How Cookies Damage Your Relationship
By: Kathy
June 9, 2013

This week I made an interesting connection about how cookies damage our relationships!  These are not your standard chocolate chip or snickerdoodle variety,
however, these cookies are a bit different, but they have a significant impact on our relationships!

The kind of cookies I’m referring to are like the ones you find on your computer (small files that your computer stores that “remember” what you’ve done in the past to make it easier as you surf the internet in the future, i.e., loading a username, webpage you browse frequently, etc.).  We save “cookies” just like that in our relationships!  Some examples are:

We “predict” that our partner will respond in the way they have before and don’t give them a chance to change their behavior.

We think we “know” how the other person feels and react based on that.

We often “assume” what our partner is going to say and we don’t even let them finish their sentences which frustrates both parties.

We might “expect” an old loving behavior from our spouse, not taking into account that our relationship is in a damaged state.

Basically, we are projecting onto our partner that they will behave in the same old way (or the way that we fear) instead of letting them respond and reacting ourselves based on their actual words and behaviors.

Couples often cite “communication” as the problem in their relationship.  The problem is not that they’ve lost the ability to communicate; the problem is that they’ve accumulated so many “cookies” between them that they can barely have a conversation!   They both can communicate with me and others, just fine.  What’s the difference?  They don’t anticipate what I’m going to say or how I feel about them or if I’m going to do something untrustworthy, they wait for me to act and then base their reaction on what I actually say and do!  This is also what we all did when we first met our partner and why everything seemed so much easier then.  There were no “cookies”!

Couples that have been together a long time have so much unspoken communication through body language, assumptions, anticipated responses, etc., that they don’t even have to talk to have a conversation!  Learning to slow things down and allowing the other person to do things differently will often pave a new path.  As long as we hold onto our “cookies”, however, we are going to keep going down the same road!

If you are having a difficult time communicating in your relationship, delete the “cookies”!  Quit assuming what your partner is going to say.  Don’t anticipate that they will react in a certain way.  Don’t tell them how they feel.  When the “cookies” are deleted, we allow our partner to tell us what they feel, think, want, need instead of us projecting that onto them from past behavior.  People do change over time, but if you keep every “cookie” since you met, it will likely crowd out the good in your relationship.  Delete the “cookies” and make room for a new, better relationship today!