Susie & Otto


Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda...

It's a fact.

Disagreements happen in relationships....

There's nothing new about this.

The challenge is...

What do you do when you have a disagreement or difference of opinion with someone?

One thing you DON'T want to do is what we call "talk on eggshells."

"Talking on eggshells" is to keep silent and NOT say what's true or what's coming up for you out of fear of what your partner will say, what they'll think or how they'll react.


When it comes to your relationships...

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a time machine to be able to turn back the clock to make the changes that might cause things to turn out a little (or a lot) differently?

These are the "woulda," "coulda," "shoulda's" that most of us carry around with us to some degree or the other.

So if you could go back in time, what would you do differently?

One woman told us that she should have talked to her partner before she left the relationship--to see if they could work out their issues. She's now in this agonizing place of living with the "shoulda's"-- still trying to decide if she did the "right" thing by leaving.

A man said that he and his wife would have more passion in their relationship if only they had more time outside of work and caring for extended family members.

Another woman told us that when she and her husband disagree or he feels "stepped on" for some reason, they get into a communication pattern they can't get out of. He reacts angrily, she responds that she feels hurt and he gets silent.

He says enough has been said and she feels even more hurt. She said that an issue that could have been resolved in a matter of minutes will take a day or more to resolve--if at all.

Along with these people--we're guessing that there are some woulda, coulda, and shoulda's that you have about previous relationships or one or more relationships you are currently in.

Take a moment right now and write some of these down on paper.

You might have written down on your list that you wished you would have communicated better or could better share what's in your heart.

Maybe you wrote that you should have done something that you didn't do or you shouldn't have done something that you did.

Whatever it is that you regret...

It is actually a gift to you and here's why...

You have the power to make the change that you would have liked to have made--right in this present moment.

Maybe you can't change anything about the previous relationship but you do have the power to make changes in the relationships you are in right now.

It might be something as simple as using a few of our "Magic Words" to open the door for your partner to open more to you instead of the two of you reacting the way you normally react to each other.

This is the power of being able to say the "right" thing every time.

So, how about the woman we talked about earlier whose husband goes silent after lashing out at her when they disagree or he feels "stepped on"?

If she wants to keep the conversation open so she and her husband can start to understand one another, she can take a deep breath when she's triggered--consider what he just said and search inside whether there's any truth to what he said--any truth at all.

Sometimes we get so caught up in being right that we don't listen to the other person which closes the conversation down and keeps the argument going.

We do this because we don't feel "heard" ourselves.

But the problem is that if we continue holding onto being "right" and not wanting to be the first one to let our defenses down, we push each other further away.

Like this woman, we feel justified in the moment--but later we think we should have done it differently.

If she can find any truth at all to what he said-- like maybe he might feel "stepped on" because of how she acted or what she said...

She can say these "Magic Words".to him that we'll offer here..

"I can see how you might feel that way"

...And by simply acknowledging that he might be feeling that way, he may get the idea that she really is listening to him. He just might keep talking instead of going silent.

We're in no way "blaming" this woman (or you for that matter) for the communication challenge she finds herself in.

But if there's any sense of longing or regret, wishing that things could be different, it's worth a try to look at them from a different point of view.

It's this kind of Magic Word phrase that has been important in keeping our relationship close and connected over the years--with far fewer "woulda," "coulda," and "shoulda's."

Our invitation to you is to avoid these kinds of regrets by making some small or not so small changes right now--and see what happens!

Our best,

©2010, Susie & Otto Collins

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Susie and Otto Collins are spiritual and life partners who are committed to helping others create outstanding relationships of all kinds. They regularly write, speak and conduct workshops and seminars on love, relationships and personal and spiritual growth to audiences all across the USA. They are the creators of the "Relationship Toolkit" which has helped people in over a dozen countries improve their relationships. It includes a video called Spiritual Partnerships plus two booklets Love and Relationship Success Secrets and 101 Relationship Quotes Worth a Million Dollars! You can also read more articles like these and subscribe to their weekly newsletter on love and relationships by visiting their web site at Their new E-book Should You Stay or Should You Go? has just been released and is now available See Archives 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002 and 2001. Other Relationship Issues, Books

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