Want To Know The Secret To Love?
It’s Probably Not What You Think
Weeds inevitably sprout in a garden, just as disappointments, upsets, and frustration inevitably develop in all relationships. The key to keeping a “garden of love” alive is to consistently remove the weeds. This can be done by devoting time and attention to our relationships, just as we would tend to a garden. The way to do this in a relationship is to:
- Offer genuine, heartfelt, no excuses apologies.
- Accept such apologies when given to you (i.e. forgive).
What I have noticed after doing couples therapy for more than twenty-five years is how over time, the ability to both give and receive a heartfelt apology diminishes, until it doesn’t happen at all. Without the capacity to address and redress disappointment, frustration and hurt there will be a cumulative build up of poison that eventually corrodes a relationship from the inside out. When that happens it often signals a point of no return for the relationship which then deteriorates first into a “stalemate,” then “checkmate,” end of game, and finally end of marriage.
If only people would realize that it is never too late to revive the habit of both giving and receiving sincere apologies, more relationships could be turned around.
This article was conributed (c) Mark Goulston, http://markgoulston.com.