Cathy: This was a question in response to our coming clean video. And the person wrote in and said, “How can you be sure that your partner will just freak out and walk away? Or is it better to come clean regardless of what will happen? When shouldn’t I come clean?” This is Reid Mihalko from http://reidaboutsex.com/.
Reid: Cathy Vartuli from http://theintimacydojo.com/. That’s a good one. When shouldn’t you come clean?
Cathy: When your partner’s exhausted or sick?
Reid: When you’re in front of a congressional hearing committee and you need to plead the fifth. I think that probably makes sense.
Cathy: Yeah. Probably it’s a good time not to come clean. Talk to your lawyer first.
Reid: Yeah. Talk to your lawyer and get some legal representation. We’re not lawyers nor do we play them on the internet.
Cathy: I think he’s talking about with your partner.
Cathy: And one thing I like to do is ask them if it’s a good time to talk, because there are times when like last night, we were both really tired and we started squabbling. So, and it probably if we just got some sleep and talked about it in the morning, it might have been a lot easier. So…
Reid: [inaudible 00:01:02] is never a good time to start deep conversation.
Cathy: Especially after working all day long. So, look at you, is your partner tired. You look at HALT – Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. And again, it’s not your sole responsibility to have your partner’s tanks filled but it’s a good thing to, you know, it’s very useful sometimes to check in and see how they’re doing. Like, if they’re exhausted, they’re sick, they haven’t eaten, they haven’t had some social time or they’re just frazzled. It might be better to wait till another time. If they are always frazzled and always exhausted and tired, don’t…
Reid: Then they’re parents.
Cathy: Yes, but I would recommend just putting off the top forever, like, come clean. Like, say even set a time like, Hey, there are some things that we haven’t had a chance to talk about. Can we schedule tomorrow at 7pm while the kids are watching Disney or whatever is on it’s 7pm.
Reid: Think about it from the perspective of, if you can’t schedule a time to both show up, to have big conversations, that’s a great indicator that you know, there’s an area in your relationship that you both need to work on, to be able to get to that place. Nothing is necessarily broken but over time, not being able to say like, hey, you know, when you get home from work and I get home from work on Wednesday, I’d love for us to like, you know, make dinner or whatever. And then, you know, there’s a couple of things I want to talk about like just big topics. And you list the topics. You know, can we put that on the calendar or on Saturday when we’re both home, can we put this on the calendar. Check-in, you can do like because if this is a new thing for everybody and you’re trying to get good at it, like, create two dates. Like we get Wednesday, Saturdays are fallback because sometimes you know, people are dreading the conversations and have anxiety or just fears or you know, something comes up and then you have to move it. So maybe always plan a fallback just to relax your brains. And understand it might take a while, in a while I mean like a month or two, of really getting good at this because you’re building a new habit. If you’re in a relationship and you can’t get to those big conversations, that’s a really good flag.
Cathy: Get a coach, get a therapist. Take a class like Relationship 10x.
Reid: Yeah. And then you know, you might also wanna hire a therapist if you have the financial resources, to practice your conversations with somebody who’s a committed listener, who’s also impartial. Who is not your best friend, who already hate your partner coz they’ve always hated your partner. And how dare they not schedule that date. And like, it’s not the end of the world, but you need to have these conversations. I think and my radical advice, if by having this conversations you realize that you two are not supposed to be together…
Cathy: Find out soon.
Reid: That was going to happen 20 years from now anyway probably, with you both being much more miserable.
Cathy: One thing I recommend to is figure out how. Like, use a [inaudible 00:04:25] experiment. Say, it can kind of get you out of the trigger. Like, let’s watch and see which way is the best way to talk about things. My best friend for a while had a partner that he had to write everything out on an email. So like, if you wanted to have a conversation, the best way for them was for to write it out in an email, send it to her and like a week later, they would sit down and talk about it because she had time to process it and kind of chew on it. Other people…
Reid: Go to her therapist. Like, it’s about support coz most of us grew up in families where the parents never talked about anything. So where do you think your friend or your lover got their skill sets from? Probably they don’t have them.
Cathy: Yeah. So figuring out what way coz different things some people want to talk about it in person and agree not to leave until it’s hashed out. Other people may need time to process or cool down, or they read better than they hear. So just kind of pay attention to those things can help to come clean, come clear.
Reid: Yeah. Give it a shot. Let us know what are your ways to get clarity on having conversation. And when do you think is a bad time to start a conversation.
Cathy: Yeah. Leave comment below.
Reid: When obviously, you know, somebody’s funeral it’s like, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about. Like, no.
Cathy: Or from stage at the company picnic or something.
Reid: Stage from a company picnic. Again, great examples and over time you should be able to schedule a time to have the conversations. Great question. Keep those questions coming in.