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Zip It

Zip ItCONGRATULATIONS, YOU’RE ENGAGED!

Allow me to pass on a piece of advice I was given by my soon-to-be grandmother-in-law. As a couple’s therapist and someone who has been married for 30 years I have found this little tidbit to stand the test of time.

“Zip it”

(Picture lips together and the thumb and forefinger pressed together moving across the lips)

Yes, that’s it. Those two little words can make all the difference.

Let me explain.

It is not pretending what was said or done did not bother you. It is simply choosing not to express your unsolicited thoughts and/or feelings on the subject.

It is also not promoting passive aggressive behaviour, that is, say nothing even when asked, but at first opportunity get your own back.

What it does mean is keep in mind you have to live with this person for the rest of your life.

Ask yourself, do you really want to spend it nagging and quarreling over every little thing? Is it worth getting into an argument about?

Also question the assumptions,

  • If you let it go you will be sending a message that other things of a similar nature are okay.
  • If you let this go you will diminish your voice in the relationship.

For example I had to learn that when my husband makes a negative comment about a meal I have cooked it is not meant as a personal criticism. He simply does not enjoy that particular dish. I had to learn to remind myself he is very appreciative of just about anything I cook for him, as he can’t, won’t cook. Also, he is often willing to eat most things reheated, a little over cooked or even a bit stale. I further consider the comment was not made in such a way that it felt mean-spirited or vindictive. So, rather than going on the attack or even the defense when a negative comment is made about the meal I consider what he is saying and add my two cents worth, as if we were critiquing a restaurant meal.

I know this advice flies in the fact of the ever important fact, good communication is key for a healthy relationship. All I can say is this must be the exception that proves the rule!

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