Intimate relationships are the best and the worst of times and we can find ourselves at our best and at our worst within them. Arguments, fights, withdrawal, avoidance can happen even in a strong relationship. When we remember to speak from a heart of love, even in the heat of an argument, it is balm to our own soul and to the heart of the other.
But how to get there? Yes, count to ten and take a deep breath – those are all good calming and coping skills.
Seeing the other as a person teaching us patience in the moment and turning on our own self-observation is empathy in action. Listening to the words, responding with some acknowledgment and admitting some fault if there is fault to confess, can calm the other and even if the effort does not end in peace, we have kept our dignity and shown a new path to the other. Even saying the words out loud to each other may help – speak with me like we care for one another, talk to me with love or I want to really hear you, because I love you.