Thursday, December 20, 2012

Giving Up Control To Get What You Want

Today, Camille and Gina were texting directly together.

Camille is going to a dentist appointment tomorrow.

The appointment will involve shots and drills and Novocain, and Camille may have needed to have a little extra support from me tomorrow night when she got back from her appointment. But it wasn't on the calendar. I wasn't planning to be with Camille.

Gina was quick to suggest a schedule shift to accommodate that need. She contacted Camille and checked in with me, and I adjusted the schedule so that I could see Camille tomorrow.

Maybe that doesn't sound all that remarkable to you but here's what I thought was cool about that: we all worked together to accommodate a need.

My partner reached out to my wife and asked for a special consideration and we all compromised. We all made it happen. And I had hardly anything to do with it.

About two months ago, this probably couldn't have happened. I needed to give up control.

Up to that point, I had been a communication filter between my wife, Gina, and my partner, Camille.

My relationship with Camille was getting bigger and Gina needed direct input into it. She needed a way to trust it more. And Camille needed to trust that Gina wasn't going to pull a nuclear option at some point and kill it. They needed to trust each other.

I was relaying concepts and ideas between them through me and neither of them were directly talking to each other with great regularity. That had to change. I needed to get out of the way.

When I got out of the way, both of them were able to talk more directly and openly about our relationship. A framework for trust was established between the two of them. Instead of each of them hearing something filtered through me, they were able to discuss problems and find remedies together.

Getting out of the way was hard for me, and to many guys, giving up control may seem somewhat counterintuitive. If you can't control the conversation or the narrative, how can you guarantee that you'd get what you want? How can you ensure that neither of these two people you love will be offended or hurt because of something was said ... or not said? How can you trust it? I wanted to control it. But this had to happen. I needed to step out of the way.

Looking back, giving up control has been the best thing that had to happen. I had to trust my wife to operate in my interests; I had to trust Camille to want to be a part of my life and negotiate for what she wanted directly with Gina; both of them had to trust each other. Giving up control has allowed the beginning of a pathway for everyone get what they want.


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