One of the love languages is Words of Affirmation (book referenced above). Words of affirmation come in many forms including praise, acknowledgement, credit, recognition, validation, compliments, and appreciation. Each of these are a gift in and of themselves. When you use these, you show your partner that you notice and see them, appreciate them, like and accept them, that you are proud of them, that you cherish them, that you understand and get them. |
How much easier would our relationship be if we consistently showered our partner with these gifts? Most couples' disconnect come from not feeling gotten by their partner. They don't necessarily need to have Words of Affirmation as their primary love language, but please know that all human beings need to feel understood, gotten. If your partner is not keen on thank yous and compliments, that's fine, but do use the other types of affirmations to show your partner you get them and like them!
Feeling gotten is a very primal need. In being gotten, we know we exist and that we are OK. We know we are important and that we matter. This is paramount that parents do for their children, showing the children they understand where they are coming from. A lot of the time, we did not receive this as children ourselves because we had less than perfect parenting. Now is the chance to receive these gifts and to bestow them onto our partner. Note that we are not always ready to receive the good stuff. Be patient with yourselves and each other. It might be initially strange and scary to all of sudden know you exist and matter... and to be in intimate connection...
Be attentive, curious and gentle in your approach. Surprise your partner with your interest and mindfulness. Show them you get them and their world (you don't have to necessarily agree with it but just accept it). Show them you like and love them, quirks and all!
Emma K. Viglucci, CFT, LMFT, CIT Marriage and Family Therapist, Writer & Speaker Director, Founder & President Member-At-Large, NYAMFT
Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC Succeed at Your Relationship and Your Life! 280 Madison Avenue @ 40th Street, Suite 208, NYC 10016 212-537-9055 x100 http://www.metrorelationship.com
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