counseling…

We went to see a counselor that I believe we found through the City of Pleasant Hill. They offered a sliding fee scale. That was why we picked them.

I don’t remember much from those sessions, but I remember one thing that the counselor taught us that has been EVERYTHING.

They were called The Three Assumptions.

I wish I could remember the name of the counselor that shared them with us. I am forever grateful.

For some reason, this tool that they taught us stuck with me.

I typed the assumptions up and they moved with us 16 times over the next 23 years.

Every time we put our stake in the ground in a new home, the assumptions got posted in my closet.

They were simple but profound for me.

  1. The assumption to stick together and work things out.

  2. The intention of good will.

  3. The assumption that my partner can and wants to understand me.

They seem kinda basic now, but at the time made all the difference.

  • If we don’t know, that as a couple, our intention is to stick together and work things out, why try? Why put in the effort if you think the other person may just bolt? Intention number 1 was about commitment.

  • If we don’t come from the place of knowing that we intend nothing but good will for each other, decided and stated when we are at our best, why trust each other through the worst? Intention number 2 was about unconditional love.

  • If we don’t think that our partner can and wants to understand us, why bother? Why not just throw in the towel ahead of time and give up. Intention 3 was about communication.

Commitment Unconditional Love Communication

Three simple words wrapped in a tiny lesson, that has been tape to my closet wall in so many different places.

I remember times when it was all I could do to go to my closet, read those assumptions, drop to my knees, pray, choose to believe them (the three assumptions) and get right back at it.

I read them much less now, but see them every now and then from the corner of my eye, taped to my closet wall.

A gentle reminder.

~Shaun

If you’re struggling in a relationship let’s talk. Whether you or your partner have ADHD, there are things that can help you feel better immediately. It only takes one person to improve the whole relationship. I’d love to share with you what I’ve learned and how it’s helped us.

Click here to set up a time that works for you. ~Shaun