Our children do not change easily, but we can. I know it seems like it is hard to change. As a matter of fact, I think people go to therapy to change and stay too long “trying.” Trying to change is the problem. One must simply do it. Do the mindful trick of changing your mind.
I read a study once that said the degree of one’s denial is the best predictor of a long, happy marriage. Basically, those who are happy for the longest time in attachment relationships are those who ignore the stuff they don’t like about their partners and who focus on what they love instead. Really, this is actual research.
By experience, I find that research to be true. For example, I can focus on my husband’s repetitious restacking of the dishwasher and find it irritating, annoying or even personalize it as a comment he is making on my competence to stack the dishwasher correctly. On the other foot, I could notice my husband’s repetitious restacking of the dishwasher and find it meaningless, his deal, or even a cute little behavior of his. Which version will be the most attachment promoting way of seeing my husband? I personally find it cute; also, I never have to put dishes in the dishwasher. Works for us both and I can feel perfectly in love with him while we clean up the kitchen after dinner.
Look around at your life. What triggered feelings are you focusing on, memorizing today that you will play tomorrow when you encounter that trigger again? Right now the garbage is overflowing in my kitchen. I can allow my thought, Someone who was supposed to take it out has disrespected me, to make me annoyed or angry; or I can take a moment, wonder why it didn’t get done, take it out myself, or put it on the chore list for tomorrow. Which version will be the most attachment promoting way of seeing my children?
Much to the chagrin of many friends and family members, I have a tendency to take my children’s repetitious behavior in stride. It is the way they are. I don’t love it, and it isn’t about me. That is what I know. If I were to think their behavior is about me, then I would be angry and our attachment relationship would be compromised. I want to be happy, so I choose a form of denial about my children. They do their best. It isn’t always that good. And, that is not about me. That thought keeps me happy.
The next 8 hr. Trust Based Parent Training is scheduled for April 23rd and 30th from 12noon to 4pm. $200 per couple. Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up email Jen@attachplace.com and she will register you.