Paul Cockayne – 07791 970406 – firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a sort of counselling “blog” to give you a flavour of how I work. You can find more information about me by clicking one of the links on the right of this page
How can we tell that our partner cares about us? What are the signs that we matter to them?
For different people, different things are important. For some, hearing the words “I love you” can mean a lot, for others, they are “just words”. For them, it may that little gifts are more important, or maybe it’s just about spending time together, laughing at each other’s jokes. And of course, for many, the physical side of a relationship is very significant, whether that is full sexual intercourse, or just hugs, kisses and cuddles.
I remember working with a couple who were both desperately trying to show love. For the woman, a significant sign was keeping the house in a good condition, so she spent a lot of time cleaning, tidying, and generally creating the dream home. For her, this was what a good, loving wife does – it was something that her mum had always prided herself on, and something that her dad valued highly. Unfortunately those things did not matter to her partner! In fact, he saw the state of the house as irrelevant and her constant clearing as annoying and obsessive. For him, it was much more important to have fun together, so he used to lark about, trying to make his partner laugh and forget the drudgery of housework. Again, this reflected his happy memories of childhood; his parents were separated and sometimes things were difficult, but he loved the times where mum or dad would forget their worries and spend time playing with him and laughing. So for him, having fun was really important and to see his partner relaxing and having a laugh made him feel that all was well in the relationship. Needless to say, his partner hated this! “He’s always mucking about when there are important jobs to do,” she’d say. She saw his attitude as flippant and childish, not as the sign that he loved her.
This couple were both trying to show love in the way they liked to receive it themselves, not in the way their partner liked to receive it. He wanted her to have a laugh, so he was constantly trying to lighten things. She wanted him to work hard for the relationship, so she set an example by throwing herself into the domestic chores.
Counselling can help you to identify this sort of pattern in your relationship – and once you identify what makes your partner feel loved, it can make it much easier to show your love in an effective way.
There is a theory around all this, commonly called “The 5 Love Languages” and you can find tests online that help you to identify which of the five languages mean most for you. My personal view is that there are six languages, humour being the sixth, and someday I’ll devise a better test to incorporate this idea….