The good news is that this philosophy works for all relationships including sibling relationships and even with coworkers at the office. What I believe to be the heart of relationships is the intentional act of trying to make others feel valued. This will require sacrifice on your part in those times when you believe your desires are more important, but it is those moments that will make the biggest difference.
The word empathy creates confusion with some as it is often linked with or used in conjunction with sympathy. These two are very different as they are experienced by someone going through a tough time or when trying to explain to their spouse what is bothering them.
I have written in previous blogs regarding the phrase, “I love you, but I’m not in love with you.” Unfortunately, this is often said when not fully understanding what love is or what being in love means. Regardless of what you want to call it, we can at least take a look at what is happening within the relationship and how to get it moving in the direction where positive feelings are starting to increase. This blog will briefly discuss love and being in love, then a little about how we lose it – and everyone does – followed by how to start getting it back although it will be a little different.
he bottom line of relationships comes down to ensuring that your partner knows that they matter to you. In the beginning of a relationship, this is almost automatic as the newness and heightened joy exist and you want to keep that going. You initiate spending time together, talking, holding hands or cuddling, buying gifts, telling them how wonderful they are, and doing things for them.
I often hear phrases like that from clients. I hear this from people who have been in short-term relationships as well as long-term ones. The reasons are as varied as the personalities of the individuals in the relationships. However, there is one common thread that runs through them all: One person starts to like something new, and their partner does share that same joy.
I often hear statements from one partner that they love the other person, but that they are not “in love” with them. Really, I hear this from nearly every couple. They have lost that loving feeling, so to speak. What is actually happening is that the “newness” of the relationship has worn off. Human nature is rather fickle, and many have the “what have you done for me lately?” attitude when it comes to relationships.
We often have trouble communicating in relationships regardless of the type of relationship. This is more so in a couple’s environment as there are always competing priorities or values. One of the major enhancements to a relationship, especially in marriage, is to have emotional dialogues with each other.
How well do you know your partner? Oftentimes we say we know them but find it difficult to buy them gifts or know what to do to help them on a daily basis. I often hear couples who have been together for a while, especially after the children leave the home, that they just don’t know each other anymore. The question is, did they ever know their partner?