This Is Your Brain On Issues – Decoding a Woman’s Relationship Mind
What wouldn’t you give to be able to open your head and put your brain on the table so you could walk away from it once in a while? Men look at us like we’re some kind of crazy sometimes because they can’t understand how our minds can drive us a little, or a lot, out of whack.
They operate on a much different system than ours, utilizing a “one file at a time” mental approach to thinking instead of the “everything AND the kitchen sink” way we load up our minds. They don’t understand the layered chatter that can fill our thoughts, and how all the ideas can sometimes feel like a stadium full of women talking at the same time.
WATCH: THE #1 MISTAKE WOMEN MAKE IN RELATIONSHIPS
See, men like to weigh one thing at a time, while we multitask. But sometimes our multitasking goes overboard and we can’t understand anything over the din inside our heads, and instead of sitting down and trying to sort out the voices one by one so we can analyze which ones make sense and which ones don’t, we begin to react blindly in an attempt to justify our emotions.
Let me paint you a picture.
Last night my husband was watching football while I worked away in my office, making sure Comeback Queen would be ready for my editor to dive into the next morning. Having finally reached my ‘good enough’ moment I went to the living room and started asking questions about why he didn’t want the Raiders to win the game. Instead of answering my third question he stayed silent, and I got offended at being ignored. After a brief scuffle I took my injured ego and went off to bed, alone.
As I lay there I began coming up with reasons to justify my bruised feelings. He was a jerk for ignoring me. He’d been acting a bit off for the past weeks and this was the tip of the iceberg. He was experiencing a lot of turmoil that he wasn’t expressing and what I didn’t know about what was going on in his mind would to lead to our demise. He didn’t respect me enough. We were going to become more and more distant until this marriage ended in divorce too. What was I going to do when our relationship ended?
WATCH: HOW TO START MEDITATING SO YOU’LL HAVE A GREAT RELATIONSHIP
On and on my brain went unchecked for about five minutes, till I realized I was layering one thought over the next while doing nothing to clear any of them. But the worst part was each thought came accompanied with its own emotion, and now not only was my head filled with a multitude of different opinions on what had just happened, but my body was filled with a bunch of negative emotions too, all mixing and jumbling until I couldn’t tell one from the other.
Stop it, I told myself.
Stop letting my imagination run away from me. Stop letting my thoughts run unchecked, and stop letting another idea come forth until I’d done my due diligence and formulated whether or not the previous one had any place inside my head and heart.
I lay there and focused on clearing my mind instead of surrendering to the turmoil inside my head. I relaxed my body, conscious of how tense my muscles had become while my thoughts ran wild. I asked myself, how am I feeling? Then tried to name the emotions that were swirling within me.
I didn’t attempt to associate them to any particular thoughts, instead turning my attention to just letting them be, letting them grow, and letting them run their course and dissipating once they’d run out of steam.
I didn’t need to be angry. I didn’t need to feel insecure. I didn’t need to start planning couples therapy so I could prevent our relationship from becoming another doomed statistic. I needed to stop thinking, I needed to release the emotions that had happened while my brain had sprinted off on me, and I needed to relax.
So I did, and eventually, I drifted off to sleep, my little Lulu cuddling beside me in my hubbies spot as I let him fall asleep in front of the TV.
The next morning I woke up, the partially closed bedroom door letting me know he’d already been up and had gotten dressed in the room across the hall, being quiet to not wake me. “Lulu, do you want to take the elevator?” I asked her, as she stood on the edge of the bed wagging her tail and waiting for me to carry her to the floor.
She scampered to the living room, looking around for her daddy as she did every other morning we fell asleep in bed while Dennis slept in front of the TV. I made our coffee and his toast, and she circled excitedly in front of the back door while I put on my white parka and green rubber boots to bring him breakfast at the shop.
I found him in the workshop area, chatting with his two employees. They drifted away when Dennis finished his sentence, knowing he’d be focusing on me for the next few minutes. My husband looked quizzically into my eyes, knowing I’d gone to bed upset and wondering what my mood would be. I chose normal.
“Here you are baby,” I said, handing him the travel mug and offering a kiss. He kissed my lips, pulling back to check my temperature again. I smiled and planted another kiss on his lips.
“Oh baby, I missed your cuddles last night! I missed being the middle spoon between you and Lulu” he said sweetly, knowing that three of my favourite words from him are I miss you. I smiled larger and we kissed some more, melting the uncertainty that was weighing the air between us.
I wanted him to understand that we could have moments, and they could pass into the ether without disrupting the stream of goodness that was growing between us. That we didn’t need to interrupt our collective history of non-fighting.
That yes, I might get offended sometimes, but I could come back to normal without making him pay for the shitstorm my brain whipped up from time to time. That I could make my way past the ruckus and come back to the fact that, hey, sometimes people have blips, but ultimately everything is going to be okay.
I wanted to show him that I’d still love him, and it would show in my actions. That I favoured his peace of mind over fighting, and that I had my own peace of mind well in hand. I wanted him to see that no matter what, he could predict that I’d still care enough about his needs to make him toast and coffee in the morning. I wanted his brain to understand that I cared more about him than I did about my ego.
I wanted him to know that everything was going to be okay.
Here’s what you can do going forward:
Grab a copy of Fix That Shit and find the deep peace and intimacy that’s just waiting to be uncovered in your relationship. Everything I did to bring us from the brink of divorce to marital bliss, punctuated by years without a single fight is in there.
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Chantal Heide is an Author and Motivational Speaker, focusing on dating and relationship building. Her books Dating 101, Comeback Queen, Fake Love Need Not Apply, No More Assholes, After The First Kiss, Fix That Shit, Say Yes To Goodness, and Custom Made (available on this website, Amazon, and your favorite online book retailer) help her readers attract the love they’re looking for, regardless of their starting point . View her BOOKS page for more information. Be sure to check out more free advice on Facebook, YouTube, and Itunes, as well as fun tidbits about her life on Instagram and Twitter.