Attention couples: Before you found your Ms. or Mr. Right, what were you looking for in a mate? Was it Robert Redford’s good looks? Mother Teresa’s compassionate nature? Albert Einstein’s intelligence? Carol Burnett’s sense of humor?
Or, while these are exaggerations of the qualities many seek in a partner, some combination of these that is difficult to define?
If you are one of the very fortunate who found in a mate the delightful mix of personal qualities you were searching for, do you continue to recognize, honor, and nurture all those wonderful, lovable personality traits? Do you even remember what it was that drew you two together at the onset of your relationship?
Often, the everyday demands of daily living, and the responsibilities to career, children, and community contribute to couples losing sight of the energies that created their couple-hood. You may find that you start to undervalue your mate’s most positive assets, and also feel undervalued yourself. As a result, you may gradually grow apart from the very person to whom you want to be closest.
All of this can contribute to the erosion of self-esteem within the relationship which can be one reason behind the distance that often develops between romantic partners. To prevent this erosion, you need to do some active self-esteem building for yourselves, both as individuals and as a couple. I cannot emphasize too much how important it is that you both feel nurtured and appreciated by supporting the cultivation of self-esteem in your partner. The attention and direct appreciation of your partner will help each of you to maintain your own individual sense of self-esteem. It will also help keep your relationship strong.
Building self-esteem within your partnership is really quite simple. Verbalize, on a daily basis, yes daily, exactly what you appreciate in the other. Be specific as to the day, time and situation to which you are referring. For example: perhaps you admire your husband’s generally positive attitude. Maybe he has a way of always seeing the bright side, and seeing new possibilities. Tell him how much you appreciated how he dealt with the situation by using those abilities when you were laid off from your job.