My wife has a bad, rude disrespectful habit of asking me for things before I've even woken up. I've been working on this with her. I also have a rule that our bedroom is for sleep and sex and loving and nothing else.
So this morning I wake up at 4:30AM because I'm hungry from a big workout yesterday and because I'm pretty excited about some stuff I'm working on. I get out of bed, eat a banana and crawl back in. I need to finish my sleep so I can have a good day.
My wife stirs and wakes up. Its shark week and I'm tired so I'm not interested in sex. She says "Wanna chat ?" I sleepily say "Sure". My body language is that I'm still asleep. At this point I'm expecting some soft discussion about about the kids or something.
She starts in full blast on how we need a dog. My head is on my pillow, my eyes are closed. I open one eye and tell her I'm not in the mood for a big discussion at 5AM. Later, please.
So then she starts in about our finances. Again, full blast. I open my eye again and give her a stern look. She stops.
So then she asks me if I can make pancakes for breakfast. In other circumstances this question would be OK, but not now and not with the tone she is using. I sit up, mockingly reach around in the dark to find her head and playfully give her a light slap on the top of her head and then lay down on my pillow and feign sleep. AM without words.
This pisses her off. She utters a few cut downs. I STFU. She huffs out of bed. I fall asleep, truly NGAF.
An hour later, just before 6AM she storms through the bedroom and utters a few more cut downs. Again I STFU.
I get up at 6:30 and run into her at the bottom of the stairs. Without a word I plant a 10 second kiss on her and say "Good Morning". She is pissed but she cant help but smile. She knows she has been bad. She scowls at me across the breakfast table. I smile back at her. Take that, bitch ! Your bad behaviour and emotional outbursts have no effect on me !
Prior to RP coaching, her behaviour would have resulted in a full blown fight between us. I would have been upset. I would have played the scene over and over in my mind during the day trying to figure out who was "right" and if I deserved any of that. My day would have been ruined. Not any more.
STFU is genius on many levels.
- it doesn't escalate the argument. One person is literally talking to a wall.
- it keeps me from being emotionally entangled. I'm literally sitting back in my mind and logically analysing the shit she is spewing out.
- it keeps me from saying something stupid.
- it keeps me from feeling I have to solve the problem she is bitching about
- it demonstrates my frame for her.
- it makes it very easy for me to separate out what is good behaviour and bad behaviour on her part.
Thanks to RP coaching, I'm going to have a great day today.
Edit: the term "chat" in our relationship means to have a light hearted, good nature conversation. It isn't opening the door to discuss world events or anything that takes more than 2 brain cells. My wife knows this. I don't ask my wife if she wants to chat about finances or weekend planning. We call those discussions. They certainly don't happen at 5AM when one of us is half asleep.