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Veronica is a pretty happy person. Both feet on the ground, she starts each day with the anticipation that something wonderful will happen, and it usually does. “I am not talking about major events” she says. “I create those little daily attainable delights that make my life happy; sharing a meal with friends, playing ball with my four-paw, the saddest little rescue dog I adopted that gives me daily oodles of joy and love. My life, like most people's, is not without a number of big problems.”
Her boyfriend Cal is a good hearted man and a person of integrity. She cares for him deeply. Yet ... his negativity, his criticism of himself and others and his cynical needle sharp comments keep piercing her “balloon of happiness” and have deflated her feelings of love over time.
“Instead of savoring the little treats of life together; a walk through the park at dusk, a beach party with friends, a cup of tea while listening to magical music together – little and more intricate events I plan and always mindful of what he likes, he torpedoes just about every experience usually just as we are starting out. Feeling hurt over and over again, I recently spent several hours quietly reflecting on my life. I recognized sadly, that generally happy me has turned into generally deflated, unhappy me. My joy of life has gone.”
Veronica has a good sense what makes a relationship work. Indeed, those myriads of small joys in everyday life together, are the mortar in building a solid relationship. Shared pleasurable experiences strengthen the feelings of closeness and build a bank of good memories. Positive partnering, however, depends on good communication above all else. Without setting aside ten good minutes for each other every day, having clear and honest talks, listening without interrupting the other, being there for each other completely and entirely, no relationship has a chance for a happy ending.
Partners have to be able to make their true feelings known to each other without dishing out blame. In order to have a fruitful talk, each partner has to be quite clear as to what he or she believes the cause of the problem is. That means thinking about it, quietly.