In a effort to “write with honesty” and to “write from the heart” (catchphrases/buzzwords I learned from the internet) I thought I’d give this topic another go. I actually had the title, and nothing else, a year ago. I suppose I figured the title would trigger a post, so I didn’t take notes or write anything in the draft.
The title is taken from an article my hubs told me about, regarding successful relationships and what makes them work. Guess what the top two traits are? Yup, Kindness and Generosity. Now, in honesty, I haven’t read the entire article for a while. So, if I say something that disagrees with it, take it with a grain of salt, and pick the stance you like better. Or pay more attention to the article. They did all the research, after all.
day month, I wrote a post on finding one’s superpower. and a comment by a friend prodded me on toward this one. Funny how all these things coincide, isn’t it?
Anyway, meandering aside, Let me tell you what I’ve learned in my few years of marriage. And you can take that with a grain of salt, too. I mean, aren’t I cute–married 22 years, and I think I’m an expert… oh, wait. I am…
I think it ought to go without saying that one should be kind to one’s spouse. But it bears repeating. Be kind to each other.
I’m not talking about bending over backward to do whatever they want at the expense of your own sanity and self. I pray you do not have a relationship that is such a one-way street. I’m talking about basic courtesy. Are you going to the kitchen for a glass of water? Offer to bring one back for your Love. Did you see something in the store that reminded you of your spouse? Pick it up for them, or perhaps take a photo and send it to them (I presume, I admit, that most of us text nowadays) if purchase isn’t feasible. Did your spouse just spend 2 hours in the grocery store with the kids? Meet him/her at the door and unload the car. Or take the kids to the park to run while your spouse enjoys a moment of blessed silence while unloading the car at leisure. Little things, huge helps.
Listen when your spouse speaks. Really listen. Acknowledge their efforts, their feelings, their jokes, their being. You might be surprised (or perhaps not) how discouraging it is in any relationship to feel ignored or marginalized. And how it warms the heart and strengthens bonds to feel as if you really matter to someone. Be Kind. Make sure your spouse knows that he or she really matters to you!
Whatever you do (that is kind), do with a generosity of spirit, with such graciousness and sincerity, that whenever your spouse speaks of you, it is with the warmest affection, and they will be deemed the luckiest of people to have found their soulmate. (Soulmates are a topic for another post, but I believe they are more often made than found.)
From the article itself, an essential quote:
“Kindness makes each partner feel cared for, understood, and validated—feel loved. “My bounty is as boundless as the sea,” says Shakespeare’s Juliet. “My love as deep; the more I give to thee, / The more I have, for both are infinite.” That’s how kindness works too: there’s a great deal of evidence showing the more someone receives or witnesses kindness, the more they will be kind themselves, which leads to upward spirals of love and generosity in a relationship.”