You’ve had a dreadful day at work, and you aren’t very happy about it. On the commute home, traffic was beastly. You’ve started to snarl. Finally your car is in the driveway, and you’re on your last nerve. If someone steps on it, you’ll snap. All this is certainly not your partner’s fault. So how do you change your mood before opening up the front door and announcing, “I’m home”? To keep your relationship healthy when going from the car to the house, you can recite these three simple ABC’s:
“Affection. I enjoy my partner’s hugs and kisses.” The little things mean a lot. In fact, it has been noted that people who have lost their spouses miss little things the most. Sitting on the lawn watching the stars, having breakfast to start the day, seeing fresh flowers on the table, baking his favorite cake, and holding hands in the movies. There are countless other ways to show affection each day, but the important point is that these expressions of love leave a lasting spot in one’s memory. These acts of affection help ease the bumps in the road of daily living.
“Bond. We are bonded as one through life’s ups and downs.” Bonding is a slow process. It does not happen overnight. Relationships strengthen over time when we are considerate of each other, when we listen with purpose, and give each other space. Remember as often as possible to do small and thoughtful things for each other. Above all, learn to forgive. That is when we will develop a bond with someone that will last a lifetime.
“Caring. My partner and I take care of each other, carefully!” Being attentive, showing an interest in each other, being aware of the needs of each other, and providing needed assistance if requested are all ways to show someone you care.
Reciting the three ABC’s can help you to make a good transition from all daily stresses to the welcoming embrace of your partner. A healthy relationship is based on being able to treat your partner with kindness every step of the way. No matter how tough life gets, our days are easier with a supportive spouse. Remind yourself, before you enter the front door, that you are grateful both for the day and for your partner.
Several studies have been done that point out that gratitude for life is as powerful as either medication or therapy in treating depression. In fact, keeping a gratitude diary was shown to be one of the most powerful tools in raising happiness levels. Such a journal keeps us from taking the positive for granted. It allows us to remember the good things about each day. It reminds us what we’ve got—That our partner helps us feel we can survive, and that we are glad to be alive. Knowing what we are grateful for gives us a roadmap for the growth of our spirit.