By Glen Schmucker
It’s time to do some banking today. The nice thing is that I don’t have to take time out of my schedule to go to the bank. I can do it all with my smart phone.
I’ll take a picture of the checks, tap a button and it’s done. That’s not including the fact that I don’t ever see my paycheck. I just get a notice that my company paid me via direct deposit.
Unless I go to the bank and withdraw cash, I’ll never actually see the money I make. It’s all numbers, electronic digits, these days, which is one reason, I’m sure, Congress enjoys spending our numbers. It’s not their numbers and it’s always easier to spend someone else’s numbers than it is your own.
Truth is, we’re all banking every day, whether we know it or not. Willard Harley, in his decades-old book still in print, “His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage,” is the one who popularized “The Love Bank.”
Harley correctly theorizes that each of our hearts contains a love bank, especially for our marriages. Every word we speak, every deed, either makes a deposit or withdrawal from our spouse’s love bank.
In time, if we make more withdrawals than deposits, our spouse’s love bank gets overdrawn. Then, when we need them to come through for us and we write a check on our love account in their bank, the check simply bounces. There weren’t enough assets to cover the check.
Wise people learn this truth early on and make certain to make more deposits than withdrawals. They don’t have to be large deposits. They can be very, very small. It’s important to remember that most of what love banking involves wasn’t covered in detail in the marriage vows. We have to figure that out as we go along.
A love note for no good reason. A bouquet of flowers when it’s not your anniversary – especially if you have them delivered at work where your wife least expects it and it makes all her co-workers jealous. Either that or their imaginations run wild wondering what you’re apologizing for!
A hug – every single time they walk in the door at night. The hug and kiss get first priority above everything else including petting the dog.
A cup of coffee in the morning sitting on the bathroom counter when they get out of the shower. Beating them to do the dishes, especially when they did the cooking. Asking them how their day went when you know it was lousy and they just need to decompress.
I knew a couple once who gave priority to the first thirty minutes in the door at night. They sat at the kitchen table and, over a cup of coffee, told each other about their day. Thirty minutes, not an Alaskan cruise, not a trip to Europe, not a new car – just thirty minutes over coffee at the end of every day.
Withdrawals? A critical word. Telling your spouse how they feel before you let them tell you how they feel about virtually anything. Not listening to them when they’re trying to tell you something. This can include not turning off or at least muting the TV during their attempt at conversation. It can also include failing to deal with an issue they told you was important to them because, when they told you, you were daydreaming instead of focusing.
Nancy told me the other day she missed seeing tulips before Easter. Tulips are her favorite flower. I had to stop for gas. Inside the gas station, they had some not-so-healthy-looking tulips for sale. I’d never bought gas station tulips before. I bought her some anyway. She was so excited!
A couple of days later they died the natural death of gas station tulips without ever blossoming. Gas is rarely helpful to the health of a marriage. It still counted as a deposit and came with a cheap laugh to boot.
Love banking only happens when we’re not keeping score and when we’re genuinely more concerned about what we’re giving than what we’re getting. You can’t fake it. Our spouses are good bankers. They can spot a fake deposit a mile off.
When you give more than you receive because what you give really does matter more, as in “agape” love, your bank of love for your spouse mysteriously recharges.
It’s almost like the more we give the more receive. Seems like I read that somewhere once. I wonder where.