24 Feb 2015 –
I once read that “Love is… never having to say sorry.” I think that’s absolute rubbish. No matter how much you love someone, everyone makes mistakes. You’ll be insensitive because you’re tired, you’ll hurt your partner’s feelings, someday you’ll screw up. It can’t be helped. But it’s how we deal with our mistakes that matters. If you hate saying sorry – try it. It could make all the difference. It’s hard to forgive someone who insists they’ve done nothing to warrant forgiveness. Even if you’re convinced you’re in the right, sometimes it matters more to make amends than prove your innocence.
I love you
People show love in different ways. You might have heard of the five love languages – time, gifts, serving, touch, and words. If you show love by giving your time, you could say that with your quality time you are telling someone you love them. But your partner might find it hard to recognise this, and just be waiting for you to say the all-important words. Even though we may know we are loved, most people still need to hear it. A friend of mine on the verge of break up told me that he assumed his wife knew that he loved her, and so didn’t feel the need to say it all the time. But it’s possible to have a ring on your finger and not feel loved. Say it, and say it often.
What’s on your mind?
No matter how long you’ve been together or how well you know each other, you cannot read someone’s mind. You might assume that if something was wrong, they would tell you. But personally, the more I’m worried about something, the less I’m likely to bring it up. I’m very unlikely to start a conversation with “here’s a problem I’m having with you at the moment”, so this question is crucial to getting the stuff that matters out into the open. Someone once advised me to “keep short accounts”, because relationships stay healthy when things are dealt with early on. Some things can be left unsaid, but others develop into bigger problems, scarier issues, or deeper hurts. And if you ask “what are you thinking” and the answer you get is “I’m trying to remember what I had for lunch”, you’ve lost nothing!
In a relationship, you don’t need to live in each other’s debt. Doing things for each other is one of the ways we show that we love each other. But if you don’t feel that your efforts are appreciated, over time you may begin to feel resentful. Don’t take each other for granted. Say thank you, and mean it. Appreciating each other is a powerful way to keep your relationship strong. Remember why you got together in the first place, and say thank you not just for what they do, but for who they are.
What not to say
Just in case you weren’t aware, here are some phrases that are generally not suitable for direction towards your partner:
1. “You’ve let yourself go a bit, haven’t you, love?”
2. “Calm down, it’s just the time of the month.”
3. “Just forget about it, I don’t expect you to understand.”
4. “Make me dinner and then leave me alone, would you?”
This article was published with permission from Focus on the Family Malaysia. For more information, please visit or contact us.
6-2 Jalan Bersatu 13/4, 46200 Petaling Jaya
Check out our Marriage Campaign! Visit us at www.marriedforloveforlife.my
Focus on the Family 90-second audio program is aired over TRAXX FM at 8.15 a.m. and 6.45pm every Monday to Friday