Katherine got into the car, and immediately felt Steve’s lousy mood suck all the air out of it.
“Oh no,” she thought.
She knew Steve wasn’t thrilled about going to visit her brother’s family. It was a chilly winter Sunday. He wanted to lounge about, watch the games, and stay put. But she expressed it was important to her and he had agreed to go.
Does he always have to punish me with his mood? she wondered, agitatedly.
She was about to get snarky in reaction to his silent hostility, but then she remembered a question she’d adopted in the training we were doing:
Do we dance the same dance, or can I try a new step?
After all, this was their dance: Steve gets in a mood, Katherine reacts and they go spiraling down, down into a dark place that somehow lands them in a fight about what happened three Christmases ago.
By asking the question internally, Katherine was bringing a form of leadership to her relationship.
Katherine wanted to have a decent day with Steve and her family. How was Katherine going to change the steps?
She contemplated what role she wanted to play. Usually, she felt victimized by Steve’s moods, and this would cause her to slip into “The Bitch.”
Who do I want to be instead? she mused. The answer: I want to be powerful, content woman, in this relationship and with my family today.
In that moment, Katherine thought about powerful, seemingly content women she knew. The first woman that came up, which surprised her, was Oprah. She went with it. And she realized, Oprah would not spend any time in the car with a sulking man if she didn’t have to. And she certainly wouldn’t babysit him.
What did Katherine do next ?
Tune in for tomorrow’s blog post to see. . . .
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