September 07, 2011

Criticism Kills Love

Ten years ago, when I turned forty, all I wanted for my birthday was to take a weekend course with Tom called "The Joyful Partnership". We were coming off the back end of the heavy child rearing years and I felt we needed a tune-up. It turns out it was one of the best things that we ever did. The course was based on the book Getting the Love You Want, by Harville Hendrix, and one of the key concepts was that criticism kills love. I thought I'd mention it because it's a really important thing to remember as we grow older -not only with our partners or spouses- but with everyone we love, especially our kids.

Criticism pulls people away from each other.

Criticism kills passion.

Here are some of the other key points that I remember from the course:

  • Intimacy is the single biggest challenge in everyone's life.
  • Don't fight in front of others- especially in front of children. In a "conscious relationship" anger is expressed by appointment only (which also gives the "expressor" time to cool down).
  • What you believe about your relationship is essentially what it will be.
  •  Love isn't just a feeling, it's actually also a decision.
  • Feeling distant from your partner? Exchange notes about what would make you both feel more loved and cared about.
  •  Kids just want to be heard- not necessarily guided. They get their guidance from watching us.
  •  Happiness is a choice.

I have a feeling there is something in there for everyone.

Have a good week!