From Quarrel to Joust : Elevation process

When your couple needs to fight, you argue. You can stay at reptilian or prehistoric levels : you scream, play flying plates & slamming doors, scream louder, or you can try to move the cursor up.

If your quarrelsome mood – oh what a great word! – needs to unfold, there’s are some wrong ways up like becoming sarcastic or using bad faith, stupidity or violent communication (one define the other : “You’re like your mother”, “You’re lazy”), silence icy treatment or using poor innocent third parties (the kids?).

I propose to rise from these low levels of arguing. Of course you can use Reason. If you know Transactional Analysis you can begin to dissect your communication and try to put it on “Adult -> Adult” mode. That’s OK! Think. Or ask a intermediary (not your mother-in-law!) to play the diplomatic card.

My purpose here is to imagine another “Right Way Up” : Jousting. It’s a change of mood. You fight… with a smile for the other. It’s a sparkling competition. Emulation is the key. It can become a game. You can really invent rules like : “You can’t speak until you waited two minutes in silence after I did, I’ll do the same”, or “Argue on both sides of a table… with pen & paper” (find your own rules).

Jousting is a clever way to quarrel. It’s like when you play chess with a friend, emulation is the key. You want victory but you help your opponent to climb too.”Right Path Up”. Finding solutions… and at the same time satisfy your need to fight. Joust!

 

Of course if you read my blog you know that there’s a pattern here, a tool for other situations : Elevation. When and where (and how) do you realize that you’re on a low level? Gaiety? Entertainment? Sex? When you’re in a useful place but you should maybe stop, think and push a lever. Which lever is it? Subtlety. Right?

This pattern is described here : https://afrenchtoolbox.wordpress.com/2015/08/07/a-matter-of-levers/

Thanks for reading!

 

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Instagram : such_a_pretty_crazy

Counseling for couples : “Please become someone else”

Yes, yes, it’s a mess. It hurts. Toxicity and boredom alert! She wants to find the “second wind” of your marriage, le “second souffle”. “Counseling?”, she says? Your answer is YES. You’d better!

Then you have to “tell your story”, then listen to huge bullshbleep from a “professional”, many times.

Then, home, you try to do “as if” – at least for a few exhausting months. You know your flaws, right? You’ll “work” on them. Be ready. You’re on a mission now.

Let’s make it short :

“Please become someone else”

So here you are, with a list of “things to change” for your wife. “People can evolve!”, she says! You have four choices :

  1. You obey. Beck and call. Do that, and this too. Bravo! Your flaws vanished into magic. You will get tears of joy from her eyes, great hashtags on her social medias (#bestmoment #happymarriage), and a little more hanky-twalala-panky, probably. Reward it is.
  2. You really do “as if”. It’s about acting, now. It’s impossible to change really, because of course nobody changes, ever, but you can really do “as if”. You want to keep her, right? It’ll last the necessary length of time… until she sees it. Then you’re on you own.
  3. You say firmly “no”, and you’re done. Conflict and drama. Hold the wheel, buddy! Maybe find another therapist, later. A better one, OK?
  4. You run away and find an easier companion. Breathe. Life is made of dotted lines, after all. Next!
  5. Alcohol, accident, heart attack (or other self-sabotage), or any other boring “I go out” : anything DIY in the garage, work-out, biking, duck hunting. Some people even have two bedrooms!

Your choice?

Tools :

This was of course a sarcastic text. There are good professionals. Most of them are good listeners. They take big money to do that and that’s normal. Then, they will probably try to make you understand this : Your spouse won’t change, you have to accept your couple-dynamics.

“But wait, this means I should change myself ? You just said it’s impossible!”

Well : welcome into marriage!

In French we say :

Chassez le naturel, il revient au galop – “Shoo away your nature, it comes back at full tilt”

Well, I think you say “The leopard can’t change its spots”.

Can he?

 

Have a nice day!

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There’s a “You’re crazy” point in almost every #argument

The “You’re crazy” point in an argument, everybody knows that.

It’s very similar to the Godwin’s Law, an Internet adage which asserts that “If an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler“.

It’s almost a law for “violent communication”. Instead of talking, telling your truth, have “impeccable words”, you just say to the other one “You’re crazy!”, “You should see a therapist”. Or worse : “I’ll put you in a mental institution”. That’s it.

I do think that, at this point, you should stop arguing and take a deep breathe. If you think it’s possible, try to make the other person to talk about himself instead of putting labels on you.

Yes yes, that’s the door to go outside of this.

But… Does the other person want it?

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : itspeteski

 

 

Fly off the handle and consequences

In France we have a different expression for “Fly off the handle” or “Blow his top” : Sortir de ses gonds

The “gonds” are the “door hinges” in French. So when someone is very angry we say “He’s out of his hinges”. In a way, I like this idiom. It means… “Ho ho…”. What can happen to a door out of its hinges, after all? It could be noisy, right?

So when someone blows his top, if there’s no plates flying, he or she SAYS things. And if you have a little common sense, you just don’t listen, or if you listen, you don’t answer. Because top blowing words fly off the handle over the roof, right?

Don’t pay attention. It’s a steam thing. Smile, but don’t show it : inside your belly.

But

If you need it, smash it back. Be angry. Scream louder. You are badly offended! Your feelings are hurt!

You can take seriously what shouldn’t been taken seriously, just because

  1. you need it for a purpose
  2. you’re a dramatic person
  3. you’re stupid

Nooo : let it fly. It’s a steam thing…

Thanks for reading!

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Wealthy Valet

A few days ago I talked with an aged funny married couple, who explained that they have two divorced daughters, in their thirties, complaining that they don’t find any suitable guy to date.

Both told me something like : “OK, the guy must be : handsome, interesting, wealthy, great in bed, protective, obedient, kind-hearted, with feminine qualities, while giving them big space when then need it”.

“Where is my Prince?”

Then they finished by : “Well, my dear, this kind of wealthy valet doesn’t even exist!”.

Who knows, though? How to lower expectations in love or marriage? What kind of doors/choices are dancing here? Can we cross out some qualities in the list? Why? What if the wealthy valet type says “No”? Why would men be frightened by such a program?

By the way, is “to make do” really a verb?? (question from the French). I found :

“We’re striving to make do with less”.

Bonne journée !

The Tenderness Agreement

There are many ways to make love, and it’s interesting to watch the levers you can activate, from 0 to 100 :

  • Energy from 0 (cuddle and no movement) to 100 (ecstatic fast ending)
  • Words (from 0 – a silent intercourse, to 100 – a conversation sex session)
  • Time (from quicky to three-days non-stop dance)
  • Giving (from “I give” to “you give” and all shades between)
  • Tenderness (from 0 : technical ways kama sutra exploring, to 100 : eyes, words of love and attentive caresses).

I’m sure you will find dozens of others dials to watch, risky or not, with or without music, with or without light, etc : the “consenting adults” concept is very powerful, opening doors and paths and windows, destroying inner and “rules” cages.

Today I’m examining the Tenderness Agreement. It’s very soft and sweet. It can exist between husband and wife, or friends, or exes, or siblings, three people, anyone. It’s an agreement, which means you freely both DECIDE (you’re adults, right?), that it’s “only about that”.

Invent your own rules, then :

Underwear only. Skin, but no more. Spend a night together, or one hour. Whatever : you decide before. Cuddling. Caresses. Nothing more. Just being together, listening, breathing, soft caressing, no more. A night, an hour, whatever. It’s about tenderness. “I care”. There are SO MANY ways to say I love you, right? Sex without “sex”. Yessss you can.

So I go back to the levers I wrote at the beginning, and with my partner-of-tenderness (“la tendresse”, en français), we choose. Slow, no light, few words, one night, hands and kisses, keep underwear, tenderness. Then, go to bed, skin touching…

It can trigger some desire? So what? We have an agreement, right? No intercourse and no touch of some strategic places, as we said. It’s interesting. Listen to breathechanging is good. We will respect our agreement.

Or not. Whatever.

Thanks for reading!

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Unconditional Friendship

“Unconditional love” is a beautiful romantic story, and the idea of marriage will fascinate me forever. I am casual for so many things… I do think that some commitments need some solemnity, though.

There’s unconditional love in other places : a mother and a child, for example.

In this little text I imagine an unconditional friendship. In a life, it’s possible to meet a person so important, as a friend, that you could imagine something like a high range commitment, a bond, something so strong that it gives each other a strength – yes, it’s like a spouse who you know is here standing next to you, whatever happens.

Your believes differ? You take a big decision? You fight around ideas? Good! You can fix everything, and you will, because you know that you both dance with this strong and respectful “engagement” – you just invent it everyday, with absolute freedom, and no cage ever, inner or real.

Thanks for reading!

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