I’m curious, when I talk to couples about their relationship, about how they part and how they come together. My question is usually, “At the end of the day, what comes through the door?” and, “What do you walk into?” With couples whose relationship is going through some turmoil or a slump the answer is often, “sullenness”, “silence”, “eggshells”, “tentativeness”, “hostility” or something along those lines.
This initial coming together often sets the tone for the whole evening. If that split second is set by the echoes of an argument of days before, or by stresses of work, or by a day of dirty naps and screaming kids, it sends a message to the other of isolation and disinterest.
In every intimate relationship an enduring question each is constantly asking is, “Are you here for me?”, and the parting moment and coming together are moments that question comes to the fore. If you walk into distractedness, the fleeting thought might be, “I don’t matter – her/his mind is elsewhere.”
What would it be like if your parting was a kiss and hug of genuine affection instead of a quick peck that tells your partner that your mind is already out the door and in the office? What would it be like if “delight” came through the door, or you walked into “delight”? How might that set a different tone tone for the evening and change the mood of the whole house. Our delight is a gift to our partner (or children, friends, family or colleagues). Instead of not mattering they become the most important thing in the world to you for that brief moment.
Every dog owner has had the experience of coming home to wild delight at their arrival. It’s one of the reasons dog owners love their pets so much…that daily gift of being loved and wanted that their dog gives them, and that moment of coming together is where it gets most strongly expressed.
You could be in the midst of a drawn out argument and still be delighted to see the other. You can be incredibly hurt by your partner and still be delighted to see them. You could have had the worst day you can remember and still be delighted to see them. It is only a matter of pausing to remind yourself that you are coming together and wanting to give them the gift of your delight.
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