Happy Tuesday, my friends, and welcome to part five of my follow-ups from episode 36, the Six-Second Kiss Paralysis. Over the past four weeks, I have been sharing some fundamental and fairly basic concepts about creating and re-creating that solid marital relationship we so badly longed for. I honestly believe that these six episodes are critical and fundamental in the process of closing the abyss that so many of us feel is between our partners and us and a marital relationship that feels like we once upon a time imagined it to be. Last week I talked about bids for connection. Briefly, I talked about starting the process of recognizing bids, either our own or our partner’s, and then paying attention to how we respond to them because how your response to bids for connection matters. How you respond will determine whether you are creating more connection or disconnection.
Today I want to help you understand the different ways we can respond to a bid for connection, what those different responses may look like and how each will give you different results in your intimate relationship. If you are here listening to AwakenYou in your marriage, then it tells me that you are searching for the courage and inspiration to show up differently in your marriage. This episode will bring awareness to how you have been receiving bids, the opportunity to re-evaluate that response given what you now know, and start filling in the space between where you are and where you want to be, which is on the other side of that chasm hand and hand with your partner.
Ways we can respond to our spouses bids for connection
Make sure that if you haven’t listened to last week’s episode, Bids For Your Partner’s Attention, that you do so because it is the prequel to what we are talking about today. In that episode, I explain what bids for connection are and share some examples, and with those examples, you can look at ways you have been responding to your partner’s bids for connection:
- Turning towards: we respond to their bid, put down what we are doing and turn towards them, we create connection.
- Turning away: we ignore their bid by turning away or ignoring and continuing what we are doing, we create disconnection.
- Turning against: responding to their bid with anger or aggression, basically attacking your partner, we create disconnection and break emotional connection
Throughout this episode, I will be using one specific type of bid for connection to keep things clean and followable. The bid for connection I’m going to use as an example will be in the evening, after work, when your spouse comes home from work, and you are in the kitchen making dinner. They come into the kitchen, put their stuff down on the counter, right where you were going to set the cutting board to prep the veggies, and then starts telling you a story about something that happened during his day. Using the three options about and knowing which one creates connection, what choice might you choose from these three options? Your choice is what will determine whether you are creating connection or disconnection, so let’s look at what these different responses might look like:
In this example, turning towards your partner would look like pausing what you are doing, even if that means taking the pan off the burner, turning to look at them, and listening.
Turning away would have you continue doing what you are doing; you might be nodding your head and acknowledging with your body, but you are signaling that what you are doing is more important than connecting with them.
Turning against would look like interrupting your spouse and making it clear that you don’t have time for them by telling them to leave you alone, or “can’t you see I’m a bit preoccupied right now?” or even turning it around to you by saying something like, “Don’t you remember that I had an important meeting today? You think your stuff is always more important than mine.”
Let’s try another example. This example you may not recognize as a bid for connection but remember, a bid is someone trying to get your attention for a positive connection. “I wish you would put your phone down during dinner.”
- Turning towards: setting the phone down and saying “I’m sorry, it’s so easy to just pick it up, I want to work on putting it down when we spend time together. Thank you for helping me!”
- Turning away: ignoring, finishing what you are looking at on your phone and keep eating.
- Turning against: “You use the phone at dinner too, what’s the difference?”
I could go on and on sharing examples; how about one more? “Hey, did you see that house down the road where they replaced the siding? I don’t think it looks good.”
- Turning towards: “I didn’t notice, which house are you referring too and why don’t you think it looks good?”
- Turning away: look away and go do a task
- Turning against: “Can’t you see I’m in the middle of something?”
Of course, with the creation of this episode, I have been hyper-aware of Jeff’s bids for connections as well as how I am responding, making sure that I turn towards, listen, and then deciding if it’s necessary to ask for a pause to finish up what I may be in the middle of. I ask myself what is more important, what I am doing or connecting with my husband, every time I decide connection.
You know I am all about taking action. I love taking action around bids for connection because initially, it doesn’t require any vulnerability except for being aware of what is happening. Your first action step is to start paying attention to:
- When your partner makes a bid for connection
- When you are making a bid for connection (intentional or nonintentional)
- How you are responding to their bids
- How they are responding to your bids remembering you are only creating awareness, you are not using their responses now as a weapon which of course would create disconnection
As you create this awareness, start practicing turning towards your partner when you recognize a bid. In the beginning, this might look like turning away or against and then self-correcting by turning back towards them. Take time practicing for yourself and exploring when you want to turn away or against; take time to look at how that feels and then how it feels to turn towards.
As you know, for years, I complained about Jeff’s “inability to connect.” Of course, I didn’t know then that this was keeping me from a way that created the connection I so badly wanted, BUT if I had known the things I know now, I could have used other “non-conversational” ways to create connection. Through these different ways of creating connection that I have shared over the past five episodes, you can start building connection in ways that don’t look so traditional, like sitting down and having a discussion.
Lastly, I forgot to mention the six-second kiss and how it has you making a bid for connection. Now, if your partner is asking for a kiss, turning towards them and sharing a kiss will create that connection, and then you can decide where that goes from there. Turning aways has you ignoring their bid, turning your head or walking away, or diverting by starting a conversation. Turning against would have you telling them that you’re not interested in kissing them.
I’d love to hear what bold steps you are taking in your marriage to create connection and move towards the woman you want to be in your intimate relationship.
I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true selves. My process isn’t about changing your partner; it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level, then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.