“Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight.” Phyllis Diller
As always, here is a funny quote to kick off your weekend.
They say there is truth in all humor. This quote demonstrates that. How many times have you gotten into a squabble with a significant other, right before you go to bed? You are having a nice conversation, and then….(you know the rest).
Going to bed angry is a horrible thing. First, you can’t sleep anyway. Second, your significant other can’t sleep either. Why go to bed this way? Keep discussing, keep arguing, keep listening to one another. Arguments come about when there is an unspoken hurt. We all hurt one another. In long-term relationships, we hurt one another over time without knowing it.
These little spats can be healthy for a relationship because it is nothing more than one person expressing that hurt to their partner. Instead of escalating these fights, accept responsibility. You love him or her, right? Why not let them be right? People reciprocate what they perceive to be given to them. A slight here or there builds over time, particularly if it is not addressed when it occurs. This is why so many arguments appear to come out of nowhere. They are literally a buildup of slights or transgressions over time.
Stephen Covey, in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, discusses what he deems “The Emotional Bank Account”. This bank account is a metaphor for a person’s feelings toward another based on that person’s ability to contribute or subtract from their partner’s emotional bank account. If you make too many withdrawals over time without making any deposits, these arguments are one result of that.
How do we avoid these arguments? We really can’t. This is part of the relationship’s growth. Each of us goes into a relationship thinking we know the other person. Over time, particularly when you are with that person every day, we begin to realize there is so much more to learn about that person. As we learn about them, we slowly discover other things about them. We learn what hurts and what makes them happy. We learn what makes them sad and what makes them laugh until their gut bursts.
Sometimes an emotional deposit can be as simple as saying “I love you” before you head to work. At other times it could be a nice dinner out or a night of dancing. Put some effort into making deposits into your partner’s bank account consistently. The more consistent your deposits are the better chance you have of avoiding any misunderstandings that arise when you overdraw their emotional bank account.
Listen to your partner. Do unprompted, nice things for your partner. Things that have meaning to them. Take some time this weekend and do something nice. Make them breakfast in bed, let them pick out a movie they like (and you don’t) and watch it with them, take a walk, take them out for a coffee and listen to them. Spend some time finding out about their week.
Little things grow into big things later. If you really love the person you’re with give them some time to show them that.
Until next time…