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with Natalie caine

Unfulfilled Relationship Conversations

April 5, 2016 | by Natalie Caine | 11 Comments

Mountain_Swirls_P0001What role are you playing in your close relationships?  Are you the intellect sharing the news and best book you ever read? The creative, the spiritual, the leader, the entertainer, the shoulder to cry on, the light in the room, the one who waits for cue cards and then you respond, the money advisor and giver, the planner, the forgiver, the fitness talker, etc.

You might be a combination depending on the relationship.

In our group that I was facilitating during breakfast at their apartment, I put three empty chairs and asked who had a situation they wanted to explore and receive new possibilities? The chairs were places to sit in different voices.

“Hard to say and here I go. I don’t like when you only call from the car. I feel rushed. I feel you aren’t present. Horns honking. Phone clips out. I am frustrated. It gives me the feeling you don’t want to sit with me which is what I want.  I want you to call from home with no distractions.  No dog. No papers shuffling.  No being on the computer.  No opening the cupboard for a scoop of nuts. Whew.  Now I need a minute before you respond.”

We role played the different voices being expressed in this conversation. (sit in the chairs). We took a view from above and we invited our vulnerable self, our protector, our pusher, our railroader, etc., to express in different ways until she felt received, heard, and could then open to more conversation around SIT WITH ME.

We want to meet each other right where we are and we have a whole band that gets out of tune in the moment. We aren’t only bringing one part of us to the conversation.

Pausing. Noticing. Asking for help. Adjusting our body (for me, my head too forward at times), Forgiving, Feeling, Breathing, Closing your eyes for a second, Inviting Unseen help into the room, all help us love fuller.  There are many tools to quiet the parts of the band that aren’t in tune.

Bark_Color_P0002Let’s begin with making a space to listen.  I just reminded myself to breathe which I have been practicing by humming.  When you call a friend on the phone be on the phone.  When you meet for a walk, meet. You don’t have to have eye contact.  Hand on heart.

I am remembering a man sharing with me that it is so challenging for him to share feelings with his partner.  He feels that he is better at listening than sharing.    He said his wife was bored and tired of going fishing for who is in there besides the chef, the father, and the worker bee.

Don’t we all have something that is a little on tilt and longs to stand tall?  Begin. Maybe think of it as giving in a new way, which could be by asking your friend to listen. Letting them know they don’t have to fix or comment right away. Open to listening.

Happy Spring Blooming,


11 Responses

  1. Alicia says:

    I thrive and long for your wise emails… Continue… Be BLESSED… Know I LOVE and Appreciate you from Dallas (so wishing I lived in Scottsdale) xx, Alicia

  2. cookie61 says:

    Family gone. Youth gone. Career gone. Only existing…

  3. mary says:

    Yes, it feels like that to me too. But it can’t be completely true since we are still here. Only existing until some as yet unknown things is co-created, by us and with universal guidance, and help from sites like this one. But know that the feelings are real, and they are shared.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Your feelings are shared! I am 60 years and recently divorced from 24 years, last child just left home and is abusing substances, i retired 10 years ago from my exec career and find I’m no longer inspired by consulting work. Existing is a good word for this feeling.

  5. beth says:

    i understand completely. i feel that being a mom was the most important, significant thing i could do, be. now..nothing could ever compare.

  6. Karen Jablon says:

    I am 61 and three years ago I left my husband of 35 years…. He had an affair. We live in New York. My daughters residency program in San Fran ended and she decided to stay in CA permanently. My son moved to Denver CO for a job promotion, but says he’ll be back in 2 years. I’m lost! They are my life , always were….I thought about moving to ca , but found it too scary , no friends, new job , etc. Any thoughts or advice?

    • Erika says:

      Wow Karen! Totally can relate. I left my boyfriend, 20+ years of living in Colorado with my kids, and my dog who passed away unexpectedly in February, to move back home in my hometown of Washington. Missing my kids, my role as mom, my role as someone’s significant other, and my house. Even though it was my choice, it’s been emotionally truly tough. I’ve NEVER lived alone. I’m getting through by making plans to travel back to Colorado to see my kids. I’m reading that one thing I need to discover is “What do I love to do that needs to finally shine”. I’m looking …. Hang in there!

  7. Jan Fontaine says:

    My son recently graduated from college as a commissioned Ensign in the Navy and is now going to Nuclear Power School in Charleston SC. Use to see him quite often as he was only 3 hours away. Now he is 13. We did a lot together, movies, plays, shared music, tv shows and endless conversations. He’s my best friend. My career was/is a mother so I’m lost even more now that I can’t see him as often.

  8. I am checking in to see how is everyone doing in these still challenging times? You are welcome to email me.

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Natalie Caine, M.A.