“If you really loved me, you’d….”
Have you ever heard those words from your partner?
When we love someone, sometimes we want them to meet all of our needs. But expecting a partner to do EVERYTHING you want, just the way you want it, is not a reasonable expectation. Both people need to have free will in order for the relationship to be healthy. Using the phrase, “If you really loved me” is not loving, it is manipulative.
When you want your partner to do something, it makes sense to ask clearly. However, you have to be ready to hear a “no”. And if you do hear a no, it’s a good idea to be ready to accept that or to negotiate a compromise in a fair and loving manner.
A related concept to “If you really loved me” is the ultimatum. It’s tempting to use ultimatums, because they can make you feel powerful, but in general, I suggest that people resist the temptation. You don’t get respect this way in the long run, and you may well damage the intimacy in your relationship. Instead of giving an ultimatum, I suggest you work on increasing the person’s motivation to change.
People are motivated to change when they see hope for the relationship. They don’t want to lose what they have, so they are willing to put more effort into keeping it. As the old expression says, “You get more flies with honey than with vinegar.”
There are many techniques you can use that will help you negotiate effectively with your partner, and I can teach you some of them. Here is a key thing to remember: when you find ways to show your partner you value them and care for their concerns and opinions, they are more likely to consider YOUR feelings, and to be willing to create win-win situation.