Many people do not appreciate their partners very often, however; they very regularly make sure to state their criticisms of their partner. Did you know that appreciation is something that most people crave?
Of course there are a whole host of reasons why appreciation is not given in relationships. Some examples are that maybe one of the partners has had an affair, or has been emotionally abusive, or has pulled away.
I ask the couples and individual adults I work with whether they want to have a relationship with their partner, which includes appreciation. Most say yes, a few will say they are not sure, some that they are not ready, or in some cases, they say they have been too hurt to start over to repair the relationship.
In sessions, if both clients are open to it, I might ask for each of them to say the following to the other, “I appreciate that you are…. or that you do……… “. This helps to really soften the communication between them. When this exchange goes well between them, you can literally see people relax out of that tense and stressed stance.
Is it possible for you to challenge yourself to find something that is good about your partner? In many cases, there are some things that are positive; and this shift of mind begins to shift away from a blaming and complaining dialogue to a place where less judgment exists. What does your partner do well?
There are some cases where there really isn’t anything positive to comment on, either due to the fact that your partner may have a mental illness, substance abuse, narcissism, and/or that they have contempt for you based on the history of the relationship. In this instance, I help these clients discuss their ambivalent thoughts about their relationship.
I encourage you to contact me with questions or comments that you may have about this topic, as I really enjoy working with people in expanding how they communicate in relationships.
Find Your Strengths!
Couple and Individual Therapy * Sex Therapy
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