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Validate, support partner to strengthen bond

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We all go through millions of emotions in our relationships, and those emotions create brain chemicals that change the way we feel. Sometimes we are in a positive frame of mind (hopefully most of the time), and other times we can be neutral or even have negative feelings about our partners and ourselves.

Being able to trust your lover with your feelings is crucial. When you share something personal and your partner is supportive, it builds trust. It also gives you more strength to deal with whatever the issue is.

If your partner puts you down or is unsupportive, you may choose to share less, an unhealthy dynamic in any relationship.

Certain words are triggers for conflict. If you know that certain words or phrases upset your partner, avoid them and learn to speak from your heart, not from a place of anger.

Becoming upset can make things very difficult, and it’s also hard to trust someone who is mad at you. If emotional upset happens on a regular basis, your relationship will slowly degrade. Find a way to be nice to each other. That can be as simple as making a commitment to be kinder. If you express your commitment out loud, I promise it will make a difference — and please look in each other’s eyes and feel your connection when you do.

Make sure that you treat your partner better than anyone else in your life, including other family members. This is not to say that you mistreat other people, but you need to make sure that your mate feels special. That’s really all it takes, and by doing this, your love will grow a little bit every day.

Another tool is to acknowledge when your partner does something that you find special. Validating your partner strengthens your bond. We can’t relate in a vacuum, and if you want to create the happiness you both deserve, both of you need to show how much you care. Give it a try and let your positive emotions be your guide.

Barton Goldsmith, McClatchy Newspapers

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