The top five assets to use for a strong partnership.
Everyone can agree that we have collectively experienced some form of love lost during our lifetime. Perhaps it began with your first partner. You would laugh off their behaviors, i.e.: putting you down or secluding you from others), subconsciously knowing it did not feel right, because you were “in love.”
Looking back, you relay the memory with ‘We were just too young’ verification. Professors Kinder and Sears, whom specialized in social psychology indicated on a study of young adults (18-24yrs) that “adolescents and young adults are vulnerable to change, it is considered that youths are sensitive and easily reactive to external environments and characteristics may influence the formation of attitudes and behaviors.”
When you meet someone new, you remind yourself that this time will be different. In fact, you may find that the relationship is what you always wanted. Then things change, time goes by and the butterflies are gone.
You notice that the same feelings are being aroused about your past relationships. “Billy always ignored me too.” From the first comparison your mind takes off. Now everything your partner does that mirrors you past relationships is causing anxiety or depression.
Often, it is our own bad memories that burden our current ones. The first thing to do is get back to square one. What brought you together? What has changed? By using these five relationship rules, you and your spouse can go back to creating good memories together.
- Consideration — Provide respect to your partner. Always. Especially if your angry or disappointed. It is their behavior that bothers you, not who or what they are. Remember their strengths that drew you to them to begin with. Instead of saying, “you are such a loser for getting fired”, try, “I am sorry for your loss. Let us work on a solution together. Your strengths are XYZ…”
- Amend — You are both human. Your partner is going to make errors and so are you. Nothing says sorry than the actual words, “I’m sorry”. By taking ownership of your own personal mistakes, this opens the path to reconcile after a disagreement. As Aristotle quoted, “It is not enough to win a war; it is more important to organize the peace.”
- Hold tight — Nearly all partnerships require some level of affection and contact to survive. Just the touch from a hand, signals our brain that the moment will be settled emotionally. Daniel Keltner, the founding director of the Greater Good Science Center and professor of psychology at Berkley cited that “studies have shown that a simple touch can trigger release to oxytocin, aka “the love hormone”. Physical touch has been shown to improve anxiety, insecurities, and mild forms of depression.
- Be tolerant – When we tell our children to not do a certain behavior, we tend to be patient with the learning curve. However, when we ask our spouse to change their behaviors or actions, we are less than pleased when we need to repeat our requests.
Be clear in your initial request of how you would like the situation to be. Do not use threatening language, i.e.: Do it or else! Accept and acknowledge your part of the issue and offer to work as a team on decisions as opposed to the teacher/student model.
- Go after those butterflies – Make a date once a week with your partner. Take turns planning it. Surprise your spouse with a clean house and their favorite dinner when they get home. Play checkers and drink cheap wine while sharing favorite childhood memories. Appreciate each other. Compliment each other. Love each other.
In conclusion – When times are stressful, remember to lean on each other and not separately. Remember why you feel safe and loved. Tell your partner why they are important to you, often.
As Actress Katharine Hepburn quoted, “Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get – only with what you are expecting to give – which is everything.”