Real Relationship Advice
When it comes to love, words are cheap. Saying ‘I love you’ is easy once you get the first one out of the way. For some couples, ‘I love you’ is said with as much feeling as ‘Hi’ and ‘Pass the salt’. It becomes routine and a call and response akin to Marco Polo. When was the last time you said ‘I love you’ while looking into each other’s eyes and really meaning the words? This is not chastising in any way. We all do this!
We demonstrate our love in through consideration. One of the behaviors that are antithetical to a healthy relationship is a lack of consideration. Most people know how their partners feel about certain things. Some people choose to behave selfishly while in relationship. Consideration for the spouse’s/partner’s feelings is a deeper show of love than the thoughtless ‘I love you’.
Being considerate is not a painful thing. Some people believe that being considerate shows a lack of strength or a constant compromise. Consideration is a thoughtful act because of your love for your spouse/partner. It isn’t the equivalent act of dropping your pants and bending over (unless, of course, that is what your spouse likes). The act of consideration is a deeper value than the untenable definition of love. Many people have very warped concepts of love – from infatuation to stalking- but consideration is not part of any of the sick displays of ‘love’.
Consideration is a value we give to life. When we consider the feelings of others within our own decision process, we are considered a considerate person. In a relationship, this is vital. This is what creates that feeling of safety that a relationship must have if it is to flourish. It is the difference between being told ‘I love you’ and knowing a person loves you. Knowing you are loved is one of the fundamental necessities of all of humanity! When we know we are loved we are more willing to take risks and feel grounded.
When relationships fail, it isn’t from lack of hearing ‘I love you’. It is directly related to knowing that your partner does not consider you as important or your feelings or your needs. A lack of consideration is the death knell of any relationship and almost impossible to create out of nothing. In other words, consideration is borne out of your love for someone and not a learned behavior. Sure, we tell our spouse/partner what we want but it is up to them to act upon it and file it under ‘things my lover loves/hates’.
No couple can say that they have been perfect as a spouse/partner. However, what makes a person a good spouse/partner is when their consideration supersedes all of their decisions. We are constantly bombarded with decisions in life and a considerate person values the feelings of their loved ones before making a choice. It is not a place where they assert their needs over the needs of others. All choices are made for the good of the unit with complete respect and consideration.
We know sometimes we write about concepts that seem foreign to most relationships but, if pressed as to what our secret for a great relationship, consideration would be in our top 3.