Once a week, Husband and I “CALIBRATE.” I put this in caps and bold because it has become such an integral part of our healing and reconnecting, I can’t imagine not using this important tool. What is Calibration? It is a time my husband and I set aside every Saturday morning to check in with each other. Calibrating is a sacred time for us and we don’t like to miss it. Sometimes life gets in the way and we need to be flexible by moving it to a different day or later in the afternoon, but that is rare. No topic is off limits, everything and any subject is on the table. Our calibrations are much different today than they were when we started two years ago.
In the beginning our Calibrations were extremely painful, for both of us, and there were a lot of tears. Today, we have moved from rehashing his indiscretions and “how could he?” to having calm, enlightened discussions about all kinds of things. Today Husband speaks from his heart and not just his head like the old days. To start, one of us begins by taking a deep breath, close eyes for a moment to get centered and then say what we’re feeling: grateful, anxious, content, peaceful, fearful, curious, happy or what ever it is. The only rule is that we’re honest. And off we go – we talk, ask questions and explore until we’re done and then it’s the others turn. Our Calibrations have been an important component to my healing and came from Husband’s time at the Mankind Project (thank you!).
Even though our Calibrations aren’t as emotionally charged as they used to be, they are still very meaningful and connect us in a way most day to day interactions don’t. My top two Love Languages (from the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman) are acts of service and quality time, while my husbands are physical touch and words of affirmation. Calibrations touch both our Love Languages. For me, I view our Saturday morning ritual as quality time and for my husband, now more than it used to be, he hears words of affirmation. Learning each others Love Language has been so helpful. I feel it when he does something for me without asking as an act of service. And while words of affirmation aren’t nearly as important to me, I need to remember that they are to him and let him know when he does something I appreciate and tell him so. There is a free test on my Resources page I would highly recommend you and your partner take, it’s fun and might surprise you!!
No, this isn’t a Stephen King/Jack Nicholson movie, it’s another tool we use that came from the Mankind Project called “CLEARING.” Clearing is when something comes up that can’t and shouldn’t wait until Calibrations on Saturday morning to address. If it’s something serious or upsetting enough to affect how we feel about the other person or ourselves, then it’s important to deal with as soon as possible. It might seem pretty straightforward for most of you, but for us, it was an eye opener. Goes like this: The person with the issue to talk about tells their partner they need to have a Clearing. We make time as soon as possible to talk it through with open hearts and NO DISTRACTIONS. We don’t finish until the person who needed Clearing is Cleared, meaning the issue is resolved as much as possible and to their satisfaction.
We don’t have nearly as many Clearings as we used to now that we’ve learned to communicate with each other more constructively and don’t let things slid! Dr. Parker, my therapist, gave me a great piece of advice, that is common sense, when she said I can’t let anything slide. She advised that if I let the small stuff slide, what could start as pebbles under the carpet could easily become giant boulders that are tough to get around. Very good advice we took to heart!
Peace from Within…
On my Facebook and Instagram pages I recently wrote about inner peace and how it’s my number one for a fulfilling life. I really haven’t had inner peace or any kind of peace until now. For years my life was in turmoil. I found out partially why my life was such a mess after the “bomb drop” of October 2014. That’s not only when I found out Husband had been having an affair, but that my entire married life wasn’t what I thought it was. It’s amazing our marriage survived everything we went through and I was able to make it through the most painful period of my life. But we did survive and now thrive. I credit many things with our success like my husbands determination to do anything and everything he could to become a better human and save our marriage. Mankind Project, counseling, learning new relationship skills, supportive family and friends all helped enormously. The tipping point for me in finding true inner peace came after I started meditating. Meditation brought it all together and it feels like for the first time in my life the stars are aligned and I am able to live a calm life I can believe in and trust.
Of course life isn’t always calm and I’ll talk more about what I’ve learned about rising above life’s challenges on my path to Zen in the next post.
Till next time…
Peace & Love,