One of the things that keeps coming up with the couples I talk to is the natural tendency to want to give what we would most like to get instead of what the other person would want in that situation. I’m not talking about material gifts here; I’m talking about the responses we give to each other. We tend to imagine ourselves in the same situation and provide the solution or response we, ourselves, would want in that situation.
It would be so much more helpful and healthier for your relationship if you would identify the situation, assess what your partner would want and provide that solution instead of the one you would want in that situation.
Your partner is not a mirror copy of you. He or she looks at and experiences the world differently. (I’ll bet you didn’t need me to tell you that, did you?) Why then is it any surprise that in situations where you might like to be comforted, your partner might prefer solitude? At times when you might like to talk, your partner may prefer to sit with you in silence. Sometimes you might love surprises but your partner doesn’t.
When we were children, your parents may have taught you the Golden Rule, which goes like this: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This may be appropriate when you are a child with another child but wouldn’t it better if children learned the Platinum Rule instead, coined by Dr. Tony Alessandro? The Platinum Rule goes like this: Do unto others as they would have you do unto them. This is a much better way to maintain our most important relationships.
What might you change in your relationship if you started using the Platinum Rule instead of the Golden one?