The Golden Locket Story
In Dr. John and Julie Gottman’s workshop, John shares a story of a husband who doesn’t ask his wife a question for 5 years. When she asked for help around the house, he avoided her request and continued working on his “project” in the garage. At dinner with friends, she went to share a story and he interrupted her, saying, “You suck at telling stories, let me share.”
Then on her birthday, he bought her a golden locket. What do you think she did with this locket?
She smashed it on his workbench with a hammer!
Not because the locket isn’t a sweet gesture, but because he missed the million little opportunities to fill up her Love Tank before he gave her the locket.
Our daily decisions to emotionally connect or disconnect influence both our partner’s Love Tank and our own. Even a little leak in our Love Tank, when unrepaired, can result in significant loss of love over time.
In extreme cases, like the couples who are on the brink of divorce, their Love Tank has been leaking for years, sometimes even decades.
It’s also vital to recognize that disconnection is something you’re dealing with even when your relationship is doing okay. The stress of daily life, the inescapable stresses of loving a person who is different from you, and working through conflict, including parenting the little ones, all add up.
Keeping Your Love Tank Full
Lucky for you and me, we can continually fill up our relationship’s Love Tank by intentionally loving each other every day.
As Dr. Sue Johnson says, “Love is a constant process of tuning in, connecting, missing and misreading cues, disconnecting, repairing and finding deeper connection. It’s a dance of meeting and parting and finding each other again. Minute-to-minute and day-to-day.”
You have two options:
- Refill and repair your Love Tank on a daily basis. That means intentionally reconnecting, listening to each other’s happy and difficult emotions, being supportive, and making time for the relationship.
- Let the relationship problems accumulate and drain your tank. Once you hit empty, your heart will force you to give up on the relationship or seek out couple’s therapy.
Repairing and Reconnecting is Required for Lasting Love
No matter who you love, there are going to be misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and moments of disconnection. A Love Tank will have leaks and drain from time to time. That is natural.
The difference between couples who maintain a full Love Tank and those who don’t is their willingness to repair and reconnect.
Dr. Gottman calls a repair the “lifejacket of all romantic relationships” and the effectiveness of the repair depends on the emotional connection. The better the friendship and more emotionally connected you are, the easier it is to repair.
To fill up your Love Tank and deepen your emotional connection, download my free guide “The 4 Facets to Fill Up Your Relationship’s Love Tank.” I’ll give you 15 actions you can take today to improve your emotional connection.
If you want to transform conflict into material to build a stronger and more connected relationship then read Kyle Benson’s conflict blueprints here.
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- 6 Relationship Mistakes That Will Break You And Your Lover Apart
- 6 Criterias To Help Differentiate Fantasy Love From Authentic Love
- I Might Not Always Like You, But I Still Love You