The Love Sandwich and the Emotional Bank Account

You know that sometimes you just have to have a ‘hard’ conversation with your partner…would you agree??

It could go something like this…

Her: We need to talk about something!

Him: What is it?

Her: I get really annoyed when I come home from work only to find the kitchen is a mess after I leave it spotless each morning.

Him: It is only because I work from home and get really involved with what I am doing and don’t have time to clean up.

From this point it could go a number of ways.  It could become either a conversation, discussion, argument, fight ….war…

 

Let’s take 2 extreme situations:

Situation 1:

Her: We need to talk about something!

Him: What is it?

Her: I get really annoyed when I come home from work only to find the kitchen is a mess after I leave it spotless each morning.

Him: It is only because I work from home and get really involved with what I am doing and don’t have time to clean up.

Her: Well…I work hard all day too and I am really tired when I get home and then I have to clean up this mess before I start dinner. I am exhausted and frustrated by all of this. You don’t understand do you? How could you? You are a man?

Him: I work hard too! I am doing my best to make this business work and all you can think about is a messy kitchen. For heaven’s sake! What the hell is wrong with you?

Her: Well I refuse to cook dinner. You can cook your own bloody dinner. I HATE THIS CRAP! AND I HATE YOU TOO!

Him: I can’t stand your perfectionism in this damned house! It is all too hard. I HATE YOU TOO! I WANT A DIVORCE!

 

Situation 2:

Her: We need to talk about something!

Him: What is it?

Her: I get really annoyed when I come home from work only to find the kitchen is a mess after I leave it spotless each morning.

Him: It is only because I work at home and get really involved with what I am doing and don’t have time to clean up.

Her: I know you really do become consumed by your work which is fantastic and I love that about you. That is why it is important for me to let you know how I feel when there is an issue, like the messy kitchen. All I am asking is that you spend a few minutes cleaning up after yourself when you have lunch. When I get home is then makes it much easier for me to prepare us a nice dinner so we can sit together and talk. I know you love to chat over dinner after being at home all day by yourself. I do love you a lot and look forward to coming home.

Him: I am so sorry. I will do my best to clean up before you get home. I do love our dinner chats and look forward to you coming home. I love you too.

So.. which would you rather ? And… In which situation do you find yourself more often than not?

If you find yourself in the first situation you can change things. It may be challenging if you have a pattern of being in this mode, but it certainly is possible to improve your relationship if it is important enough to you.

If you find yourself more often than not in the second situation…congratulations!!! You are on the path to nurturing a happy, successful relationship.

So what is the difference? There are actually 2 things.

  1. The love sandwich is the way in which you deliver this issue. Notice in the second situation that when she needed to talk about the issue, she ‘enveloped’ it in love. There was love/issue/love.

Let me give you examples from the conversation….’ I know you really do become consumed by your work which is fantastic and I love that about you.’ That is the love. ‘That is why it is important for me to let you know how I feel when there is an issue, like the messy kitchen. All I am asking is that you spend a few minutes cleaning up after yourself when you have lunch.’ That is the issue addressed. Then, ‘When I get home is then makes it much easier for me to prepare us a nice dinner so we can sit together and talk. I know you love to chat over dinner after being at home all day by yourself. I do love you a lot and look forward to coming home.’ That is love.

Now can you see the love sandwich?

Actually…there is something else at play here too. Notice there is no “BUT’ or ‘HOWEVER’ in the conversation. This is because by using these words, they can negate the love that came before. It is much better to use ‘AND’ as it does not negate the positive stuff. It gets easier with practice, I promise.

  1. There must be investments into the emotional bank account to be able to have the second situation conversation and make it feel natural.

What does that mean?

Well…. Imagine your relationship is like a bank account. You make deposits and you make withdrawals. If you make more deposits than withdrawals, then you are in the black. Your bank account is looking good. On the contrary if you make more withdrawals than deposits. You would be in the red and your bank account would not be very healthy at all.

 

It is the same for your relationship. If you give complements, be kind and considerate to each other, rather than take each other for granted or use each other as punching bags (physically and metaphorically), of course your relationship will be healthy. Then, when you inevitably need to have the ‘hard’ conversations, you can without it having a negative effect on your relationship.

If you feel you would benefit from a little help with your relationship, go to my website positivelifeshift.com or email me at gina@positivelifeshift.com

Here is to relationship success!

hows

 

Share Your Comments

comments