Working frequently with law enforcement, I come up with several creative metaphors to help to link and connect. I’m grateful that I know the lingo and processes of various things. This gives you a little insight into how my mind works to create that connection to concepts in the field and in your relationship.
Many times I have a couple that is trying to be perfect in their response to their partner. This might be a change of behavior, a new love language, or a reflection of empathy. Instead of leaping, they wait and wait until they think they have the perfect response. Sometimes there is no response or action at all because they “don’t want to make it worse” or “don’t want to get it wrong”. This is actually a common problem because of the tension that may be between you or even the distance because you haven’t been able to connect.
It can be intimidating to do or say the wrong thing. I get that you don’t want to further escalate or damage a situation. I really understand the disappointment in missing the TARGET with your spouse when you attempt to connect in some way.
When you are wanting to express empathy or stretch to connect with your spouse, think of it like a target.
If you have a new scope or a rifle that has not been used for a while, you are not going to have the expectation that you are going to hit the bulls-eye the first time you shoot. You are going to shoot and you may hit way above the target in the berm or below the target in the dirt. When you do so, you gather information. With that information, you adjust. You may give the scope a couple of clicks up or down or you may need to give it many clicks based upon where your first shot hit. You keep working at it until you hit the center of the target or where you need to be depending on how you are sighting it in. You do not just say, “dang I missed it” and quit or say that you are a bad shot. You take in facts and problem solve.
When it comes to our relationships however, we feel VULNERABLE. (Heck, I feel vulnerable when I am trying to site in my rifle in front of my husband.) We take things personally because we are putting a part of ourselves out there and because of that we protect ourselves by not trying or feel hurt that we got it wrong.
Next time you see an opportunity to connect with your spouse in some way, think of it as sighting in your scope. You’ve got to take the shot to gain the information. If you don’t try to hit the target you will not have the opportunity to gain the information you need to hit the target in the future.