Is It Possible To Have Too Much
As record heat fries the eastern half of the USA
(including where we live) over the past few days,
experts warn of the dangers of over-exposure to our
It's just plain hot.
Even if you aren't struggling with this heat
wave where you live, chances are you've taken some
kind of vacation with your family or maybe gotten
together with family or friends for an extended
If you have ever spent some extended time with
more intense interaction than you normally do,
there's also a pretty good chance that with all of
this social interaction and "togetherness," you
might feel a bit "over-exposed" to the ones you
You might have felt like there was a little too
much togetherness and your love (and patience) may
have been tested :-) .
After a brief vacation together, one family we
know found themselves picking arguments with each
other that was out of the ordinary for them.
The dad made the comment to us that "We've been
together a little bit too too long right now."
What we know is that "over-exposure to the ones
we love" feeling, along with the stresses that
vacations can bring--heat, dealing with crowds of
people, trying to get around in unfamiliar places,
erratic eating schedules or rich and unfamiliar
food --can certainly play havoc in the best
relationships, even if you think you're doing
If you can relate...
Here are some specific ways you might react when
you've been together a little too long or have
"vacation-itis" and some suggestions to "cool" down
your and others' emotions and reactions...
1. Communication misfires that come up now
and then seem to be exaggerated and over-blown.
Carla and her husband Jay rented a kayak when
they were vacationing together in the Great Lakes
Being relatively new to kayaking, they found
that they became very irritated with one another as
they tried to paddle (sometimes in opposite
directions) to their destination.
They couldn't establish a rhythm that worked for
both of them--Carla wanted to paddle slower than
Jay and he became anxious when they were out of
On top of that, they each seemed to have their
own "plans" for getting where they were going but
"forgot" to share them with each other.
Normally, they get along pretty well but it
became clear that their usual way of communicating
(or not communicating) didn't work as well when
they were in one boat, trying to go in one
And it was a metaphor for what happens in their
Afterwards their kayak experience, Carla
discovered that she pushes Jay to be the leader but
then does her own thing when she feels afraid or
Jay discovered that when he gets irritated with
Carla, he becomes superior and sarcastic which only
makes the situation and communication worse.
We talk a lot about "magic words" that can make
a big difference in your communication and if Carla
or Jay had asked one of our "Magic Words" questions
"How can we make this situation work
better?"...with a completely open heart, their
kayak trip might have been more enjoyable.
They could even have some fun with it and
imagine all kinds of ways to make their situation
better--like sawing the kayak in half or skipping
the paddling part and going for a swim from the
boat--along with clearly talking about a plan that
might help them work together.
As you can clearly see, "Magic Words" and
questions like these can truly make a big
difference in the quality of your communication and
your love when you use them....
Another way that too much time together can
create a feeling of "overexposure"...
2. Trust and jealousy issues come to the
forefront. If there are any jealousy and trust
issues in a relationship, they get triggered big
time in the summer when other men and women wear
Pam felt very uncomfortable thinking about going
on a vacation with her husband Paul to the Bahamas
because of all the women in bikinis they would see
on the beaches.
Normally, they didn't go many places where she
would have to endure having him look at these other
women wearing practically nothing--so it wasn't too
much of a problem--except now and then.
But when Pam's jealousy did erupt, it put a
damper on everything--and she certainly didn't want
that to happen on her vacation.
In this situation, we'd recommend that Pam
practice noticing her self-talk and the stories she
makes up when she gets jealous.
When she identifies her "stories"--like the
story that Paul wants to be with the woman in the
bikini more than her, she can question whether she
knows that's true or not.
If she's honest with herself, she'll admit that
she doesn't know that's true--and then she can
learn to switch her thinking to examples of when
he's shown her that he loves her.
As she changes her focus, she learns to calm her
suspicious thoughts and jealousy.
3. If you're feeling like there's too much
togetherness, you might even begin to wonder why
you're with your partner because the two of you
just can't seem to get along. Okay, so this is
extreme but it might cross your mind in the throes
of conflict and when you've really had enough of
If this happens, take a breath, take a walk by
yourself or do something that will break the
stale-mate that you can't seem to get out of.
When you both are in a calmer, more centered
place, talk about what you both want and need. And
listen to each other.
If your disagreements are deeply-rooted and you
need some help getting some resolution, don't give
up on the relationship until you've gotten the help
of a therapist or coach.
If you want help sorting out your situation in
complete privacy, we have a program "Should you
stay or should you go?" at http://www.stayorgo.com
that can help you.
Over-exposure to each other can be a good thing.
It can lead you to discovering some valuable
things about each other that will open the door to
deepening your love and connection if you're open
to working through the challenges of the moment
when you get irritated or overexposed.
So have fun this summer and remember your sun
& Otto Collins
Other Relationship Issues,
and Otto Collins are spiritual and life partners
who are committed to helping others create
outstanding relationships of all kinds. They
regularly write, speak and conduct workshops and
seminars on love, relationships and personal and
spiritual growth to audiences all across the USA.
They are the creators of the "Relationship Toolkit"
which has helped people in over a dozen countries
improve their relationships. It includes a video
Partnerships plus two
and Relationship Success
Relationship Quotes Worth a Million
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by visiting their web site at www.collinspartners.com
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