You might have noticed that I publish articles on partnership on my women’s blog from time to time. My readers often give me feedback along the lines of: “Why should it always be the woman who works on a partnership? It’s time for men to do something!”
Yes, I understand the frustration! And NO, I do not like thoughts like: “If you don’t do anything for our relationship, I won’t do anything either!”
In my opinion, it should not matter who takes the first step to examine, clarify or start a constructive change in a troubled relationship. In many cases, it is us women! Of course, we cannot sort out a partnership without our husbands and partners. We should, at least, know what makes a relationship happy and fulfilling again.
Therapists, who work with couples in their practice, could fill libraries with their experiences. Some actually write books with their tips. For example the German psychotherapist Hans Jellouschek.
A POSITIVE BASIC ATTITUDE IS A KEY PILLAR OF A PARTNERSHIP
According to Jellouschek, a positive basic attitude is one of the key pillars of a happy relationship. This attitude should exist in every partnership anyway, but in the course of time, with many couples, it diminishes. Whereas, a positive atmosphere, is mainly a matter of course, at the beginning of a relationship, when partners are convinced they are the perfect match, many couples have to make a conscious effort to improve their relationship after some time.
The enthusiasm about a partner decreases over time, as more and more characteristics appear which do not seem thrilling. Later this may become breeding ground for unhappiness, stress and arguments in relationships.
COUNTERING NEGATIVE ATMOSPHERE WITH POSITIVE FEEDBACK
Therefore, it needs conscious perception and counteraction to make room for genuinely positive energy in a partnership, where negative moods are slowly taking over. The first step is honest communication and positive feedback, such as, “I like your reliability”, or “I like your laugh!” or “I am so happy you are part of my life.” This sort of communication often happens on a nonverbal level, through a smile, a touch, looks and gestures.
A LACK OF DEMONSTRATING LOVE DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN A LACK OF LOVE
And now I would like to approach a topic which I have already mentioned in another article, the gender-specific differences between men and women in communication. Evidence shows that verbally expressed positive feelings have a much bigger impact on women than men. On the other hand, a lack of verbally expressed demonstrations of love by men is interpreted as a lack of love by women. In reality, this is not a real indicator of their love, but a lack of male ability to communicate.
As long as we try to make each other’s lives as pleasant, beautiful and enjoyable as possible, there will be a positive basic atmosphere in our relationships. This includes positive feedbacks which encourage, strengthen or please the partner.
I will write about another pillar of a happy relationship at a later time. In the meantime we can – together with our partner – care for positive energies in our relationship.