Getting Your Partner to Attend a Boot Camp
The Love without Hurt Boot Camp helps people escape the effects of chronic resentment, anger, or emotional abuse by reclaiming the most important thing about them – their core value.
Core value is the ability to create value and meaning in life, specifically to make certain people and things important and worthy of time, effort, and sacrifice.
A revitalized sense of core value returns us to the natural state of compassion first experienced as very young children and fervently relived when falling in love.
Boot camp attendees learn that they have fundamental values that are more important than their egos. In fact, their egos were constructed in large part as defense against the shame of violating or losing touch with those values. Motivated by their deepest values, they realize that they don’t need so much of an ego. As their egos subside, so does their need to control, criticize, dominate, and devalue others.
The tone of the Boot Camp is healing, not accusatory, compassionate not blaming, valuing not devaluing, and, most of all, empowering. It offers the most promising path for you and your partner to realize the loving and compassionate people you truly are.
Nevertheless, your partner may not readily agree to attend a Boot Camp. Resentful and angry people see themselves as merely reacting to an unfair world. He or she is likely to blame you for the problems of the relationship and, therefore, will not be highly motivated to change.
The Healing Emotion
You can easily get stuck in a pendulum of pain living with a resentful or angry person. This leads to a tragic Catch-22:
“When my partner heals whatever hurt seems to cause the resentment and anger, then he/she will be more compassionate.”
The truth is your partner will not heal without becoming more compassionate.
Compassion is the healing emotion. It breaks the stranglehold of victim identity, habituated blaming, temporary narcissism, and negative attributions by putting us in touch with our basic humanity.
It’s important to recognize that your partner will not heal without experiencing compassion for you. Just as important, you must accept that your compassion will heal you but not your partner, unless he reciprocates.
In demanding change from your partner, your emotional demeanor, which is more important than the words you use, must stem from the deep conviction that he or she will not recover without learning to sustain compassion. You must be convinced that you and your family deserve a better life and be determined to achieve it. It is important to see your partner not as the enemy or as an opponent, but as someone who is betraying his or her deepest values by mistreating you.
Approach your partner with compassion, and say something like the following, in your own words:
“Neither of us is being the partner we want to be. I know that I am not, and I’m pretty sure that in your heart you don’t like the way we react to each other. If we go on like this, we will begin to hate ourselves. (It’s hurting our children as well as us.) We have to become more understanding, sympathetic, and valuing of one another, for all our sakes.”
Because your partner cannot recover without developing greater compassion, the most compassionate thing for you to do is insist that he or she treat you with the value and respect you deserve, if you are to stay in the relationship. You are most humane when you model compassion and insist that your partner do the same.