As a couple, did you know that you are not obligated to do good things for each other? Did you know you don’t have to want to do these things?
Is true. That’s why anything you or your partner do for each other is a gift.
While many of my clients give me the side view when I say this in the session, they quickly realize that it is a real statement. They do things for each other out of a sense of obligation or guilt. Disconnection and repeated negative patterns of conflict wear them down, and they go through the movements of the relationship because they believe it is what they ought to do. These couples sometimes end up acting acts of service for the other versus giving away from a space of gratitude motivated by satisfaction.
Are you replacing the negative feeling?
Sometimes couples find themselves in a state of nullification of negative feeling where they assume the worst of each other’s intentions. They want to feel connected and seen by their partner, but instead, they want their partner to move away from their care offerings. As a result, it may be harder for them to imagine how they might regain a sense of gratitude for each other. However, it is only necessary for one person to initiate action to bring about a positive impact on the relationship. Showing and expressing gratitude can be a small step in returning the relationship.
He shares affection and admiration
Sharing affection and admiration is something that even the most contemptuous and emotionally disconnected couples can easily get to work on in their relationship. Showing gratitude for your partner’s gifts can be as simple as thanking you for cooking a delicious meal or acknowledging that they have done something kind for you. Sharing affection and admiration can also make it seem like your partner knows that you are proud of them and that you admire who they are.
At first, this may seem false if there have been negative feelings in the relationship for a while. However, remember why you fell in love with your partner. Hopefully, you can remember that at one point in your relationship all of these things used to be really how you felt.
Can you dust off a positive outlook on your partner and remind him (and yourself) why you are grateful to be in this relationship?
You may be unfamiliar with showing appreciation and affection for your partner. Gratitude will gain momentum in your relationship over time and with a regular commitment to noticing and articulating the things for which you are grateful for your partner. Your partner, who at first might distrust the intentions behind the affectionate words, will relax to share their own appreciation for the work you are doing to change the tone of the relationship. Don’t be surprised if you start receiving mutual appreciation quickly.
One of the duties I give my clients is to get in the habit of ending the day by telling each other the top five things that happened in their day. Talking about the events of the day and reflecting on how they came out better than they expected creates a connecting ritual around gratitude. Recognizing how each partner played a role creates a sense of connection and mutual gratitude. Couples who recognize that they share a life that has value, resilience, and mutual support help foster a genuine daily practice of appreciation for the connection that partners create as a team that would not exist without each other.
Attend the Art and Science of Love virtual workshop December 4-5 and learn to share affection, admiration, and more. Register today!
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