You might have been there. You’re at a social gathering and you turn around to see your spouse doing something that embarrasses you. What do you do?
Studio 5 Relationship Coach Matt Townsend helps us navigate the awkward predicament of having an embarrassing spouse.
Identify Your Real Source of Embarrassment
Because opposites may attract, most married couples have experienced being put in embarrassing or uncomfortable situations by their partner. To improve these situations we have to determine the “real” source of the problem. Don’t assume that all of your embarrassing feelings are caused by your partner’s behavior because some feelings are influence by your own history, experience and sensitivity. To truly minimize the embarrassments, we’ll have to find a solution that deals with the real source of the problem.
Anticipate the Embarrassment
Sometimes the fastest way to fix embarrassing moments with the people you love is to anticipate them. When it comes to embarrassing behavior, our spouses tend to be fairly consistent and predictable. Your embarrassing moments might be the clothes wears when you go out to dinner, or they language they use when they’re with their old high school buddies. One of the most effective ways to deal with potentially embarrassing situations is to anticipate them and to plan ahead.
Discuss The Problem When The Emotion Is Low
One mistake that many couples make when trying to deal with difficult topics is they discuss the issue when they’re filled with the energy and pain of the problem. Take the time to open up the discussion when you’re not in the middle of the embarrassment. Discuss you love about being out with your partner and especially discuss when you feel most safe with your partner. Set the standard by telling them how you feel when you’re partner looks their best or when they’re being respectful in their conversations and then discuss how you feel when they aren’t. Don’t call each other names, and focus the discussion by owning your own feelings instead of blaming the other for your misery.
Learn Together and Establish Embarrassment Rules
Our goal in discussing our embarrassing moments with each other is to learn and formally discuss ways to improve the situation for each other. By learning we could also create solutions that show our partner that we care and we don’t want them to be embarrassed by our actions. We can also avoid the endless cycle of disappointment and let downs that come when we fight about our issues. The learning should include specific ways that we will talk about our embarrassing situations. Perhaps on the drive home from a dinner with friends you could commit to doing a review for how you both felt the evening went. You could also shore up rules that we will use during the dinner to communicate to our partner when they are starting to cross the lines of embarrassment. Some couples I’ve worked with have set rules about the number of drinks that they will have when they are out together, or certain topics that should be avoided. These rules although they may seem restrictive are also opportunities to show our partner that their concerns matter more to use then our fun.
ST. GEORGE DATE NIGHT
WITH MATT AND PETER BREINHOLT
MARCH 29TH, 2013 AT 7PM
THE ECCLES ART CENTER MAIN STAGE
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