In Part 1 I showed you how to make monogamy work.
In Part 2 I introduced you to your love bank.
It’s the thing that works the magic.
What I have to do now is talk to you about the other side of the love bank equation. No matter how much you meet each other’s most important emotional needs? You cannot completely avoid the negatives.
So what do you do when the bad stuff hits?
Just crank open the emotional needs meeting faucet?
Or is there a way you can plug the drain?
Cut off those nasty love bank withdrawals?
Again Willard Harley comes to the rescue, with his companion book called Love Busters. In Love Busters he helps you identify the biggest sources of negative, so you can work on stopping them.
Harley says there are 6 love busters you have to avoid.
Selfish demands, disrespectful judgments and angry outbursts.
Dishonesty, annoying habits and independent behaviors.
You also need to learn to “play fair” when resolving conflicts.
If you’re paying attention, the first thing you should notice is that Romantic Friendships largely sidestep the last two problems. Since you don’t live together, your daily habits don’t need to change, and you are totally welcome to maintain your personal autonomy.
The first four of course definitely apply.
Avoiding these is not unique to monogamy.
In any relationship, you have to treat your partner with respect.
You have to interact with basic honesty.
I spoke a long time ago now about protecting your partner, when it’s time to disagree with them. Harley adds four specific steps you can use, to negotiate your conflicts thoughtfully.
Step 1 is set ground rules to keep your discussion pleasant and safe.
Step 2 is seek to understand each other’s perspective.
Step 3 is brainstorm solutions with abandon.
Step 4 is choose a solution that provides mutually enthusiastic agreement.
This last point is so important, Harley calls it The Policy of Joint Agreement. It reads, “Never do anything without an enthusiastic agreement between you and your partner.”
There is obviously much more to unpack here.
I highly recommend you read Love Busters.
It will help you avoid those love bank withdrawals.
So you can keep your love life focused on those deposits!
What do you think? Is there any way you can live monogamously with someone, and totally avoid the negatives, or is important for you to plan ahead, so you can greatly reduce your conflicts?