How to stay close part three

Be great Givers!
How to stay close part three

How to Stay Close Part Three: Be Great Givers!  

Having closeness means giving the best part of yourselves to each other. Giving comes in lots of packages. I don’t necessarily mean giving physical gifts to each other though that’s certainly nice and can be important part of keeping closeness. I mean giving of yourself to your partner. Giving means being willing to give your partner the benefit of the doubt, giving compassion, being willing to validate and seeking to understand, be emotionally supportive and giving up being right for the sake of the relationship. Follow these steps (Stosney & Love, 2007) to be more giving and loving with each other:

  • Replace resentment with compassion—Have compassion for each other’s vulnerabilities, shame, fear, worries, and frailties. Happy couples achieve this kind of compassion and help each other manage their vulnerabilities, not hold it against each other. When you find yourself resentful, try holding your partner in a loving, compassionate space. You’ll be surprised at what you discover about yourself.  See my article, Give up Resentment for more on this important concept! 
  • Commit to understand your partner’s perspective. Regularly discipline yourself to really listen to your partner’s perspective or imagine what their world is like. What’s it like for her when you get irritated that she’s crying again or don’t want to hear about her troubles with her coworkers? What it like for him when you get irritated and withdraw affection when he wants to watch the game or go out with the guys? You don’t have to agree with your partner’s point of view, but say things to validate and communicate that your partner’s perspective is equally important.  You can download my e-book called "Honey Let's Talk: A Couples Guide to Improve Communication"  for lots more information on how to listen and validate. 

How to Stay Close Part Three: Be Great Givers (continued)....

  • Give your partner the benefit of the doubt – When you’re frustrated, hurt, angry or irritated, develop the habit of giving him/her the benefit of the doubt. Start to wonder if maybe you don’t know the full picture about what happened. Until you do, begin to say, my perspective is incomplete until I know his/hers. In order to keep the connection and be open to your partner’s explanation, you need to suspend judgment. Maybe you don’t know how hard her day was with nasty customers or his day was with grumpy kids and this is why s/he is irritable, withdrawing or demanding. Get in the habit of getting into his/her world before you justify your reasons for being upset.
  • Step into the puddle” with each other.  What this means is joining your partner in their emotional space (emotionally tune into and support). Why? Because we implicitly promised that we’d care if the other one was in pain or distress. Give your partner a hug or a listening ear (not advice giving or fixing one). Make empathizing statements like, “Oh that really sucks. I’m sorry was so hard on you.” Rub each other’s backs and bring each other hot tea. Really be there when you’re partner is feeling sad, hurt, disappointed or stressed out.     See my article How to Be Supportive for more ways to really be there for each other. 

Don't Miss All Three Articles!

How to Stay Close Part One: Be Great Friends!

How to Stay Close Part Two: Be Great Lovers!

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