9 Things The Happiest Couples Do For Each Other Without Being Asked
Small gestures can have a big Impactn
By Kelsey Borrese
In a healthy relationship, people tend to give love and support freely and frequently. They don’t wait for a special occasion to show their appreciation. They genuinely enjoy doing nice things for one another “just because” ? no prompting necessary.
We asked relationship experts to tell us what kinds of things, both big and small, happy couples do for each other without being asked. Here’s what they had to say:
1. They check in with each other. “Whether it’s a ‘hello’ text or call to ask, ‘How did it go?’ the happiest couples reach out. They call to say, ‘I’m running late,’ or ‘We just landed,’ or ‘Do you need me to stop at the store on my way home?’ The message: I’m thinking of you. The result: A feeling of being connected, being a key part of each other’s lives.” ? Winifred M. Reilly, marriage and family therapist and author of It Takes One to Tango
2. They give each other compliments. “This doesn’t have to be a lovey-dovey compliment about being the best wife in the world, but even an offhand remark recognizing someone’s contribution, like ‘great dinner!’ Although some couples do well without positive feedback, the majority of people like at least a little bit of verbal recognition for their contribution, and happy couples are free with positive feedback.” ? Samantha Rodman, psychologist and dating coach
3. They surprise each other with a card, just because. “Giving your partner a card that says ‘Thinking of you’ or ‘Thank you for all you do’ is such a sweet gesture. It will make him or her feel special and it’s a great reminder to you as well of all you have to be grateful for. An added fun touch would be to leave the card somewhere your loved one will happen on it. My husband loves to leave cards for me in the refrigerator. I often leave his cards under his pillow.” ? Susan Pease Gadoua, marriage therapist and the co-author of The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels
4. They act generously, instead of keeping score. “Generosity is something freely given as a gift, with nothing expected in return. When a relationship feels secure, it is easy to want to offer more than your fair share of tasks or thoughtful gestures to show your love for your partner. Whether moving their clothes to the dryer for them or going on their favorite hike again, highly fulfilled couples tend to maintain great satisfaction from being thoughtful and generous toward their partner rather than scorekeeping.” ? Kari Carroll, couples therapist
5. They speak openly about their thoughts and feelings. “When partners feel that it’s like pulling teeth to get each other to divulge any thoughts or feelings, a relationship can feel very lonely. Happy couples may not communicate constantly on a deep level, but they do it frequently enough to feel that they really know one another.” ? Samantha Rodman
6. They surprise their partner with their favorite food. “We all know that food is nurturing and helps people feel connected. But when you go out of your way to bring home a special food you know they will love, it’s a wonderful way to put ‘I love you’ into action. If the favorite food is a meal that you make — rather than, say, a pint of Haagen Dazs — you’ll undoubtedly get even more points.” ? Susan Pease Gadoua
7. Or with a freshly washed car. “Regardless of whether you do the washing yourself or take the car to a car wash, when your partner sees their squeaky clean wheels on the street or in the driveway, he or she will likely be very grateful.” ? Susan Pease Gadoua
8. They’re in the habit of saying ‘thank you.’ “Despite the mundanity and complacency that can develop within a long-term partnership, a sure way to keep the fire alive and burning brightly is to watch your partner beam when you regularly notice and point out their contributions to your life. People want to be reminded they are of value to you, and secure couples understand that this should be frequent. Although you may assume your love to be understood, in reality, acknowledging your partner’s efforts and contributions consistently builds an even deeper connection.” ? Kari Carroll
9. And ‘I love you.’ “And they do it when it’s unprompted, unsolicited, and unexpected. In many relationships the ‘I love yous’ come more from one partner than the other. Typically one leads and the other follows. Too often I hear the excuse, ‘I don’t want to overuse it.’ In happy relationships, both partners initiate saying it and they mean it when then do.” ? Kurt Smith, therapist who specializes in counseling for men I
f your partner doesn’t do all of these things, don’t fret. Relationships are a work in progress, and if you’re not getting what you want out of it, you should ask. You aren’t a mind reader, so you can’t expect your partner to be one either.
Perfectionism, Anxiety & Bipolar Disorder
By LaRae LaBouff
17 Oct 2017
In some ways, perfectionism can be helpful. People who are perfectionists tend to produce high-quality work. They are typically on time or early and are always willing to go the extra mile. Perfectionists like learning something new to try over and over again until there are no mistakes. They can be highly successful people that consistently outperform their peers. However, there are downsides to perfectionism. A new study looks at perfectionism and its effects on bipolar disorder.
Perfectionism may be loosely defined as simply having high standards and wanting everything to be flawless. However, there are different types of perfectionism that have been defined by psychologists.
Self-oriented perfectionism is when a person has high standards for themselves. They are intrinsically motivated to make sure everything is as good as it can be. They dislike seeing errors in their work. Self-oriented perfectionists tend to have higher productivity and rates of success.
Other-oriented perfectionism is when people hold others to very high standards.
One person will expect another to perform at a higher level, even if the expectations are unrealistically high. It involves a lot of judgement from the perfectionist onto their counterpart. Other-oriented perfectionists may be hard to work with.
Socially-prescribed perfectionists are concerned with how others judge them. They perceive high standards set by those around them and strive to meet those expectations. Unlike the intrinsic motivation seen in self-oriented perfectionism, with socially-prescribed perfectionism motivation is extrinsic. People are motivated not because they want to be the best they can, but because they are expected to be. Socially-prescribed perfectionism can cause more psychological problems than other types of perfectionism.
Perfectionism can lead to a considerable amount of judgment and shame whether it is judging oneself or judging others. When it comes to being self-critical, anxiety often becomes a problem. More than half of people with bipolar disorder also experience at least one type of anxiety disorder. This can come in the form of generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder and social anxiety. Obsessive-compulsive disorder also appears in 17% of people with bipolar disorder.
New research from Justine Corry and associates, published in the International Journal of Bipolar Disorders, looks at whether perfectionism may have an effect on depressive or (hypo)manic symptoms as well. The researchers looked at 269 subjects, 24% have either bipolar I or II and there were 167 healthy relatives that were screened as well.
Those with bipolar disorder showed higher levels of anxiety than those without the disorder. This was consistent with all types of perfectionism. They also found that self-oriented perfectionism was associated with increased levels of depressive symptoms with particular focus on rumination. On the other hand, socially-prescribed perfectionism showed an association with (hypo)manic symptoms.
Increased anxiety can be a predictor of either manic or depressive episodes. Since anxiety is correlated with perfectionism, it is important to keep that perfectionism in check, no matter which type. There are a few steps to controlling anxiety-inducing perfectionism:
1 Learn to recognize it. This can include having impossibly high standards, black-and-white thinking, “should” statements and increased anxiety or depression related to high standards.
2 Focus on what is really needed, not what would be perfect.
3 Make realistic goals instead of optimal goals.
4 Set limits for yourself (time or otherwise).
5 Focus on priorities instead of the small stuff.
6 Forgive yourself.
7 Recognize that forgiveness isn’t always necessary, that mistakes are part of life.
If you are having an especially hard time with perfectionism and any mood changes that go along with it, make sure to contact your mental health care professionals. Additional psychotherapy or an adjustment in medication may be necessary.
Also known as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or ADD, is not a mental illness but a “brain-wiring” issue that affects 10% of the population. While usually seen in childhood, particularly in school settings, it remains alive and well for many into adulthood and can cause problems in jobs and relationships.
This disorder is a biological condition much like near-sightedness or diabetes and responds to treatment.
The problem is that the person with ADHD often is unaware of the condition but does realize that people around him or her get easily frustrated. While it may seem like your child or partner ignores your requests or forgets to do chores or help around the house, this is not a case of willful defiance or “laziness” or being “stupid”, it is a symptom of ADHD, Being easily distracted leads to forgetfulness and a failure to follow-through on promises. Everyone inviolved gets upset.
Your child or teen does not know what their problem is either except that it upsets their parents, teachers and spouses and they begin to feel like they are letting everyone down.
Untreated, AD/HD leads to anxiety and depression which become more serious issues.
Treated, the child becomes more responsive in class, listens to parents at home, does his or her chores and feels better about her or himself.
The adultIt becomes more responsible and reliable.
It is relatively easy for a qualified mental health professional or medical doctor to diagnose AD/HD and to suggest ways, using medication and other behavioral techniques to reduce the effect of the disorder.
If your child or husband or wife is easily distracted, loses things, cannot sit still, starts but doesn’t finish projects or has a difficult time staying organized or even reading a book, taking a look at AD/HD could help to improve everyone’s lives.