I told my wife last night that our tax guy left message saying we were owing taxes and needed more info from me. In short, we were expecting a refund and this didn't bode well for certain plans. Our guy didn't leave details on how much, so I was left to worry through the night. While I practiced basic stress-busting calming and soothing skills (since there was nothing I could do about the problem anyway) I still as the primary privider for our family still had considerable worry about the possible ramifications of this situation.
Kara came to me first thing this morning and said very kindly, "Now listen. I've thought about this and I don't want you to worry about the taxes and this is why: We're no longer newlyweds, we've learned a lot about money over the years and will learn more from this. I don't want you to worry. You're an amazing provider. You always pull things together for us." At the end she said, "I'm more worried about you than I am the money."
The problem is still there and we still have to deal with it. The difference is with a just few words and a lot of compassion she diffused all my worry in a single moment.
I am skilled in stress management. My skills were holding it at bay, but that was about it. However, a few well placed compassionate words from my partner did so much more than my individual skills could alone. That, my friends, is the power of a GREAT Relationship. There is a reason why successfully married couples have less stress and as a result live an average of seven years longer than their divorced, unhappily marred or single counterparts.
Kara could've got stressed herself, she could've been critical and she could've found fault. She didn't. Not only did she ease my concern, she made me feel great, made the problem easier to approach, and left me only loving her more.
This is a perfect example of being supportive, of fighting FOR your partner instead of WITH them, of taking your PARTner's PART.
— For more tips, strategies and resources for creating truly GREAT relationships with self and others visit http://JonathanSherman.net —