Do You Treat Your Loved Ones Different?

My Monday was filled with many distractions, a long to-do list, lots of traffic on every road I traveled, and I felt tired all day.  When it came time to tackle dinner, my mind was already made up.  I just didn’t want to do one more thing!  I have learned that anytime my mind is on a negative path, things will not end well.  And that’s precisely how the next hour went, not well.

As with most evenings, my husband sits across the kitchen bar and chats with me while I prepare dinner (something I always enjoy).  But because my attitude was fixed on how lousy my day was, I was the last person anyone needed to be around.  I could feel myself becoming irritated at the conversation.  Before I knew it, bread and packages of tortillas were being tossed toward my husband, and I said several unkind words.  It was not good, and I felt ashamed of my behavior and how I felt entitled to act as I did.  I wouldn’t have behaved this way around a friend or in public.  Why did I feel so comfortable taking my bad day out on my husband?

Thankfully, he gave me grace, and we  finished the evening without further drama or insults.

Do we treat our loved ones differently?

Later in the evening, I reflected on what had happened earlier.  As I thought about my relationships outside my home, I realized that I often talk to others more respectfully than the people closest to me.  Maybe it’s because I don’t spend as much time with others?  Maybe, I have grown comfortable enough to show my true colors around my family, not needing to make a good impression?  Perhaps I have started to take my loved ones for granted, which has led me to show less respect?  The reasons for me may be different at times, but I’ll admit, I am guilty.

What about you?  Do you talk to your spouse or those closest to you less kindly than you do your best friend?  Do you have less patience with your loved ones than those you meet in public?

How to improve?

If we want good marriages and healthy relationships with those we love, taking a look at making some healthy changes may be needed.

Improvement for me begins with becoming more aware of the differences in how I speak and act toward the various people in my life.

Next, I need to be brutally honest and ask, Am I taking my loved ones for granted, believing they will always be here?  Do I give them the same respect that I give to others?

Finally, the most effective practice I have learned is to think of three things I am grateful for about my loved one.  Pausing and being grateful is particularly helpful when I catch myself feeling irritated.  The truth is, negativity and gratitude cannot reside in the same space.

Here’s my gratitude list from the other evening

I consider myself lucky to have a husband who comes home from work and wants to spend time sharing conversations about our day.

My husband is my biggest supporter and rarely criticizes me.

Earlier in the day (before my nasty outburst), my husband had asked me to go out to dinner.  Maybe he knew I needed a break?

Now it’s your turn

Whatever happened yesterday cannot be relived, but the conversations you have today with those you love will make a  difference in your relationships.  You get to choose.

You may also find a past article T.H.I.N.K helpful!

Every day I get to have conversations with clients who want to create healthy boundaries and healthy relationships.  If you could use some help in this area, I would love to have a conversation with you!


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