Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The immeasurable value of kindness

Went out with some married friends recently and watched them playfully pick at eachother. And thought about the thing I read recently about marital success (from Dr. Gottman's marital research on the 4 things that slowly destroy a relationship*) and wondered if they would last.

It bothers me when I see partners pick on eachother, even if seemingly in jest. Because there is usually an undercurrent of embarrassment, shame or hurt on behalf of the pickee. Giggles cover hurt looks but the sting still hangs softly in the air.

I like when I see people being a team, rooting for eachother, in eachother's courts. Not contemptuous & critical. That seems intuitive -- be kind to eachother, right? -- and yet I see so many who disregard their partner's feelings. There is a cost for this and over time, like a leaking faucet, gallons of intimacy wasted. Is this where the saying "familiarity breeds contempt" comes from? The seeming liberty to judge those closest to us?

. . .

*scroll to #9 for the 4 negative behaviors which can detrimentally erode a relationship over time:

1 comment:

  1. my ex and I picked and picked (and still pick!) at each other. It was never funny. HE thought it was, but it really wasn't. My BF now-aside from the odd gentle chide about farts or morning hair, there's none of that. The difference is palatable.