Welcome to “Love and Sex Today.” I am Dr. Doug Weiss and today’s topic is going to be exceptional. We’re going to talk about “Strategies to Being Kind in Your Relationship.” I’m talking about kindness to your spouse or your primary partner. I’m talking about the kindness that can make the difference between a whole home marriage and an I’m-so-in-love-with-you marriage. You’re going to want to take notes on this one today.
Today’s discussion comes from my book, “The 7 Love Agreements.” It’s a powerful book on how to improve your marriage all by yourself. A lot of times, other people do marriage conferences and write marriage books, and talk about the couple working together and doing exercises together. In “The 7 Love Agreements,” we talk about how you can change your marriage without your spouse’s knowledge, permission, or even awareness, by setting goals in different areas of your marriage. Today, we’re going to talk about the area of kindness.
Kindness is best if it’s done regularly. I think aiming for at least one random act of kindness towards your spouse every day is a good idea and keeps it going. Kindness is the oil inside the engine of the marriage. It lets the parts flow a lot easier with less friction. Go back in your mind and your heart, and think of two or three times when your spouse was especially kind to you. Now, in my life I don’t have to go back even 24 hours. I have an exceptional wife, Lisa, and she’s kind on a regular basis. She’s affectionate, she’s kind in various ways towards me and it makes me feel close to her. It makes me feel endeared to her. It makes me feel wanted, loved, important, valued, and significant.
Now, if you don’t know how to bring up feelings that quickly, you might want to read one of our posts on feelings or get our book, “Emotional Fitness.” Some guys might be thinking, “How’s this guy talking about his feelings? Does he have them written down?” No, I’m just able to do feelings because my wife and I do feelings everyday, which is another way that we’re kind to each other. You get an overall grateful feeling towards your spouse when they are being kind to you. Now, imagine if you can give this emotional state to your spouse everyday. You can give them that feeling of, “Aw, they really love me. They were really thinking about me. Aw, I’m really important.”
All of us need to feel those feelings. The world is a rough place. Sometimes the work environment is challenging. Doing life, you can feel insignificant or powerless or empty just because you’re going through the motions. When your spouse reaches out and says, “No, you’re a human being. I love you. And let this act, whatever this act of kindness is, be a symbol of my love to you today. And hold on to that as you travel the weary road.” It’s a very important powerful thing you can do. So I want to get deeper into this conversation with you. I want you to be able to actually do this.
I’ve been in this fitness weight loss mode and I’ve lost over 25 pounds in the last several weeks. One of the tricks to that is really eating super clean- a lot of raw vegetables, really healthy foods, and not a lot of salt and things like that. I went to the gym before I came home and Lisa took it upon herself to make a really healthy meal for me. That was an act of kindness and it made me want to be kind to her.
After dinner, Lisa got up and started putting dishes away. I said, “No, no, no. Go sit down.” The kitchen was a mess because she just made this meal. I said, “Go sit down, I got this.” I put the dishes away, took the garbage out, and folded the laundry. A good 30-45 minutes of effort isn’t much for a man as strong as I am. And guys, that’s why you’re stronger than your wives, to be able to do more work around the house, just so you know that. It’s not to be a bully, but to be a servant in your home. That’s another discussion topic, but we’ll get to that eventually.
Lisa sat on the sofa and was kind of playing on her phone. She felt relaxed and appreciated, and that led to us being able to feel really close later on. So, being kind is your superpower inside your marriage and if you have that it’s a wonderful thing. Let me walk through different types of kindness you might want to share with your spouse or your partner.
The first type of kindness is spoken. These are words of kindness, words you can say that are genuine and thoughtful and kind. In the words of kindness, you want to really look at your tone. Sometimes you can say something that looks kind when you’re reading it, but can be said in a sarcastic or kind of a backhanded way. I’m talking about kindness that’s really sincere. “I love this about you. I was thinking about you today and I thought this.” Just sharing that little thought would be powerful. Sometimes the way you respond in a conversation is the opportunity to show your partner kindness. Get into a calm place when your spouse is talking to you and say, “That’s really awesome, you know? That’s really great that you could share that with me and I just really appreciate that you’re my best friend.” It could just be a little simple word of kindness, but with the right tone could mean so much to your partner.
Touch is an act of kindness. Guys, I’m not talking about groping because some women interpret groping in all kinds of different ways. I’m talking about just rubbing their feet, touching their back, and giving them a hug. Sometimes it’s just that very light touch on the hand or the forearm that says, “I love you. I’m here for you. You’re important to me. We’ll get through this. Don’t worry.” It’s that physical gentleness that feels kind. Women, men love to be touched and by the way, you can grope them almost everyday. Or even a kiss is an act of kindness. It makes the whole eight to ten hour day he just did to contribute to the family feel valued. He will feel, “She has been thinking about me.” Guys, you can be a little gentle with your wife and nonsexual. For women, it’s totally okay be sexual. Have fun and connect.
Another kind of kindness is cleanliness. You’re living in a house with various creatures and people. Just seeing what needs to be done and doing it shows love to your partner. It’s an act of kindness to put the dishes away or load them in the dishwasher or get them out the next morning before your spouse gets up. Act as a team. See things that need to be done and get them done, “Hey, I got off early, let me pick up the kids for you today.” Or, ” I can pick up something for you to eat. Are there any errands I can run for you on this side of town?” A spirit of team that says, “Hey we’re in this together. I know this is our routine. I can intervene to make things easier for you.”
Intentional kindness is when you know how to be kind to your partner and you do it. You know what means something to them. Whether that’s the bringing them coffee in the morning, buying that chocolate, or that foot rub, you know what they really appreciate. So love them and be kind to them in the ways they appreciate. If I know Lisa likes a foot rub and she just happens to be on the sofa, I can attack that with kindness. Five minutes into it she’s like thinking she married the best man ever. That didn’t cost me anything and it brings those warm cuddly feelings into your marriage. That’s what kindness does. So if you’re lacking those warm, fuzzy feelings in your marriage just think, “How much kindness am I participating in to create that feeling?” because those feelings are oftentimes a result of acts of kindness.
The last type of kindness I want to talk about is spontaneous. Look for those opportunities to be kind. Whether it’s a word or a touch. Whether it’s a gift or a praise. No matter what kind of opportunity but everyday, every single day there is a window to be kind. In my book, “The 7 Love Agreements,” I actually teach men and women to set specific behavioral goals. You should do that and write your goals down. Be accountable to be more kind to somebody other than your spouse, and what you’ll find is you will actually grow in kindness. When you get intentional about being kind in your relationship, you actually get better at it. It’s amazing to me how simple this is but how often people overlook it. If they want to improve financially, they make goals. If they want to improve as a parent, they make goals. I’ve lost weight and gotten into great shape recently. I had to set some goals. I keep track of those every single day. I keep track of my weight, my exercise, my aerobics, etc. I have five or six things I keep track of because I have a goal. Today, I want you to make a goal to be intentionally kind to your partner and see what happens.
I want you to go to loveandsextoday.com and subscribe there. You can find a free chapter to one of my books. Write us a review on iTunes. One of you who write a review will be chosen by my staff and to get a priceless conversation with me. We will have fun and accelerate some area in your life. There’s also a place on our website if you have any questions for me. I would love to respond to your questions. We love helping you however we can. I hope today’s been exciting for you. Be kind and remember, always have great love and great sex.