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12 Ways to Turn Your Pain into Praise

Sapphires from Psalms

Better Than Jewels

It would surprise you the things that experts say destroy relationships. It isn’t so much the ugly knock-down, drag-out fights as it is the little things that happen day to day.  Don’t get me wrong. No one likes ugly, inflamed battles, but according to John Gottman, relationship expert, there are moments that happen every day that can make or break a relationship.  It is as simple as “turning toward your partner.”

Have you ever been in a conversation when you were talking and your partner didn’t respond at all?  Perhaps you are the busy person, and your partner is talking to you, and you don’t take time to reply. You might be thinking inside, “I get it,” but your loved one doesn’t get the benefit of your internal dialogue. Those moments leave a partner feeling misunderstood and ignored. They  collect in the relationship, and believe it or not, it is one of the main causes for divorce according to Gottman.

When you “turn toward your partner,”you are acknowledging their value, the importance of what they're saying, and the fact that you care about what is going on with them, even if it is as incidental as, “I think we are out of laundry soap.” You, as a partner, can choose to ignore this comment, perhaps giving it mental assent but saying nothing, or you can look at your partner, and simply acknowledge with a nod or a, “We’ll have to get some.”  Seems simple, doesn’t it?  It might even seem ridiculous that the laundry soap comment needed a response, but I didn’t do the research. John Gottman did, and in a 20-year study he found, that responding to these little things create big love in the long run.

When we stop and think about it, we realize that all of us want to be understood, acknowledged, and valued on a regular basis.  So take a little time it takes to make sure that you respond to your spouse.  “Turning toward” you partner is one of the easiest ways to fill his/her love tank, and keep the embers of love burning for a lifetime.

Happy Valentines from Mom and Dad!


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