My wife would accuse me of not listening to her all the time. I'd think to myself "what are you talking about, I can repeat everything you just said, how am I not listening?" She'd respond "you're not hearing me with an open heart!" Having no idea what that meant, I'd take a deep breath, hang on every word and start offering solutions. She would then get even angrier! So I'd start getting angry too! Out of frustration, I would say to myself "what does this woman want, she's impossible to please!"
I came to learn that listening with an open heart isn't just about hearing the words, but also responding honestly and from a place of vulnerability. Our spouses tend to trigger us and it can be natural for our defenses to fly up, therefore shielding the heart and protecting us from becoming emotionally hurt. These defenses are put in place when something our ego perceives as bad happens to us (karmically called a victimization) so that it won't happen again.
Here is my challenge to you - next time you can feel a conversation with your spouse/significant other turn into a fight use these steps:
Bring awareness to your defensive behavior - realize that you're starting to get angry
Instead of taking it as an attack, take it as an opportunity to become a better person
See the truth in what is being said - if your spouse/significant other is bringing something up, there will always be some truth to it
Respond and be vulnerable - if your spouse/significant other is pointing out a behavior, tell them why you behave in that way
Start healing - the first step is to accept what your spouse/significant other is pointing out, then use tools like journaling or find a therapist or healer if you need help
Schedule a free consult call if you want to learn how to heal yourself and therefore your romantic relationship.
Here are the karmic codes that were discussed (in bold):
Victimizations - our ego identifies as being hurt or negatively impacted by a situation. You are the victim, you were hurt and received no benefit from what happened.
Defense - something that your ego puts in place to prevent the victimization or failure from happening again. Addictions and anger fit into this category.