I was making the coffee this morning for my mate and I thought about how I have been doing this for years. I get up earlier then him and while making my tea I just make a pot of coffee for my husband. It is a routine, and it’s nice. I don’t do it because I want to earn his praise. I do it because it feels good to know he will be pleased to pour himself a cup of fresh coffee the minute he walks into the kitchen. In other words, I am doing an act of kindness for someone I love.
I guess there is some selfishness going on too, I get to know that he feels pleased with this routine and that makes me feel good. It’s a small act of kindness that I am using to illustrate how it’s possible to bring a little joy into a relationship. Most people I counsel as a Marriage and Family Therapist come in to the office to tell me why their relationship isn’t working. I hear many difficult issues that keep couples apart. I get how hard it is living with someone who does not understand you. In fact I think this is the most difficult part of being in a relationship… not being understood.
So I know it’s hard to perform an act of kindness when you are feeling so hurt and isolated from your mate. People just want to feel appreciated by their partner, in any relationship this is the hallmark. I get that you may be disappointed. I understand that you may have been mad at him or her for a long time. I can see that feeling misunderstood by your partner has kept you feeling alone. AND having said all that I have a challenge for you.
Just because you love your partner, or maybe because you used to love him or her, for what ever reason, do a selfless act of love for them. Do something that you think they will like. Do something because you can, and do it not expecting anything in return, not even a thank you. Do it because you care about your partner. Do it because you want to give your mate something intangible, you want to give them the feeling of being thought of.
And that’s really what we all crave; Are we thought of? Do we matter to the other? Are we important? We all want to feel special. Do your part to help your partner feel that way. Clean the bathroom. Fix a meal. Walk the dog. Bring home dinner. Go shopping for them. You don’t need my help thinking of what you could do to make your partner smile. Just do it. Just do it because it would give them a good feeling. That’s love.