You have been talking and talking but it hasn’t solved your relationship issue. It feels as if there is no change at all. And you feel desperate. Is it time for action, as you know, actions speak louder than words? Sometimes.
Do you argue about the same thing time and time?
Are you not being heard or better, not being listened to?
Frustrated about repeating situations?
This story might give you inspiration for a different approach and it might be very successful.
There is love in this relationship, but…..
Vera’s boyfriend Erik was a bit of a party boy. He worked in the city of London and at least once a week he stayed out late, catching the last train back home and stumbling into the house after a few beers too many. Often he forgot to text or phone Vera to let her know and that infuriated her. She understood that, even when they had agreed for a nice dinner at home (which she cooked as she loved to cook), it could happen that some business prevented him to be home. And she was cool with that, as long as he let her know. She wasn’t cool with a situation where she had prepared a lovely meal, had lit the candles and then had to wait. Being left in the dark about his whereabouts, going to bed with an empty stomach and a fuming mind.
Vera had read the ‘how to’ and ‘how not to’ and she thought she was a good communicator. They had talked about it often. He totally understood where she was coming from and promised to be more communicative. However, it didn’t happen.
When you feel stuck in the relationship
Vera had no idea what to do next.
Einstein defines madness as ‘doing the same thing and expecting a different result’.
It was clear that another conversation wouldn’t make any change. That was the avenue they had walked already.
She looked at me with questioning eyes, ‘what else can I do?’
‘Well, if talking doesn’t work, maybe actions do?’
We are motivated by looking for pleasure and avoiding pain. As Erik got his pleasure during his evening’s out, the only pain he possibly experienced was his hangover.
I suggested to Vera to find a way of getting her message across through inflicting pain. Not a violent beating up, but by creating a situation that was unpleasant for Erik, where he maybe could experience what Vera had to endure.
Actions speak louder than words
This is what she did
The next time she cooked a lovely meal and was waiting for an hour, without any message from Erik, she picked up the food, put it back in the pan and burned it. The smell was awful. Shen then made an even bigger mess in the kitchen, flushed all the hot water out of the boiler and switched both boiler and heating off. Then she went upstairs to pack an overnight bag and left the house. No note left behind.
She booked herself in into a local hotel, switched her phone off, ordered room service and had a relaxing bath before falling asleep.
Erik came home just before midnight. Noticing something was different. Damn, what a mess and what a smell. Where was Vera? Was she okay? He didn’t see her. That was when he got a bit worried. He called her. Straight to voicemail. He got really concerned now. Called the hospital, the police to no avail and even texted Vera’s best friend.
He wondered what to do and as he was a bit cold, decided to have a shower. Which, as we know now, was cold as well. At least it woke him up and he paced up and down for hours. What had happened to his girlfriend? By now he was really in a state.
What happened to his girlfriend?
- Vera took control of a situation instead of feeling powerless.
- She communicated her unhappiness through actions, not through words.
- She had a relaxing evening instead of one filled with frustration and anger.
Erik was uncomfortable and worried. He felt similar to how he made her feel when he didn’t stick to their arrangement of communicating. And he was in pain. He was upset and he actually genuinely understood now how he treated Vera.
Erik never forgot to let Vera know about his whereabouts and they lived happily ever after.
Thinking, talking or acting out of the box can completely change situations and relationships.
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