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Relationships: Give Attention! To Your Honey

Aug 17, 2007
Couples need to give each other a lot of attention to keep their relationship healthy. But everything around us seems to pull our attention away from our partner. What is left over for our mate by the end of the day may be very, very little.

Blessed are you if you are among the few that can give your partner intensional, quality attention most of the time!

For the rest of us mortals, here are some points for ensuring that we put the time and attention where it is needed.

1. The Long View

Imagine you're at the end of your life looking back. Will you likely be saying, "Gee, I wish I'd spent more time at the office," or, "Darn it, I really wish I'd spent more time with my spouse and family?"

This makes it pretty clear for most of us. But how to remember to ask ourselves this perspective question frequently?

You might create a screen saver that flashes the question at you. You could put it on a card and always carry it in a pocket. How about writing it on a small piece of paper and carry it in a locket? You could tape the question to your bathroom mirror, the telephone, the steering wheel of your car, and the molding next to the door through which you leave the house.

Maybe your mate would be willing to ask you this question daily. Afterall, it's about remembering how much you really do value your relationship with this person.

2. The Short View

What do you like about your partner? Look closer! Notice the curve of the bridge of her/his nose, that spot on the neck where you like to put your lips, and that look on his/her face as a hot idea is percolating. What an incredible being you have there! Notice it now!

3. The Daily View

It really seems like too simple of an exercize, but do it anyway and be amazed at how well it works: Make a pact to give each other a complement every day. I don't mean a watered down run-of-the-mill "you look nice" kind of a complement, but one you've thought about and that really means something. Pretty soon you're going to have to really think to come up with something good!

4. Ongoing: Build Positive Associations

Every time we have a negative encounter with our partner our brain starts to form a negative expectation for seeing this person again. As long as we have more positive encounters than negative ones then this isn't a problem.

But with a cynical, skeptical or critical outlook we often find the negative in our partner more often than not. Then throw in a few challenges to our behavior from our mate and fairly soon we're not looking forward to being together. Yuck!

It will take solid intentions on your part to beat this pattern. You've got to look for positives in any encounter with your partner. You need to set your mind on finding the affirming thought, the kind notion, or the benefit of the doubt.

No way is this easy! But it's doable. Take responsibility for what your mind is doing! Make sure you find the positive in each encounter with your partner.

5. The Weekly View

Every week have a date together. Nope, no kids. Just the two of you. How can you be kids together if you've got kids along to parent?

If you don't have these dates you'll forget the joy of playing the romancing game together. It doesn't have to be a big deal. A walk in the park or a hamburger will do. Or, maybe a movie or an ice cream cone. Just find time together that is specially set aside for the two of you that always happens.

If your relationship is important to you, then you can find a way to keep that importance before you. But it won't be easy! There are just too many distractions available every day to pull and push at us. But, be reminded, that they are just distractions, and the real value lies in what you have with your mate.
About the Author
Steve Roberts, "The Couples Guy," is an experienced Marriage and Family Therapist who shares tips and real life relationship secrets from over 20 years of practice. Get Insight and Wisdom for your Relationships at: http://www.whatworksforcouples.com/
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