The conversation didn’t last too long but it was very revealing about us men and our desires. Everyone in this conversation loves Aikido and expressed an interest in getting even better at it. So we discussed how many days a week it’s recommended that we each train to keep progressing and improving in this martial art.
I mentioned to them that my intention is to train 3 to 4 days a week and a couple of the guys authoritatively said, “It’s gotta be more than that,” and went on to say that if I want to advance my Aikido skills faster, I need to be training 5, 6 or even 7 days a week.
When they said this, I replied, “If I did that, I wouldn’t be married much longer.”
Without hesitation, two of the guys who are NOT married or in committed relationships said, “Dude, that’s why I’m never getting married. I don’t want some woman telling me what to do.”
As a relationship coach and expert, their response said a lot to me.
Behind their well-meant advice is a belief based on a false choice and it’s one that many men (and women too) fall into.
There is an underlying assumption that you can’t have it all and be at the top of your game in your career or with a pursuit and also have a healthy relationship. “You’ve got to choose one or the other” is how this can feel. With this line of thinking, there is also the sense that a “committed relationship” equals loss of freedom, restriction and pain– that you have to give up what you love for your woman. And further, that most women would insist that you give up your interests and passions to focus mostly on the relationship.
I don’t agree with any of these beliefs and I see things a different way.
Life and relationships don’t have to be an “either/or” game where you have to choose one thing or another. Yes, there are times when you focus more intently on a person, project or particular goal, but these are short-term. Overall, your attention and energy can shift so that you’re feeding and developing what you love to do as you also feed and expand the love you share with your partner.
I make the choice to create (and be in) a passionate, loving, sexy relationship with a woman I’m totally in love with (even after 16years). I see this as something that enhances my life and brings me more of what I want instead of less.
Creating this amazing relationship with my partner doesn’t mean I have to give up things like furthering my Aikido practice. It’s both/and.
Like anyone, I get busy too and conflicts sometimes come up. There are situations where a choice is involved and I ask myself…
“How can I have both?”
At those times, I use a question like THIS one to expand me…
“How can I continue to train in Aikido and continue improving my skills AND continue creating an incredible relationship too?”
Change your question, change your life.
What I’ve found is that powerful questions, like this one, can change everything and expand you in amazing ways. They provide a powerful shift when you’re stuck in an impossible and painful situation, like facing the false choice of “either my interest/career/passion or my relationship.”
Listen in and hear yourself when you’re thinking you have to give up something you love for the sake of your relationship. Hear it when you’re telling yourself that your woman won’t “let you” do or be something.
A very simple question to interrupt a train of thought like this is, “Do I really know that’s true?”
A general or specific question can help you open up to a new way of looking at your situation. It can bring you back to the facts and away from the stories you might be operating from. It can help you clarify where you’ll focus right now and then where you’ll focus next.
The right questions can also help you create a life that you never imagined before.
They allow you to see beyond a false choice and to the choice of what you really want for your life, including your relationship. I’ve also found that choosing to enjoy both my interests AND my relationship brings me all the happiness, fulfillment and sex with my partner that I ever could want.
What will YOU choose?