I wonder how you answered that question?
We all do it, you know. We pay attention to what isn’t working well and often we focus on what our partner isn’t getting “right”, (or what we consider “right”). We remind them “just to let him/her know” or “to put them straight” or “so they know what it’s like for me”etc.
It can become a well formed habit; “after all, it’s the things that aren’t working that need sorting out of course. The good things are fine; no need to bother with them”.
By the way, the italics are there because many couples actually say these things in my sessions. They also say “our relationship is getting heavy and difficult. It’s lost its loving spark”.
In our Couples Support Group last time, we talked about the things we say or do in our relationships that create either connection or disconnection. It was quite an eye opener to find out we are possibly not as invested in staying connected with our partners as we thought we were.
The big discovery was that staying connected takes desire and intention to do so, and of course, actions to make it happen. Yes, like most things, we have to put some effort into our relationships, if we want them to flow well with us feeling satisfied and happy.
The big thing we need to do is consciously make time to be together. This may sound rather obvious but often time with your loved one can get put to the bottom of the pile. If life is busy, we can easily pass each other by, even if we do stop to chat, listen or touch one another. Most of us are looking for more than a passing connection, though it’s often lovely in itself.
The suggestion came up in our group to actually put aside time for connecting with no actual plan. In other words, just to BE together. No need to go out or do anything in particular, just to beeee! That stimulated quite a conversation. What would that feel like? Would we need to have an activity, a something specific to do? Overall, everyone was intrigued by the idea of creating time and space for one another, to switch off from other things (especially devices) and simply be in each other’s company. Maybe we’ll find ourselves talking about something we haven’t managed to talk about but we’ve wanted to, or we could cuddle and snuggle. Maybe, we could tell each other what we love and appreciate about each other, ooooh how would that be?
So, we did a bit of that, there and then! Each couple took some time to share together what opens their heart to their partner, what they love, what they appreciate about them. It was fun, very connecting and warmed everyone’s heart up! It really strikes home as the opposite energy from talking about the stuff that doesn’t work and “jolly well” needs changing.
I know, when I feel emotionally fed with knowing the things my partner loves and appreciates about me, then I may more easily find the space inside myself to hear sometimes what would be helpful to him if this or that got changed.
Ideally 90% positive and loving communication with 10% constructive feedback can work. It’s worth remembering!
With love to you and your relationship,