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
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
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
You have the power to make the change that you
would have liked to have made--right in this
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
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
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
We do this because we don't feel "heard"
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
Like this woman, we feel justified in the
moment--but later we think we should have done it
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
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!
& Otto Collins
Other Relationship Issues,
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
Partnerships plus two
and Relationship Success
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 www.collinspartners.com
new E-book Should You Stay or Should You Go?
has just been released and is now available
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