Tips to show you care for your partner

When dealing with relationship problems I often find my clients mention to me. I care about my partner but they never notices my efforts or Nothing you do is enough to satisfy them. In many such cases I find that one of the partners think they are making efforts for the relationship but their counterpart does not agrees.
Generally, these situations arise when the partners do not respect each others needs and growth. It’s seen when the need of one partner overshadows the others continuously – the other partner thus feels not understood and as a result differences and disagreements between the partners.
What the couples in relationship need to understand here is that in the relationship one has to make changes and adapt, while ensuring their own personal growth as well. Thus the couple should have a common understanding of the goals and expectation of the relationship. Every decision they make should be aligned to this understanding.
Aligning the decisions and actions to the goals and expectations of the relationship calls for balance and maturity. This however does not mean that one of the partner has to give up on their hobbies, activities, friends for the sake of the other partner. Instead while pursuing their interests they have to add on another important person interests in their decision making and prioritise accordingly.
Of course there will be occasions when they may have to say no especially when the partners are not empathetic of their interests and needs and are stepping into their boundaries.
At these junctures I need to remind the readers/clients that if you care, it needs to come out in your actions and speech both. While Actions speak louder than words, speech is comforting too. The communication should be direct and in soft and kind words. At the same time I try to alert their spouse / partner also to the fact that sometimes feelings can only be ascertained from actions as burdens of ones life and work may people to forget saying the same in words too.

To help others I am also providing some general guidelines about showing that you care for others.

1. Do a nice act and communicate it too.

Remember to do a nice act that shows you care. That is the first step. Once you have done it please speak about it in soft and kind words so that your partner knows about it too.

2. Listen and validate your spouse / partner viewpoint.

Do not get into an argument and try to make your point. As in an earlier article on Top conflict styles for a healthy relationship, try to imbibe the validactory conflict style to understand your spouse / partner viewpoint. If you find that their viewpoint is correct then accept your mistake and apologize.

3. Learn to apologize

Nothing is lost if we apologize. I would infact advice that apologize even before you know whose mistake it is. Apologies helps in lowering the defences and helps facilitating a fact finding discussion. When defences are up we are not receptive to others viewpoint and the discussion tends to move into a blame game.

4. Surprise your spouse / partner often

All surprises do not need monetary committments. Some simply need a gesture that is unexpected. Like just yesterday I woke up in the morning to find my spouse ready with a glass of water for me. Another example could be cooking a special meal for them. Such small gestures are very touching and shows that we care.

5. Share to show you care

One of my friends never eats alone if their is a friend or family around her. She always make sure that they are with her and share a bite with her. She also makes sure that the last bite of any confectionary item or cookies goes to those in presence rather than eating it herself. Not surprisingly she is known as a very caring and loving lady. Such nice small gestures go a long way in showing that you care and think about others.

6. Think positive of your spouse / partner.

Over time we tend to take the positives for granted and start focussing on the negatives. However in healthy relationships if I ask the spouse to list 10 good qualities of their partner they are able to reel them off in minutes. While for those with relationships in strife, ask them a similar question and they find it hard to proceed beyond 2.

I often tell my clients to daily remember the good qualities of their spouse / partner and focus on how they enrich your lives. Believe me, if we focus on the positives our annoyance will reduce and we will make conscious efforts to make our partner happy.

In summary not many make conscious efforts to show that they care. But those who do find it very rewarding. It not only makes their relationships better but also improves their Quality of Life. They are more connected with their spouse / partner, children and friends.

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