I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like to be Jon or Kate or one of the eight. The amount of milk and bread consumed daily would be enough to put me over the edge, never mind the noise level, or the stress of living your life in a fishbowl. Oh, and how about the accusations of betrayal? The National Ledger reports that "Jon and Kate have been rumored to have been living apart for months and accusations of infidelity have hit both parties. Kate has been accused of having an affair with bodyguard Steve Neild while Jon has been accused of a months long affair with teacher Deanna Hummel."
My mother, who was married 60-something years before my father died, said that my dad was a buffer between her and the world. They were best friends who looked to each other to ease the stress that life inevitably brings. They shared the happy moments, the painful moments and the stressful moments.
Still, she said that one needs to know the difference between 'sharing' and 'dumping.'
True, an important part of a relationship revolves around sharing your life, letting the other person know what's going on, as well as asking for support; giving support. Leaning on each other... all important parts of a relationship.
Nevertheless, before you dump - 'talk at' your significant other, you might want to take a look at these truly helpful and useful communication guidelines.
Ask Permission: "Is this a good time to listen? I need to share the gruesome details of my crazy day." If the answer is "NO!" Respect that No! Ask, "Please let me know when it is a good time."
Timing: Before you launch into your bucket list of upset, frazzled nerves and complaints (all justified, of course), do check in with your main squeeze to see if he or she is equally stressed.
Be Clear: Are you sharing, looking for feedback, or just need a place to be heard? If all you want is to be heard. Start the conversation off with "Please, do not respond. Just listen -- intently! I need you to be with me. That's all."
Time Yourself: Vent, talk, share ... dump ... whatever you want to call it for a maximum of one minute and then check in and see if the person is still with you. Really 30 seconds would be better. Don't take advantage of the 'sharee.'
Responsibility: Ultimately, it is your stress. Support is great! But no one can singularly fix it.
Special Note: For further insight into the machinations of relationships, I checked in with my New York City colleague, Peter Weinstein, LCSW, Psychotherapist, Relationship Expert.
Mr. Weinstein adds, "Being sensitive to your partner's needs is one of the most important components of a successful relationship. Just as you want respect and appreciation, so does your partner/spouse. Putting yourself in the 'others' shoes and considering his/her needs (without sacrificing your own need) is true empathy and the cornerstone of relational/marital bliss."
Spread the word ... Not the icing,
Janice Taylor is a Health & Wellness Coach, award-winning artist & author of the Our Lady of Weight Loss books.
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