Steve Horsmon unveils the Achilles’ heel of many brilliant lovers. It’s a bad habit only you can help them with.
I work with a lot of insanely intelligent men who are unhappily married to equally brilliant women.
They both have an ugly habit which keeps them feeling stuck in one place.
They keep a constant death grip on their intellectual identity.
Every discussion becomes an opportunity to flex their brain power, usually in an attempt to prove their point and “win” every discussion they have.
From their partner’s perspective, they look like a super-cooled supercomputer buzzing with logic and parallel processes designed to interrogate, disprove and dismantle the opponent at the speed of light.
It’s relationship chess. Do unto others before they do unto you.
If you win – you are better. If you’re right – you can feel good about yourself.
Sounds pretty sexy, huh?
Why Some Smart Spouses Don’t Know Any Better
Wickedly intelligent, fast thinking, high achievers get that way for a reason.
They discovered their secret gift at young age and started showing it off. They were quickly recognized and rewarded for their quick wit and superior mind. Adults bragged about them and cheered them on through all of their scholastic achievements. These whiz kids focused full time on developing their persona and skill to the exclusion of other things and other people.
They graduated from everything with honors. It was all too easy. Nearly boring.
Later, they seek excitement and connection with someone who makes them feel all tingly.
And then they get married.
For the first time in their life they encounter a problem they can’t solve quickly.
And that problem is complicated with yucky, uncooperative variables called feelings.
The Achilles’ heel – Living in Your Head
I believe healthy intimacy is a mutually satisfying cocktail of intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual connections between two people. The perfect proportion of each ingredient varies between couples with the important thing being that they find their own comfort level. They have the knowledge and the tools needed to create and maintain the connection they desire.
Super smart spouses tend to run into trouble here.
They have only one tool box and it’s in their head. This tool box is over flowing with polished skills including articulate expression, reasoning, logic, debating and problem solving. These talents are honed in the art of being right, proving someone wrong and defending the tool box at all costs.
Many of these teacher’s pets are not good at losing. And they live each moment in their head because that is the only source of certainty and control they have ever known. Anything beyond this zone does not compute.
Then at some point they hear these words.
“Why can’t you just listen?”
“Why can’t you stop analyzing me and just accept my feelings?”
“Why does everything have to be a debate with you?”
“How can I trust you if I don’t feel safe to even get close to you?”
Why Smart Spouses Resist Living from Their Heart
When you’ve spent your life being really, really good at one thing, everything else seems difficult.
In fact, everything can seem superfluous when you’ve survived just fine with only your intellectual war chest.
And when someone comes along to suggest that “living from your heart” is the path to true connection and joy, you roll your eyes in the opposite direction.
Explaining emotional intimacy to some brainy husbands and wives is like trying to teach a cat to swim. Sure, they’re capable – but it’s not going to be pretty. They fight every inch of the way.
It doesn’t feel natural. It’s icky and messy. It would be so much easier if their partner just loved them for their brain.
But they won’t. They want the gooey, mushy stuff that lives inside the heart.
That’s where we find vulnerability, authenticity, love and raw joy. That’s also where our partners feel our empathy and acceptance of them just as they are.
But all that stuff is a little fuzzy, undefined, uncertain and unpredictable. It’s a horror movie for your Mensa minded mate. They have nothing firm to grab on to.
And their toolbox marked “Emotional Intimacy” is padlocked.
What Inspires Intelligent People Into Their Heart
The one thing I’ve learned about really sharp, high achievers is that they truly respect someone who can tell them the cold, hard truth.
Why? Because nobody ever does that for them. They’re too scary. Too intimidating.
But when they receive feedback in the most blunt, honest and compassionate way…they listen. They listen intently because it sounds challenging and important. It’s a chance to learn something new.
If you say, “You know, talking with you can be like talking to a computer. I’d love for you to turn your head off so your heart could have a chance to meet mine.”
At first they will stay all in their head about it. Analyze it. Dissect it. Discuss it.
And when you tell them, “Hey, we’re talking about feelings here. I need you stop thinking about it and start feeling with me. Here…from your heart.” Then you touch them lightly on the chest.
“Your heart doesn’t need to argue, analyze or debate me. I just want it to connect with me.”
Tell them how incredibly sexy and magnetic they are when their head and their mouth hand the keys over to their heart. That when they open their heart to you and let you feel the gushy stuff inside they are irresistible.
Tell them how much you respect them for their brain power, but it’s their loving heart that allows you to trust them.
I know. It all sounds like a bit much.
But you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. If you want to inspire them to join you in the warmth and comfort of emotional intimacy, you will need to be bold.
And the truth is – at this moment – you’re the only person on earth with the power to lead them there.
Men in unhappy marriages are confused. They’ve forgotten what it means to go for what they want. They don’t understand what healthy leadership actually looks like and why they have been holding back. I wrote the FREE E-Book for them. Download the “Hard to Swallow Truth About Saving Your Marriage” HERE.
Photo no lurvin here / Flickr