Let’s talk about why equal hearts are important. Equal hearts are important not just for Valentine’s day or romantic dates; they are important for every night of the week to have a healthy, intimate relationship. Equal hearts are created by resolving problems.
Once you know the inequality traps you fall into, what is it you can do? I call this the relationship recipe, and that’s because it involves the two of you as partners RESOLVING the inequality.
It starts with you, do not wait for others, that’s a trap (the fantasy trap).
You can start by saying, “Hey, I get really frustrated that the chores in the evening all fall on me, BUT I get the sense that you are also tired in the evening, and you don’t want to do the chores.”
It’s important to put it in that way because you’re saying an I statement, you’re also saying you sense something from them if they haven’t said it yet. If they have already said something, then you can say what they said. By saying you sense how they’re feeling, it gives them a chance to chime in and share what they’re feeling. We don’t want to speak on someone else’s behalf; it’s annoying, especially if you’re wrong.
Keep in mind, there is no judgment. You haven’t said a right or a should, you’re not expecting your spouse to read your mind. You’ve said how you feel, and how you sense they feel.
Visualize putting these two things on the table. Then comes the invitation to resolving the problem. Invite your significant other to resolve this problem with you. You can say something along the lines of, “Would you please give me some times that work for you to talk to me about how we can resolve this? None of us wants to do the chores at night; let’s talk about what to do.” This is an invitation to solve the problem as equals as opposed to the “you’re wrong; I’m right” trap, the shoulds trap, or the periphery trap.
Solving the issue together is much more productive, and it’s all being led by you. This is not selfish; it’s you bringing a problem up and inviting your spouse to speak on equal terms with you on how to resolve it.
The resolution is going to be done with respect. Respect all of the ideas, including your own. There are people out there who don’t respect their own decisions and ignore them. Then there are people who want to take their decisions and beat somebody up with it. We’re talking about the in-between here, get your ideas out on the table, and respect your significant others’ ideas. If you disagree, use the template, “I feel X when you do Y.” Ex. I get nervous when we do that because I’m afraid we won’t make it home on time for the children.
When you put it in those terms, “I feel X…” when something happens, it gets you out of the right and wrong, the shoulds, and the not saying anything traps. By respecting what you say and what the other person says, you’re working in a partnership, and this is where you will maintain equality. When you’re done, you and your significant other will have a unique resolution. It’s all yours, it’s your signature solution to this problem, and you’ve worked on it together. And if you worked on it together, you’re both more likely to stick to it. That’s another thing to keep in mind if you push your ideas onto someone else, they’re not going to stick to it if they feel like they didn’t have a say.
Solve it together. Work together. Have a great intimate relationship.