In Sins, Wounds

About two years ago, Bob and I stood in the fish bowl room at D and D Dance Studio waiting to take a private lesson from our teacher, Steve. Now, you have to understand that Bob and I are not very good dancers—but we stick with it because sometimes it’s enjoyable, it’s great exercise, and—dance has wonderful applications for your marriage relationship.
On this particular night, Steve was teaching us to pivot. The pivot is a difficult step. First, you have to get the lead-in right. Second, you have two people taking a step between their partner’s feet while simultaneously turning 180 degrees and travelling across the floor. All of this is supposed to be done smoothly and gracefully. That’s not how it was being done. We started back at the corner and did the lead-in steps—then the pivot. No matter what we did, I couldn’t get around Bob, he couldn’t get around me. Our version of the pivot looked like a game of circular hopscotch.
Finally Steve intervened. “Roxann, you’re going to have to provide the power on the back half of the pivot.” Oh. Actually, I’d been working out at the gym and I’d been concentrating on my obliques. They were nice and strong. I could do that. But I didn’t share any of these thoughts with poor, unsuspecting Bob.
We started back at the corner of the room—stumbled through the lead-in steps—started the pivot. I stepped between Bob’s feet, planted my feet, gave my body some torque, and—launched Bob.
Eventually Bob came to a stop—on his stomach—about 20 feet away–and picked himself off the floor. After we’d established that nothing was broken, we asked, “What did we do wrong here, Steve?” “No. It’s not what you did wrong here. On the lead-in, you opened up too far and then Bob couldn’t get in front of you in time. It’s not what you did wrong here. It’s what you did wrong back there.”
How many times has something soured in your relationship? An argument erupts. It’s the same one that always erupts. And you wonder, “What did we do wrong here?” It’s almost certainly not what you did wrong here. It’s what you did wrong back there. What did go wrong back there? You’ll never fix the problem stepping farther or turning harder. You’re going to have to go all the way back there and figure out what went wrong and fix it.

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