I thought I knew what love was, and I have taught about that in my workshops for the last twenty years, but there is nothing like a relationship to show you all the places you are NOT loving! I have to say that my marriage to my beloved has really shown me another side of myself. I think this is why many marriages fail. We come together with high hopes and big visions of white picket fences and happy-ever-after stories, and then a short while later we are facing all of our own and the other person’s shadow side. Not so pretty! Is this what I signed up for? This is where we run into each other’s unresolved and often unconscious stuff. And it’s hard to be with! We tell ourselves all kinds of stories and wonder if this is the wrong person, maybe if I find someone else it will be different.
My beloved and I love each other very much, and I am learning that we are very different–we have a lot to learn from and teach each other. I must admit I have not been very kind or loving in my communications in my attempt to teach my long suffering husband what I want, and how he can best love and support me. He is willing but after too many make wrongs, he just gets resistant and resentful and shuts down. Hmm, something is not working here! I recently learned a beautiful way of communicating in relationship, that has made all the difference. I want to share it with you.
It is called the “Acknowledgment Sandwich”. The outer layer of the sandwich is that you acknowledge what he is doing RIGHT!–what you LOVE about him. This does two things, it opens the door for you to see what is right and to recognize how many things he IS doing right (At least you get to look in that direction, even though it may be a stretch at first!). The middle part of the sandwich, the cheese if you like, is you let him know, in a loving way, what it is you really want or need more of. “Oh honey, I really love that you hugged me when you came in today. I would really love it if you could just hold me for ten seconds more and breathe with me. I really love it when we can just breathe together for a few moments” or “ Darling, I so appreciate how you take the garbage out every week, I would love it if you could also help me by washing your dishes. That would make me feel so good!” Make sure you put on the last layer of the sandwich by adding a lot of acknowledgement and appreciation on to wrap your request in.
This Acknowledgment Sandwich is a way of making the man feel good about what he is already doing. Then you get to tell him what else he could do to please you or make you happy (And it’s really important to remember ladies that our men really DO want to please us and make us happy!) and then you get to acknowledge him more. This makes him want to please us and make us happy, and it also helps you remember and exercise that muscle of appreciation and acknowledgement in yourself!! So it’s a win/win all around! Everyone feels better. I invite you to try it. It’s making the world of difference in my relationship and I know it will in yours. If you are not in relationship, try it with your family, friends, and work mates–it will make you and everyone in your world feel better about themselves.