„PUT YOURSELF IN HIS SHOES!“ – HOW LIFETIME LOVE CAN WORK

 At first glance the topic ‘relationship’ seems to be full of contradictions. Because, on the one hand, never before have so many people taken love with a partner so seriously as they do today. And also there is a greater need for stability and security in a relationship. On the other hand, never have more relationships broken up than today.

You can only experience a long-lasting loving relationship, if both of you manage, at the same time, to enable your relationship to remain as satisfying as possible. Only then can you be sure that you both remain in the partnership voluntarily and permanently.

LOVE IS BLIND

At the beginning of your romantic relationship you might have had the feeling of having known your partner for a long time. Your amorous love, at the start, made you meet each other in the depths of your hearts. Not only physically, but also mentally, you merged with one another. And if you are familiar with the idea of reincarnation: yes, sometimes there is a meeting again, or some form of recognition by two souls who have made deep experiences together in former lives. But these re-encounters do not always happen in the romantic way books about soul mates and dual souls try to tell us. But this is a different story…

Everyday life proves, in the end, how deep your love actually is. At the beginning of your relationship you can easily ignore the things that do not connect but separate you. However, as time goes by, this seems to get harder and harder. You possibly find your partner strange, and certain characteristics start to annoy you. This experience may bring the first disappointment, or at worst, the beginning of the end. What is to be done?

“PUT YOURSELF IN HIS SHOES!”

_ Begin to explore and understand your partner, his world and way of thinking. Give up the idea that he should be the same as you.

_ Whenever you feel the urge, tell your partner about yourself, your feelings, thoughts and your personal life history.

_ Be open, and naturally inquisitive, when your partner talks about himself. Whatever you may find strange: talk about it! It is better to understand him than criticize him later.

_ Give your partner the feeling that you respect the way he is, even if he thinks, feels and acts differently.

_ Try to feel like him, see and try to understand life through his eyes, considering his family and social background. For a moment, try to see the world not from your perspective, but from his. Put yourself in his shoes, so to speak.

_ Accept his being different as an important experience, and valuable addition, to your point of view and philosophy of life. You do not have to take on his values, if you do not agree with them, but at least, be open for them!

_ Develop an honest and sincere interest in your partner, even if you think you already know him inside out. Discover your partner over and over again!

Women

WHY A POSITIVE BASIC ATTITUDE IS SO IMPORTANT IN A PARTNERSHIP

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.

Women

TALKING ABOUT FEELINGS: MEN ARE DIFFERENT, US WOMEN TOO

No, I do not want to use the usual clichés! Yes, I would like to make us women aware that most of the men are different to us women. It is important to recognize these differences, understand and accept them. Just like Yin and Yang – the female and the male – are contrary but are part of a whole, we people are the same. And although we women sometimes wonder, or are angry, about the strange behaviour of our men, we should be aware that there are not only physical, but also mental and emotional differences, between men and women.

WOMEN LIKE TO TALK ABOUT FEELINGS

Many men have been brought up to suppress their feelings; the exceptions are anger and fury. They have been told to remain controlled or relaxed in difficult, or dangerous, situations. Their fathers, and other men, show them verbally, and non-verbally, that to show feelings is a sign of weakness.

Therefore, as soon as they are adult, they find it hard, when their wives demand to know how they are, and what they are feeling. However, the majority of women want to talk about feelings openly. This is why it is hard for them when communication about feelings with their partner proves to be tough and tiresome. And is probably quickly concluded.

Women react to tense and challenging situations emotionally, whereas men might only shrug their shoulders, not feeling like talking about the topic at hand. This is why some men occasionally think women have more emotional problems than they actually have. Simply because women approach these subjects, and they don’t.

“AND THE MORAL OF THIS STORY …”

Anne Moir and David Jessel, the authors of ‘Brain Sex’ claim that women have a more efficiently organized language centre than men. It is situated at the front of the left brain hemisphere, whereas the same functions in the male brain are located in the front and back of the brain. They think this is the reason why men don’t like to talk about feelings as much as women do.

Anyway, studies show that women not only express their own feelings better, but also perceive other people’s emotions better than men. In tests where they had to recognize feelings from photos, they scored much better than their male counterparts. They also perceive the emotional content of a brief conversation better than men.

Maybe we should remember these innate (and possibly strengthened through education) differences, before we next ask our loved ones the unpopular question, “What do you feel at the moment?”.

A series of blogs for women which can help us to see men with new eyes, and understand them (even better). If you want to know more on this topic, I recommend the book ‘You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation’ by Deborah Tannen

Women