004: Relationship Rules


On today’s episode, I’m going to be talking about relationships. More specifically, relationship rules for a happy life.

A lot or you might think, what the heck does this guy know about relationships? And, for evidence, I can say that I’ve had enough relationships, or enough failed relationships to know what not to do, for sure. And I’m also in a relationship of 10 years now, with my wife Bonnie, and we work on our relationships everyday.

We’ve found a couple of things that really help make everyday better and make sure that we stay on the same team. And I just want to share those with you today.

Rule #1: “Say I Heard”, not “You Said”.

This is super important and it’s a tiny little tweak, but it changes
the whole perspective of how arguments usually start. Most arguments start because one side or the other, the spouse or your girlfriend, your boyfriend, or whoever it may be, there’s a miscommunication that happened. And when that miscommunication happens, one of the parties will say “You said this.”

What that does is that it immediately puts the other person on the defensive. And they say, “I didn’t say that, I said this.”

And that turns into a literal “he said, she said” argument.

But rather than get into that and then go down that crazy cycle, and go down that horrible
spiral into you know, bringing up old stuff. That’s not what we want to do.

What we want to do is, rather than say “You said this”, what we want to say is, “I heard, this.”

It’s a small change. But what that does is, it takes the accusation away, it takes the blame putting on the other person, it takes that away. And instead it puts the blame on yourself.

So, here’s an example: Me and my wife are talking…

“Hey B, what’s for dinner?””

And she says, “What do you mean what’s for dinner? You said we were going out to dinner tonight, I haven’t made anything.”

Right there, she puts the blame on me.

As an alternative to that, she could say, “What’s for dinner? I heard this morning, that
we were going out for dinner.” At which point, a miscommunication happens. That’s okay. Miscommunications happen.

I’m not feeling accused because she said that “she heard it”. She didn’t say “I said it”,
she said “she heard it”.

I could’ve said something like, “Man, I love going out to dinner” or “I would really like to go out to dinner tonight.” I didn’t specifically say we were going out to dinner, but, I can see how she heard that or how that conversation got miscommunicated.

At which point, she says, “I heard we were going out” and I say, “Oh I’m sorry you heard that. I definitely didn’t meant to say that.”

And then, there’s no accusation. There’s no downward spiral into a “he said, she said”. It’s simply, there was a miscommunication and we leave it at that.

That rule has saved us so many times.

There’s so many times where I tell Bonnie (cause I know I just used an example that she heard a miscommunication) that “I heard X, Y, Z.” And she says, “Well I said…”

And I back off and I say, I didn’t say you didn’t. I’m actually, I’m positive
you did say exactly what you thought you said. I’m the one, I’m the bad guy, I misheard it.”

Then, we don’t have to have an argument about this, we just have to correct
it and move on with life. We love each other, and so we can pivot, and we don’t have to get
into that downward spiral.

This works n not just marital relationships or intimate relationships; This works in business relationships too.

I was in a meeting the other day, and one of my business partners said something and it was news to me. So I say, “Oh man, I didn’t catch it that way the first time, I heard…” and I explain what I had heard.

And he said, “Well I didn’t say that.”

And I say, “I didn’t say you said that. I said I heard.”

At which point, he wasn’t feeling accused, I took all of the blame and it wasn’t a big deal. We moved on, we corrected the situation and we were good to go. There wasn’t any animosity, there wasn’t any argument. It was just, forward progress. Because at the end of the day, we’re all on the same team.

00:04:58,584 –> 00:05:00,510
Rule #2: The rule I have for my wife is I will do absolutely positively anything, anything in the world for you, except for one thing. There’s one thing that is absolutely off limits, and I refuse to do it and that is even try to read your mind.

I can’t do it. I’m not a mind reader and because I’m willing to do anything for you, all you have to do is tell me. If you want to try to make me read your mind, it’s just not going to work. It’s not going to happen, I’m going to get it wrong, you’re not going to be happy, you’re going to be frustrated.

So, here’s the condition: I’ll do anything for you. Just don’t make me read your mind.

That is something that has really saved us. I know when Bonnie and I first started implementing this rule, or should I say, when I started implementing this rule, there was some hesitation on Bonnies side, because she wanted me to know her so deeply and so intimately that I knew what she wanted. And as romantic as that sounds, especially for the ladies, that your husband or your significant other just knows you so much that they can just read your mind and they know what you’re thinking and you don’t have to tell them.

But, she got over it super quick. As soon as I said, “Okay, I understand that it is super romantic and it’s quite a goal, but let’s go ahead and do this: I’m going to implement
the same rule on you. I’m not going to tell you want I want, I just want you to read my mind, and I just want you to know me so well that I don’t have to tell you anything and that you can just know what I want.”

And that immediately stopped. That stopped the conversation, because it’s like, hold
on, that’s ridiculous. How could I ever read your mind? How could I ever know all of those things, even if I know you and love you?

People are complex. We talked about this a couple episodes ago. People are complex, and people change. And so it really just isn’t fair to ask that.

Number one, it’s unrealistic. Number two, if somebody agrees to basically to do anything all you have to do is tell them, then it seems like it’s not that much to ask: Just tell them. Just go ahead and tell them.

To this day, I won’t even try. Won’t even, not even an ounce of effort goes into mind reading. I won’t do it.

I’ll do anything for her… If she asks me “hey, here’s a ridiculous request… I want X, Y, Z or I want you to do this and that.” I will kill myself trying to accomplish that. But I will not try to read her mind.

And that has, that has worked out I think really well for both of us.

Rule #3

Okay, and this one’s in regards to finances. hey say that the
overwhelming majority of all arguments and all divorces, really start and
end with financial stress. So, with regards to finances, Bonnie and I again, have a really solid rule.

She can have anything she wants. Anything in the whole wide world. Anything she wants. And I can have anything I want. If I want it, I can go get it. You can have anything you want, you just can’t have everything you want.

That’s the rule.

You can have anything you want, you just can’t have everything you want.

You get everything you need. If it’s a need, covered. We’re going to work as hard
as we need to in order to make sure all needs are covered. With regards to wants, you can have anything, you just can’t have everything.

Hey, you want $300 jeans? Awesome, no problem.

Concert tickets? Wonderful.

You want to travel? Let’s travel.

Oh you want all that and groceries? Well, that’s not going to happen.

You want to have the awesomest car and a huge car payment? No big deal.

But you can’t have that, and, and, and, and, and. You’ve got to pick and choose. You’ve got to pick and choose what’s most important to you and you can have it. But we’re going to have to make sacrifices everywhere else.

So, that rule right there makes you think; You look at all the opportunities and all the different things that you want, and you pick and choose what’s most important, cause you can have anything. You just can’t have everything.

That said, I want to thank you for watching

Until next time.


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