The Reason Why Date Nights Are Not Always Warm and Fuzzy
I ask people the definition of the word inhibit and often they pause.
They begin to describe to me when someone has inhibitions.
Like sexual inhibitions or singing in front of an audience.
Yes, there are a laundry list of things that can be inhibitions.
But inhibit, is a verb.
It basically means to hold in check, or restrain.
And this is something that many people do practically everyday but don’t give it much thought.
They restrain or hold themselves in check.
This is another whole breed of cat.
Have you ever had the idea that you wanted to tell your boss something and you created the entire conversation in your head?
I mean, you practically memorized it as you drove to work.
And when you got to work you see your boss and say Hello and you go about your day.
But you don’t say anything because you just can’t quite get over the holding yourself in check part.
This is inhibit.
Or, you’ve been meaning to talk to your spouse or partner about something that has been gnawing away at you about your marriage or relationship. You feel it’s important as you have considerable attention on it, but you also know when you’ve discussed this area in the past it didn’t go all that well.
But no matter. You think about having this comm cycle with your partner throughout your day. You go over various ways you want to approach it, when’s the best time, etc.
But when you think it’s the best time or you start to approach it, you never communicate what you really want to say.
This is inhibit.
The Different Flows of Inhibit:
Inhibit has different flows attached to it.
For example, if you want to talk to your husband or wife that is an outflow.
When you imagine talking to them you’re already on an outflow, see?
So, in your own universe or your own mind you could be sitting down at the dinner table mocking up this conversation with your spouse. Like it’s really happening.
That’s already outflowing.
But...the inflow comes back in that imaginary conversation you have in your head as well.
Your husband or partner in your mind responds however it is you see them responding. And often it’s not them doing cartwheels and jumping up and giving you a high-five.
This is an entirely separate flow.
And in that flow from them back to you, guess what you often do?
“Shit, Steve is going to flip his lid if I tell him everything that's on my mind.”
“Marianne will just tell me how wrong I am so I gotta figure out a better approach.”
See, if you’re already practicing, it means you envision yourself going on inhibit.
And if in your mind you’re already inhibiting, it simply means you’ve got tire tracks across your face from having already tried this.
You already have the inhibit starting before you have the actual conversation.
Inhibit is the New Normal: Crikey
The problem with this whole scenario is that in the main many people are living their lives on inhibit.
There are things they are afraid to say.
There are things they won’t say.
There are things they want to say but don’t know how.
And the real killer is that they stew over it in their minds and decide they “can live with it” and they would be better off not saying it.
But here’s the thing:
Every inhibit was first an outflow.
It was a reach to communicate.
This is enormously important.
Go all the way back to when you were a kid and take every moment you had a desire to communicate to someone.
You first had the idea.
I want to tell my Dad I love him.
You wanted to tell a boy or girl in school you liked them but did not.
You wanted to tell your friend a private secret about your life but inhibited it.
You wanted to tell your ex- something you admired about them.
You wanted but never told your brother or sister something personal.
You were in love with a guy or girl in high school but you never said.
People get so used to inhibiting that unfortunately this becomes “normal.”
And it becomes so much “the norm” that when I talk to individuals about their marriage or relationship, guess what the first thing is they tell me?
What communication they have inhibited from their partner.
Think about that.
And many have decided “it’s not worth it” to go through the hell or whatever they experience by communicating about these sensitive areas.
It’s not worth it?
And then you see this kind of counterfeit relationship that begins to morph into something that appears one way, and is quite another.
And each person knows it.
It’s crazy as hell.
When confronted with the idea of taking their finger off the Pause button and telling their partner they just kind of go into this resignation.
You see the being look at the idea and then decide to they’d rather not confront it.
If you are going to have a relationship, the one thing that you cannot do is restrain or hold yourself in check.
That is the antithesis of what a relationship is.
The root word in relationship is relate.
And relate means “to tell or give an account of.”
So if you need to tell your boss or spouse something and you put the communication on inhibit, then you will not relate to them.
So what happens then to the relationship?
If you cannot relate what you need to relate then there is less ship.
It’s not really a relationship.
It’s an inhibitship.
But see people have for so long kept these things on inhibit that this has now become the fabric of their relationship.
Until that fabric starts coming unraveled.
How Do You Really Feel?
There’s another flow with inhibit.
It’s when your spouse or partner communicates something to you that you then inhibit telling them how you really feel.
You can’t quite get yourself past the restraint you have on your outflow.
You absorb their communication like a shock absorber.
You just “go with the flow.”
But when I ask the wife, “Well what did you tell him?”
Michele: “I just nodded and told him he has a right to his own opinion.”
Me: “So what was the inhibited comm?”
Michele: “Scuze me?”
Me: “What did you really want to say?”
Michele: “I wanted to tell him to go fuck himself.”
Now some of you may just let the comm fly along with the fireworks and pick up the pieces and kiss and make up.
This is actually way better than having it all on inhibit.
Now there’s one last flow on inhibit.
And that’s when you let loose a bullet on your spouse or partner and they absorb it and you then inhibit any comm back from them.
“Jack won’t talk to me. He just ignores me.”
Listen: You can feel all of these flows.
You can and you do.
You just tend to ignore them.
You intend to outflow or communicate.
This is first and foremost your intention.
But then you don’t. You inhibit your comm.
“She’d blow a gasket if I told her.”
If you notice all of these inhibit comms come on the heels of some bad effect that was received earlier.
And if you inhibit long enough in some area you would most likely down the road, develop an inhibition.
What is an inhibition except being continuously blocked or prevented from outflowing?
If you reach out and I slap your hand and you do that a dozen times and each time get your hand slapped, at some point when asked again to reach out, you will inhibit.
You will hold yourself back.
If relationships are in essence the ability to relate to one another and what you want to relate is inhibited, held back or restrained, then what passes for a relationship in this culture is false.
I know that’s a bit of bullet between the eyes, but really, what the hell is going on if people are inhibiting instead of communicating?
What people are having a problem with in relationships is relating.
It’s so simple it’s crazy.
But you cannot relate if you are on inhibit.
Picture if you will something you want to communicate to your spouse or partner that you have on inhibit.
Picture the same with your spouse or partner.
They are inhibiting some comm to you.
Get this picture of the both of you going about your lives.
What is this?
You Don’t Need a Date Night: You Need A Night to Get Off the Inhibit
I suspect the reason why date nights don’t always turn out like the warm and fuzzy thing they’re made out to be is because it’s often a pretense. It’s supposed to be this time to just relax, have some wine, a good meal and have some time with your partner.
Certainly nothing wrong with that scenario.
Unless of course the wine and dinner is just numbing you up because there you sit with this thing you want to tell your husband or wife, but you keep it to yourself as you gaze at them across the table.
You think as the wine goes down maybe this is a good time to bring up what’s been gnawing away at you.
You consider it for a billionth of a second and just as you think you will say something you hold yourself in check and ask,
“How’s your steak?"
I offer an online test that shows you exactly where your marriage or relationship is breaking down. It shows if their have been betrayals of trust and your pattern or history in relationships. I do a personalized video analysis of your test results and send them to you via email. If you are interested in learning more, click in the link below.
Author. Marriage and Relationship Coach. International Speaker.
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