If you are a couple who is wound tightly into a ball of negativity – winding tighter and tighter – until you feel you’re going to strangle to death, you must listen to these words: Be Kind – Unwind
I can almost predict what you’re thinking right now, “You just don’t know how mean my partner is.” or “You can’t expect me to be kind to him/her.” Or something like, “Yea. Easy for you to say. I bet your partner has always loved you and been there for you!”
Sure. I get it. I’ve heard these statements before when I’ve suggested a person change the negativity cycle by being intentionally kind. Shoot! I’ve thought similar thoughts myself. Who hasn’t?
But – I’m going to answer simply and borrow from a famous ad – “Just do it!”
You see, a lot of times we get stuck in our thinking. Any relationship coach will tell you the relationship pattern often gets stuck in the thinking part. As Harriet Lerner puts it, “A projection (belief about a person) becomes a story, then a prescription, and finally a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Or as your grandmother put it, “Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Your relationship can easily get stuck in negativity with pressures of life and stressors. Being kind and showing love and affection for each other is the ultimate way to fight against contempt. It is the ultimate way to fight for your relationship.
You’re going to need support. Invite a friend to encourage you in this endeavor. You can do it. And if you can’t – Well then, you need to seek help. Because you, my dear, are part of the problem.
I’ve listed “10 ways” to get you started. -I tried to put some ‘humor’ to it. I hope you can laugh. But, I also hope you can TRY.
10 Easy Kind Acts to Turn Your Love Around
1. Take coffee to your partner – And don’t dump it over their head when they say, “You got something for me?!”
2. Take them their favorite meal – And don’t poison or burn it.
3. Thank them each time they do something for you – And don’t grumble as you walk away.
4. Text them a thoughtful text – And don’t ask them when they are going to text you something thoughtful.
5. Call them and play them a song as a message – And make it a fun, encouraging song. No angry or bitter songs about love.
6. Sit down and watch or listen to something that interests your partner – And don’t roll your eyes or grunt.
7. Write them a letter of your favorite memories with them – And don’t write it in blood-colored ink.
8. Fill their car up with gas – And don’t tamper with anything else on the car.
9. Respond politely to them when they complain – And refer back to #3.
10. Take them out to dinner or a movie or coffee – And don’t talk about anything negative.
If the above 10 items don’t sound good to you, it’s OK. Make a list of things you would want done for you. Make a list of things and ways you used to interact. Get Gary Chapman‘s book, 5 Love Languages and take some tips from him.
It’s not going to be easy. I know. Most likely your partner and you will slip into old habits. The emotional bank account of good deposits won’t immediately be filled due to all of the withdrawals you both have taken out on your relationship. You could be facing a serious overdraft, after all. – with penalties!
Nevertheless, my friend, vengeance and negativity never really win in the long run. Besides, Bitterness makes your bones brittle and your face older than you are.
Try it. Put a time limit for yourself. -2 months? -1 month? -6 months?
What will you do this week to be kind to your partner? Leave a note and let me know!
BTW: If you think this post is helpful – please share – Just don’t tag your partner.
The above is a continuation of the The Marriage-Relationship Saga series.
The above isn’t professional counseling. For that – call me at 530-268-3558 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will talk with you and we’ll decide together if I’m a good fit for you as a therapist or if I can refer you to a wonderful colleague.