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Are the DISCUSSIONS with your partner FUTILE? Understand WHY and WHAT you can do about it.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I INTERRUPT A DISCUSSION YOU AND YOUR PARTNER ARE HAVING AND I ASK YOU: “WHAT DID YOUR PARTNER JUST SAY?” OR I ASK YOUR PARTNER WHAT YOU JUST HAVE SAID.

Most likely your answer is that you don’t know. You did not listen, because you are both concerned about the next argument. In leading a monologue, where both are pretending to be occupied by the issues, that got the discussion out of hand.

The discussion is going nowhere. No one listen. You are only concerned about being right. Both of you. A prosecutor. A defender. The roles are interchangeable. We go in circles. Over and over again.

We get NOWHERE, neither AGAINST or WITH EACH OTHER. And we do NOT develop as partners. But we pretend we are fighting for the relationship. And justice for ourselves. On behalf of “Fair Play” and for a complicated point system, that only you (and I) know the details of :-).

Charlotte Egemar Kaaber
Far behind the things that got it all to culminate, the truth lies hidden. The seed of our pain. The real reason for the discussion: There is a need we have not yet satisfied, and we now project it onto our partner.

All of us (almost) all do this. I do it. My husband does it. We are not communicating our needs LOVINGLY, CLEARLY and PRECISE. Earlier. Before the discussion.

Let’s pause and reflect on what it really is all about. Deep inside. For it is never about the laundry. The laundry is only a symptom.

But why is it so difficult for us to communicate clearly and honestly, WHAT we want and HOW we want it? And WITHOUT our mile-long explanations which nobody around us has the energy to listen to (not even ourselves).

Because we will not stand up for ourselves. Take leadership. So we hide. Convolute issues. Confrontational. Prosecutorial. Indirectly. Or we say: our partner can damn well figure it out … I should not have to explain… .. (fill in the blank yourself ).

The reason is that we do not want our emotions exposed. We do not dare to stand up for who we really are. Deep inside. Because we are not always perfect and polished. We are afraid to look at your innermost selves. For we believe that part of us is unlovable. And do not tolerate daylight.

What is so crazy is what we are trying to cover up, our partner (and the world around us) have already discovered. They know it very well! They sense it already from our energy! We cannot hide things. The energy behind it speaks always louder than our words.

Mod til at stille op til mig selv

Therefore, there’s really NOTHING to “reveal” about the way we are and the way we feel. It is a concoction. An ego-strategy.

We can confidently train ourselves to tell our partner (and others we have relationships with) what we want and how we want things. Lovingly, clearly and precise. Completely without condescending!

And while we’re at it, let us also decide to resign from our dysfunctional communication patterns:

  • The role of being a victim (having pity on ourselves)
  • The role of being a martyr (I do whatever I want to do)
  • The use of guilt and shame (I can’t believe he did that, I have done so much)
  • The use of power (I won’t give up until I get what I want)
  • The use of rightfulness (… I fight like my life depends on it ….)

But instead, let it be our common goal to communicate LOVINGLY, CLEARLY and PRECISE in our relationships. They will love us for it. :)

All hell broke loose and destroyed the vacation in the stepfamily

Most of us have done status here after the summer break, evaluating on the vacation with your and maybe our children.

Did we have a good time?
Was the atmosphere pleasant?
Did the family have fun together?

We analyze the vacation and all the situations and conclude that – yes – the beginning of the vacation was certainly good. Great actually! The fusion family members enjoyed themselves, until……..

The all hell broke loose and destroyed the much needed peace and quiet. And challenged all at once everything we had feared would happen. Members of our fusion family could no longer “pretend”. They shouted. They made a scene. It was exactly the situation we had dreaded and now it had happened. We fear the scene had ruined something in our family, perhaps even irreparable. You can probably recognize the situation from your own life. (I can.)

A surprise rebellion from one of the children, a conflict between the role as a fusion mom/father and a child (You’re not my mother/father, so don’t talk to me.)
A heated discussion about how you or your partner handled the situation with the children, one of you doubting the other’s good intentions in relation to the children. (It hurts.)

I want you to stay calm. These conflicts are inevitable, if we as a fusion family grow and develop, they are necessary. They are an essential step toward the feeling of cohesion.

The conflicts are crucial, indeed a really invigorating step in the evolution of your family. Therefore, I challenge you the next time (expect that there will be a next time) to take a moment to let the conflict sink in and stay in the conflict with your head held high. Do not run away or change the subject. It is worth remembering that it is not a permanent condition. The atmosphere will change at some point.

This is a different way for us to think about conflicts, power struggles and loyalty issues that are as explosive minefields to a fusion family. Normally we look at conflict as something we must avoid at any cost.

Instead, try to see conflicts as opportunities for development and as a sign that you now “dare” to be yourself. You do no longer have to “pretend” but now you can dare to demand and make demands on each other.

1st A conflict points out that something must change. Arguments and disagreements come to the surface when a need has not been met, important needs, such as feeling loved and belonging, knowing that you can contribute or knowing what is expected or where the boundaries are.

2nd Expect that there will be fighting in your family along the way. All families of every kind – blended or not – argue, have disagreements, power struggles and difficulties from time to time. In fusion families with conflicting loyalties and the pressure to get it to work this time, these tensions have additional importance in our thoughts and thus providing additional strong emotions. We fear that challenges can be too big to handle – or we pretend that they are not important enough to worry about (because we hope “it” will go away by itself.)

The truth is that the more conflicts we handle, so everyone involved feels seen and heard, we will actually pave the way for a better understanding and deeper relationships.

3rd When conflicts arise, ask yourself two questions before the battle begins. Which needs are not met? Look for who is missing something that seems important to them. It may be that a child needs more structure, attention, or care. Maybe the fusion mom/dad needs clarification of what her/his role is.

You and your partner may need more time together and focus than you have now.

So when the going gets tough, listen to your heart. Try to remember that any dispute handled is a step towards creating a loving and permanent fusion family.

Disagreements and conflicts in your family can make room for your relationships to grow and mature. When you listen to each other with compassion and make changes or adjustments it allows all members of your family to get what they really need.

Fusion families can be loving, permanent families in spite of conflicting loyalties and misunderstanding.

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Love,

Charlotte