The concept of a “clear yes/clear no” has been a consistent theme in my blogs so far. However, a few conversations in my office this week helped me to see a potential need for clarification on this point. Some of you may wonder how you can find this type of clarity in every situation that your relationship presents to you. Sometimes you may just want to say “maybe,” or “I don’t know.” Well, here’s the thing, if you go a bit deeper in the moment you always have a clear answer for that moment. Your willingness or unwillingness to participate in an activity, conversation, or behavior pattern may change with further information, time, or your own personal growth. Part of what you need to evaluate when you prefer to give a more vague answer is the reason behind your vagueness. Are you attempting to avoid conflict? Are you afraid of what your partner will think of you? Are you afraid that if your partner hears your honest desires they will ultimately leave you? Being honest is a risk, but there is a much higher chance of fulfillment and intimacy with honesty and integrity than with holding onto a lie.
The other point to clarify is that we cannot predict the future and “clear yes/clear no” does not apply when your partner asks you a future-oriented question expecting that you will predict what may or may not happen in your relationship. These questions do not require “clear yes/clear no” because you only have clarity in the present moment. It is truly the only moment you can see. So when your partner asks, “Do you think that what we are going through now is all going to work out in the end?” Your answer most definitely may be “I cannot answer that question at this moment.” What you are clear about in that moment is that you are still saying “Yes” to your marriage or relationship, but you have no way to know where you will be in 6 months. When I talk about giving a “clear yes/clear no” it needs to come from a place inside yourself that is true in the moment. Honor that for yourself in each moment and you will see the path ahead come into focus as you take one step at a time.
Another term I use a lot with couples is “course correct.” All you can do is your best in each and every moment, honor and speak your truth, and trust your intuition/inner knowing/gut instinct. This helps you to release yourself from the expectation that you need to “figure it all out” for the next year, decade, or the rest of your life. And if you begin to move down a path that does not feel right to you, you are free to change direction. All you have to do is engage in the present moment, pay attention and listen to that little voice inside who is always right.