When I was 9 years old I had a traumatic even in my life. I was young and it happened in the middle of the night while I was half asleep, so no one believed my recollection of the event. My family and the police didn’t hear me, and I’ve been trying to get people to listen ever since.
I built this pattern of wanting to be heard and respected. Because of that respect was always a part of my vocabulary when it came time to describe an element I wanted in my relationship. Who doesn’t want to be respected by their partner?
As I’ve gone through this journey, I’ve learned that more than just respect, what your relationship needs is mutual admiration. Respect is a very strong word that can sometimes hold a harsh perspective. You can respect someone you don’t like very much, but admiration is warm. Admiration creates a feeling of pleasure and approval.
Research by Dr. Gottman shows that fondness and admiration are two of the most important elements in a satisfying and long-term relationship. If these elements are missing, the relationship can’t be saved.
How does one strengthen their admiration with their partner? You have to express appreciation and respect towards them. Start by writing a list of the reasons you’re proud of your partner, what you respect them for and the improvements you’ve seen in your own life because of their presence. Tell your partner items off the list at random times and in different situations.
You can be at dinner and tell them how much you appreciate the effort they’ve been putting in at work, so that you can build your future together. Or how you’re so proud of barrier they crossed this week when it comes to their health and fitness.
Whatever you may admire them for, make sure to express it loudly and often. It may be the key to your happy and healthy relationship.