“For a marriage to have any chance, every day at least six things should go unsaid. ” ~ Unknown
In the early stages of a romantic relationship, part of the reason it feels so wonderful is that not only are we on our best behavior, but we give our partner a lot of positive feedback.
We listen attentively to all that is said, validating and supporting what we are hearing. We give each other our undivided attention. If there are things about the other that are not perfect, we just let them go because there is so much we do like. We are happy not only because we love this person, but also because it feels delicious to be loved so unconditionally.
As couples get further into the relationship, things often change. Little criticisms can begin to creep in. Often these relate to ways in which the other is different from us. The assumption is that our way is correct, and the partner is doing it wrong. The critic sets him or herself up as the standard against which the other is to be judged.
Slowly the one who was once complimented and adored, becomes the recipient of a sometimes steady stream of comments about what he or she is doing wrong. When this happens, is it any wonder that the relationship is not what it once was?
A partner probably chose us because it felt good to be around us. He or she felt loved, appreciated and respected, no doubt assuming that would make for a happy relationship. It is tough to wake up months or years later wondering where all that good stuff went.
The truth is that if couples ensured that the other felt their love, appreciation and respect on a daily basis, the warm, good feelings of the early days would still be there. In fact, they would grow deeper.
If you wish to improve your relationship, criticizing your partner is not the way to do so. Showing interest, caring, concern and love, as you did in the beginning, is the best way to revitalize the relationship and keep it strong.
Copyright © Gwen Randall-Young, All Rights Reserved. Contact us if you would like permission to reprint.
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