Appreciate your partner

In a whirlwind of work, errands, chores, and taking care of the children, without regular loving cultivation, adult relationships tend to sink into a colourless routine. Don’t let them drown!

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It is so easy to go with the flow — get everyone ready for work and school in the morning, drop the kids off, commute to work, spend the entire day tending to the needs of an external entity, commute back home, picking up the children on the way, have dinner, do chores, go into a bedtime routine, and start everything over the next day without having so much as an hour to yourself, let alone your relationship. In this monotonous cycle, if we are not mindful of our partner and their contribution to the family, loving feelings dwindle and resentment grows in their place.

People are creatures of habit. We take for granted what is and forget the multitude of possible alternatives. Remember why you got together with this person in the first place. Remember the butterflies in your stomach — the anticipation to see their face, hold their hand, look into their eyes. Could you have thought then that you would brush by that person every morning without as much as a “Good morning” and go to sleep upset and resentful, without even hugging them?

This is a two-way street. Remind your partner how much you love him or her. Think of them during the day. How can you bring a ray of sunlight into their life? Is it as easy as coming home with a smile and love in your eyes? Is it a good-morning kiss to wake them up, instead of a bark “Get up!” and a frustrated reprimand of how late it is? Is it as difficult as biting back a derogatory word or gesture? Can you bring them a flower, a book, a drawing?

Can you think ahead, in the middle of your typical day, of how you would like to spend time with your partner and then take steps to make it happen? Take a day off, arrange childcare if needed, and make it special. In the middle of a monotonous string of days that all look the same, wouldn’t you love to be surprised by your partner coming up to you and offering a walk, a hug, a special time to share? Don’t wait for it to magically materialize — make it happen.

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