…another in the series of Gardening Tips for Couples!

For human beings in personal relationships, your feelings let you know how things are going for you inside yourself.

Feelings exist because they do, in and of themselves; and they are indicators of how to tend to your relationship.

I want to focus on an essential relationship behavior that you and your partner will want to practice, become good at and use frequently with each other:

…Treat your partner’s feelings as if they are your own!

You cannot choose to change, modify, not feel, or otherwise positively or negatively affect your feelings. The only choice you have is directly related to your behavior.

Feelings are as normal as hunger and fatigue. When you dismiss, diminish, ridicule, criticize, mock, belittle, disparage or demean anyone’s feelings, you are acting in the most disrespectful and unloving way.

Next time your partner (or anyone in your life, for that matter) expresses a feeling, consider hearing the feeling as a sacred offering. Be curious and compassionate.

Remember: It is not your job to fix anything. She or he is not broken. It isn’t necessary to offer insights, suggestions, give answers or otherwise provide brilliant advice or express profound guidance.

Don’t get distracted by the content of the event. Stay with the feeling(s). Your partner is experiencing and expressing normal, natural human emotion.

Here are 3 Simple, Loving Behaviors:

1.     Listen with your heart.

2.     Tell your partner that he or she matters to you and that his or her feelings are important to you.

3.     Ask if there is anything you can do or say right now that would be helpful.

Think about a beautiful garden; the flowers are in full bloom and growing profusely! Someone routinely tends this garden. The gardener removes the weeds as soon as they poke their heads out of the ground; waters and feeds the plants, and cultivates the soil… routinely.

Imagine what the condition of the garden might be if the gardener only went out to the garden once a week to pick the flowers to be enjoyed over the weekend. Committed, joyful, lasting love relationships require the same attention and intention on an on-going basis; not just once a week.

Every day believe that your presence and your caring go a long way to soothe your partner’s hurt and upset heart. Very often people know what they need or what might be helpful. When they don’t, the 3 Simple, Loving Behaviors are enough!!!

Throughout the week take every opportunity to practice the 3 Simple, Loving Behaviors. Be ever watchful of the shifts and changes in your partner’s feelings and moods.

Understand that you will be tending the rich soil in which love, intimacy and trust grow more and more deeply every day.

So until next time, Happy Gardening!

Remember, only YOU can make it happen!


Original Content by Jackie Black, Ph.D., BCC
www.DrJackieBlack.com ~ DrJackie@DrJackieBlack.com
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