Updated: Oct 9, 2020
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of care, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
Accessibility of partner has been recognized as an essential component in the establishment and maintenance of bonding between partners.
“Are you there for me?”
Whether it is expressed in a probing tone, a quiet cry or an irate demand, it always seeks reassurance and comfort that the couple is forever united in an unbreakable sacred alliance. The proverbial “show me, don’t tell me” seems to be the unmistakable message to follow the answer “of course, I am here for you”.
What follows are three ways that will show your partner that you respond to his/her call with not just words, but with action:
Whether you are sharing an inconsequential event or you are pouring your heart out, few things can be more exasperating than to realize that your partner is not paying attention.
Protesting “…but I am listening to you!!!” while checking your email or reading the paper will not take you far.
Giving your partner your undivided attention while asking follow-up questions such as “..so what happened next?”, or “what can I do to help?”, shows that you are not only connecting, but that you care.
You may have forewarned your partner regarding a particular issue in an attempt to prevent what now appears to be a source of much distress for her. You saw it coming, after all, you know her more than anyone.
As she shares with you the incident in question, resist to make your point by saying “I told you so”. It is not about showing that you were right, but that you are there for her. Showing empathy involves seeing her pain from her perspective.
You accomplish this by first understanding and acknowledging her feelings, and by communicating your understanding.
“That sucks, I am here with you”.
Empathizing involves embracing FIRST and always.
Touch with Care
Scientific research has provided unequivocal evidence of the power of touch. Holding your partner in a heartfelt embrace fosters the release of oxytocin, a hormone and neurochemical appropriately labeled the “love hormone” for its known role in helping partners feel connected, loved, and comforted.
We are mammals, after all, and we are neuro-biologically prewired to find touching reassuring and soothing.
Touch has been found to calm our brain. Warmly holding your partner’s hand in your hands, or holding him tight in a spontaneous embrace, is a non-verbal way to communicate that you got his back, that you are there to stay, to answer his call “are you there for me?”