What do successful relationships have in common? Whatever culture you grew up in, the basic building blocks remain the same. You need to have trust and respect in your relationship. The same can be said for both your relationship with your intimate partner and your relationship with your children. In this second episode of Cracking the Relationship Code, Stan Padgett leads us through the journey to successful relationships by teaching the foundations of love and how to build and strengthen them. He talks about trust and respect from both the feminine and masculine perspectives. As much as they are key building blocks to successful relationships, they can also be stumbling blocks if not handled properly. Tune in and learn how to strike that perfect balance that allows your relationship to thrive!
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The Building Blocks Of Successful Relationships
Welcome to episode two of Cracking the Relationship Code. In Cracking the Relationship Code, we’re going to explore the dynamics of human relationships. We’ll focus on intimate relationships but the principles we talk about will apply to your family, personal and business relationships. The format for cracking the relationship codes sometimes it’s going to be me talking. Sometimes we’re going to have guests. We’re going to do interviews.
Other times, it’s going to be responding to your questions that you leave in the notes or to topics that you want to help with information about. Our episode number two is the Building Blocks of Successful Relationships. Let’s start from the very beginning. When we talk about intimate relationships, the building blocks of love are trust and respect. You can think of them as the pillars of love, Now, let’s start from the feminine perspective.
I teach this principle to men’s groups. The statistics about the number of women who have been sexually harassed or sexually abused in this country are horrific. I wrote a book some time ago called UNVEILED: Secrets To A Marriage That Lasts Forever. In writing the book, I relied on my own experience as an ecclesiastical leader in interviewing women and found that something like 50% of women had experienced some form of sexual harassment or sexual abuse in their lifetimes.
I was talking to one of my female cousins, who’s roughly my age. I mentioned that statistic to her and she said, “Stan, you’re completely wrong. You’re not even close.” I said, “Tell me how I’m off.” She said, “If I stood up in a room of 100 women or any woman in that room of a hundred women stood up and said, ‘I have been sexually abused,’ every single woman in the room would believe her because virtually, all of them have experienced it personally at one or more times in their lives.” I was completely stunned by that answer and, frankly, terrified about it because I am a grandfather to a number of granddaughters. The idea that that’s something that they were statistically very likely to experience was mind-numbing for me.
What I took from that conversation, though, is that means that if you have a son, you are a man, you are in dating and you are looking for an intimate relationship, you have to start with the understanding that the odds are nearly 100% that any woman that you begin to express interest in has been sexually abused or sexually harassed. By definition, that means that she has trust issues. She has trouble trusting men. Trusting the strength of men, the physicality of men, the potential for a man to do harm to them physically or emotionally.
The Trust Bank
I’ve sat back and thought about how you, as a man, as a male, as somebody who is going to or wants to form or strengthen an intimate relationship with a woman, do that? I realized this as you know I’ve been a business trial lawyer for my whole adult life, many years now. I was in something called the American Ends of Court many years ago. I was in a small group with a very experienced federal district judge, a wonderful judge.
One of the things that he taught us is, “Just like you talk about judges, judges talk about you lawyers. Every time a lawyer appears before us and tells us the truth about what the facts are or the truth about what the law is, that lawyer makes a small deposit into a trust bank. That happens over and over. You tell me what the facts are, and I confirm that’s what they are. You get a deposit. You tell me what the law is, and I check it. I do the research. My clerk does the research. The law is what you said it was. Another deposit in your trust bank.”
Over time, the deposited balance in your trust bank builds up to the point where it comes a slow call on a question of evidence, a question of law in the case. That trust bank will earn you the benefit of the doubt, the close call. I’m old enough to remember as a child having a piggy bank. Usually, ceramic bank, sometimes in the shape of a pig, sometimes in another shape. It could have been a toy train or anything else.
When you got pennies, nickels, or dimes, you deposited those into your piggy bank and you built your piggy bank but your piggy bank was a glass or ceramic. What this judge explained was, “Every time you tell me the truth, you make a deposit. It’s a small deposit but if you ever lie to me, you tell me something about the facts and it turns out not to be true or you tell me what the law is and it’s not true, you don’t make a little withdrawal. You throw the bank on the ground and shatter it. Your balance goes to zero.”
Now, let’s take that and apply that to relationships. That means men and women. Every time you interact with your partner in that relationship, you are either making a deposit or withdrawal. Let’s talk about some specifics. If you tell your partner, you’ll be home at 6:00, be home at 6:00 or call in advance and say, “I am stuck in traffic. There’s an accident out here on the interstate. I can’t get off. I don’t know how long I’m going to be. I’m so sorry but I will not be on time.”Every time you interact with your partner in a relationship, you are either making a deposit or you are making a withdrawal from the trust bank. Click To Tweet
If you make that call before 6:00, you made a deposit in the trust bank because they know you did what you said you were going to do. You told them the truth. Now let me flip that and this is a question that I run into a lot. I’ve asked women’s groups when I’ve been speaking to them. If your partner or your man says, “Honey, what’s wrong?” You say “Nothing.” That is the number one answer. It’s always nothing. After you’ve asked the question a number of times, the typical second answer is, “I don’t know.”
Here’s the problem with that approach, ladies. When your man who is not nearly as emotionally intelligent as you are, asks you the question when he knew something was wrong, it got through even his level of emotional consciousness. He said, “What’s wrong, honey?” You said, “Nothing.” You just lied to him. He knows you lied to him. You know you lied to him and here’s the problem with that.
Number one, you made a withdrawal from his bank of trust in you. The problem’s even bigger than that because if you will lie to him about little things, why would he think you won’t lie to him about big things like whether you’re faithful, like anything else that is of importance to the two of you in that relationship? That’s something that shouldn’t happen ever.
If that’s a part of your pattern of communication, please stop it now. I’ll give you an alternative answer. He says, “Honey, what’s wrong?” You say, “I’m not ready to talk about it yet.” Number 1) That was honest. You got a deposit in the trust bank. Number 2) He already knows he’s in trouble. He just doesn’t know what for or how much but you didn’t lie to him. You told him the truth.
If you want to make truth a bedrock principle in every relationship but especially in your intimate relationship, if you say, “Honey, I’m going to take out the trash,” take out the trash. Don’t have to be reminded four times. If you say, “I’ll be home,” be home. If you say you’re cooking dinner, cook dinner. It doesn’t matter what the subject is. Live up to your word.
Think about that same principle in the context of your relationship with your children, equally important. You tell your child, “As soon as I’m done doing the dishes, cooking dinner, watching this one television show,” or whatever it is, “I’ll read you a story and we’ll play with your blocks.” When that show goes off and the next one comes on and you are still sitting, you didn’t turn off the TV and you didn’t do what you said you’d do, you lied to your child. You’re teaching them they cannot trust you.
Now here’s another way that same principle applies in your relationship with your children. Children need a level of discipline, however, you provide that. Here’s the one thing you should not do. Do not tell your children there will be a particular consequence for a behavior, positive or negative and fail to follow through because what you’re teaching if you do that.
If you say, “If you hit your sister again, you are going to time out for ten minutes,” and you don’t enforce that, you taught them that your word doesn’t matter and there are no consequences for their behavior. We have a whole lot of young people who’ve never experienced discipline and consequences. Sometimes we call that helicopter parenting. We may have other terms for it but the bottom line is from a very early age, they were told, “Don’t do that,” but the promised consequence didn’t come when they did it. That means they’ve been taught there were no consequences.
Now let’s take that and put it into the educational context. When I was in school and believe me, that’s a long time ago. Grade school for me was more than half a century ago. When I went to school, if I got in trouble at school, I got in way worse trouble when I got home. There wasn’t any of this. My parents were going to go up screaming at the teacher or the principal about how I was perfect. I wasn’t. They knew I wasn’t and they expected better of me.
I learned not to be unquestioning about authority but to respect it. Was life perfect growing up? No. Nobody is but I was taught that there were authority figures I needed to respect. If I had a problem, I needed to go talk to my parents about it and they would handle it. They would deal with it appropriately but they weren’t going to assume that I was infallible or perfect. They were going to expect me to behave to conform my behavior to the standards of the school that I was in.
I learned interesting that teaching of discipline carried over into a lot of areas of my life. When it became the point in school where whether I studied or didn’t was up to me. I had enough discipline to do it. When it became a question in law school, “Are you going to attend class or not?” the only determinant was whether I decided to go. I had the discipline to go when I needed to be there.
That’s something that we need to teach but that goes back to that basis, that trust and respect. Number one, I trusted and respected my parents. They taught me to respect others, not just authority figures but other people. They taught me to respect men. They taught me to respect women. My dad was an old Southern gentleman and he especially taught me to respect women.
I have two boys and a girl. During all of our children’s growing up years, they knew they could wrestle with dad. They could have tickle fights with dad. They could anything they want, fine. That was good but they did not touch their mother. That was the rule. They don’t tickle mom. They never raise a hand to mom. If mom wants to tickle them, you got to take it. That’s the way it is. You respect your mother.
Trust And Respect
My boys have grown up respecting women. My daughter has grown up expecting to be respected. Let’s go back to those pillars of love, that trust and respect. We’ve talked a lot about trust. Let’s talk about respect. Periodically, in Cracking the Relationship Code, you’re going to hear some biblical references. The principles that are there are applicable to relationships, whether you have a faith-based person or not.
Here’s one of them. In the Scriptures, it tells women it directs them to love. It directs husbands. It says, “Love your wives as Christ so loved the church and gave himself for it.” It gives different instructions to women. The instruction to women is, “Wives, reverence your husbands.” Reverence is another word for respect. Women need to be told that they’re loved. They need to be shown their love in their love language and it needs to be a fairly constant thing.
Ladies, men need to be respected and they need to be needed. It’s those two things. Here’s something that I found among businesswomen in particular. Very successful women in the business industry, in art, or in any role tend to have even more relationship problems than the norm because they intimidate men. In part because they think that they would like to have a relationship with a man who will do whatever they tell them.
The truth is they don’t and those relationships won’t work. Here’s what happens, and you can talk to successful women, friends of yours and see if this applies to them. A man does not need to make as much money. He does not need to be necessarily as smart as the woman. He does not need to be as successful but he needs to be her emotional equal. He needs to be equally strong emotionally.
What happens when they’re not? A woman thinks it’s great for about 3 months, 4 months, 5 months or maybe even 6 months when she’s with a man who will do whatever she tells them to do. She may think that she loves him but after a while, she’s going to stop respecting him because he’s boring. As soon as she stops respecting him, she will stop loving him because trust and respect are the pillars upon which love rests.
What does a woman need? Does she need a man who will control her? Never. Men and women were designed to walk side by side. Not one in front of the other. I will tell you that in my own view and as I’ve taught my boys, they walk beside you until there is a danger in front of you, and you step in front. That’s your job. Ladies, when a man is leading your home and doing it righteously, he’s not exercising unrighteous dominion over you or your children or unrighteous control over you or your children. Your job is to help him and follow him, not compete with him.Men and women were designed to walk side by side, not one in front of the other. Click To Tweet
Now, your children deserve two caring, loving parents and if it’s possible to do that, do it. There are situations where it is not possible. No spouse, man or woman should be expected to live with serial infidelity by their partner. It’s even difficult to forgive infidelity once but if you’ve got a partner who’s made it clear they’re not going to be faithful, you do what you have to do to protect yourself, respect and find the relationship that’s worthy of you.
There are other situations. Any form of abuse, mental, physical, emotional, or sexual, is intolerable and unacceptable, and you should get out immediately. You get out. You get to a safe place. You get your children to a safe place and you assess whether or not there is anything in that relationship to salvage. Is there any true desire to change on the partner’s part? If the answer is no, the relationship is over. You protect yourself and your children.
Forgiving does not mean forgetting, and it does not mean putting yourself in harm’s way again. Forgiveness is for you. It is to bless your life because forgiveness is a bitterness that you carry. Princess Leia from Star Wars said once, “Bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Your bitterness and your unhappiness aren’t affecting them at all. It’s affecting you and potentially your children and most of the people around but not the person who caused it. Work through that process of forgiveness for yourself because what it does is it free you from the chains that someone else has imposed on you.
We’ve covered a lot of ground and in talking about trust and respect as the foundations of love. It applies in relationships between parents and couples. It doesn’t matter whether the couples are heterosexual or homosexual or any of the other terminology that’s used these days because every one of those relationships is an intimate human relationship.
Make sure that when you look for a relationship or create, build, or strengthen one, you’re looking for someone you can trust and respect. Even more important, be someone your partner can trust and respect. This has been episode two of Cracking the Relationship Code. I’m going to do something as a bonus for you. I belong to a business mastermind for 1 million-dollar-plus income earners. It’s called the Board of Advisors.
The Board of Advisors is a by-invitation-only organization. I have spoken many times at the Board of Advisors meeting. The title of this particular talk that I gave and it’s about an hour and 15 minutes long is Work-Life Balance. I did that specifically to a group of entrepreneurs and high-income earners because they are the people who spend enormous amounts of time on their professions and their businesses, and sometimes their family gets the rest instead of the best. I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Cracking the Relationship Code. I hope you enjoyed the content from the Board of Advisors meeting. I look forward to talking with you next episode on Cracking the Relationship Code.