Copyright 2013 Roberta Gallagher
1. Do give on a daily basis. Give affection, good deeds. Don’t keep a scorecard. The gift of love focuses on what is meaningful to your partner, not to you. She wants you to listen. You want to bring her flowers. Listen!
2. This will go against your instincts — When you feel attacked, don’t react. Silence is a powerful response. Don’t talk while you are angry.
3. Life is not a Hollywood movie where the stars are airbrushed. Relationships and people have wrinkles and blemishes. The questions is: Is there enough positive to outweigh the negative? In long term happy relationships, each person focuses on what they admire about their partner and focuses away from what they don’t. We create our own reality.
4. Here’s a revolutionary concept – criticism is NEVER necessary. You can learn how to say what needs to be said in a positive way. There is no such thing as constructive criticism. There are constructive questions. Start with “I feel…” “What is this about?” “How can we resolve this?”
5. Every day find something sincere to praise your partner about. Say thank you for the ordinary service you perform for one another every day, such as making dinner, participating in every day chores, being present.
6. The main goal is having a happy relationship — not winning an argument. A real win is when both parties feel they have been understood and their needs respected.
7. Compromise is not a weak stance. When you choose to do what you would rather not as a gift to your partner, that creates an atmosphere in which there is a greater likelihood that the gift of accommodating will be returned on another occasion. Be gracious. Sulking destroys the gift.
8. We all make mistakes. Be humble when you make them, and non condemning when your partner does. I am sorry goes a long way. I accept your apology sets the scene for further communication and problem solving
9. Bite your tongue. Once an insult flies out of your mouth the injury is done. We are not yet 100% civilized so – clean it up immediately.
10. If you carry a laundry bag of past hurts around it will weigh you down. Let it go and you will remove the wall between you and the possibility of a beautiful present and future with your partner.
If your relationship is a little more rocky right than these 10 steps alone can repair, I’m here to help. Don’t wait to call.