Let’s look at vulnerabilities, what bothers my partner and antidotes- what to do, or say to my partner.
When I feel intruded upon -please approach quietly, rather than calling my partner by name.
If your partner is busy, say, “I need to talk with you in a few minutes” and then leave.
Or you can say “let me know when you’re ready. If it’s more than —- minutes, I’ll start and you can join in.”
When the partner feels trapped or out of control- you can say “I need a few minutes of your time, and then you can get back to what you’re doing.”
You can say “I can see that you have had enough. Run along and we will continue later.”
“You have a couple of choices here.”
When the vulnerability is fear of too much intimacy- you can say, “do you want me to stop?”
“Is this annoying you?”
I can pay attention to the level of intimacy with which the partner is comfortable. I can ease into closeness.
If the vulnerability is fear of being blamed- you could say one of the following:
“I so appreciate what you did, in this case, I would say that this was out of line.”
“I understand why you did what you did. Your heart was in the right place.”
“Look, it’s not all your fault. And if it were, that wouldn’t matter to me.”
If the person has a fear of being abandoned by you- you could say one of the following:
“don’t worry I’m not going anywhere. You couldn’t get rid of me if you wanted to.”
“Please stay close to me. I want to be in close contact today.”
“You are my Tether.”
If the person is afraid of being separated from you- you can make the use of technology, such as text messaging. Nothing elaborate, just “hi” or “love you” or “ugh. Bad meeting” or any pithy comment that suggests “I am thinking about you.”
If the person has discomfort for being alone for too long- you can say to them “I am looking forward to our dinner together tonight. I can’t wait to hear about your day.”
Or you can say “call me if you need to talk.”
Or you can say “I promise I will call you as soon as we land, even if it’s late.”
If the person is feeling that he or she is a burden- “you can say you are no more of a burden to me than I am to you.”
“I love that we know exactly what to do to take care of each other.”
“You are one burden that I will always enjoy carrying.”
So the idea in the above is to rapidly repair any damage by being alert to their mood and feelings.
When my partner is bothered, I know it immediately. It doesn’t matter whether they’re bothered because of something that I did or something outside the relationship; they are bothered.
I can make an educated guess about which of his or her three or four bad things has been touched.
I will not let the problem fester. When I see my partner in distress -before I do anything, I will work to help soothe their pain.
If I think that I caused my partner pain, I could say, “that didn’t go well did it? I’m so sorry.” Or “Did that just hurt you?”
The worst thing you can do is ignore what you see on your partner’s face or hear, and your partner’s voice. Let your partner know he or she can count on you to step up and see or do whatever is needed to repair the damage.