My partner was recently waiting for me as I was getting ready in the bathroom. As he stood by, I asked him to wipe the bathroom floor.
He said “no”.
I finished getting ready, wiped the floor and we left.
I didn’t think about that anymore until he mentioned it later that day.

Misunderstandings in relationships

I was surprised to learn that he saw my request as an order and his old wounding from previous relationships was triggered.
He had previously experienced women as pushy, taking control in the relationship, ordering him around and relating to him in a way that lacked kindness and respect.
He didn’t want me to become pushy, he didn’t want me to take him for granted. He didn’t want me to start relating to him in less loving ways.
So he said “no” to reclaim his power and make sure that I wouldn’t treat him without respect and love that he deserved.

Power of communication

I heard his words and felt his past pain. I acknowledged it and then explained that I never meant my request to be a disrespectful order. I explained what was behind my request and he understood.
I said that I would never want to say “no” to my partner and if I ever did, I would always explain my reasons for it.
I would never assume that my partner was trying to order me around or be disrespectful. Unless I truly felt that he was, in which case I would raise that with him in a conversation.

This was very eye-opening to him as he was able to see how his past wounding was affecting his behaviour towards me.
The way I heard him and provided my side of the story brought awareness to an unconscious hurt and allowed it to start healing in him.

Wounding and triggers

But then I was triggered. The fact that he felt the need to “pull away from me” and say “no” instead of helping me, made me very sad.
I realized that I felt the need to protect myself from him. This had to do with many ex-partners of mine, acting in a way that was ‘macho’, hurtful or abusive towards me.
I realized that his attitude was triggering old wounds and I allowed myself to fully experience my grief and hurt.
After a few minutes I calmed down and was able to express to my partner what I had just gone through.
He heard and understood.
Now I was beginning to heal my old wounding…

“One of the most beautiful gifts that we gain from being in an intimate relationship with another is the emotional support that we get from them. And some of our deepest healing is done within the safety of a committed intimacy.” – Jordan Gray

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