If empathy is out of reach for you because your partner has screwed up one too many times I have a secret for you. There is a little work you need to do first. Remember, when your partner messes up, your Goblin springs into action. Defensiveness, blaming and shaming flood your mind and the doors of your heart swing shut.
If you are committed to your mate, forgiveness must be part of your game plan. In the popular book, The Forgiving Self, Dr. Robert Karen expresses it this way:
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“All sustained relationships depend to some extent on forgiveness. People hurt each other no matter how much love they share, and it's a truism that the greatest hurts are meted out by the closest of intimates.
No friendship, no marriage, no family connections of any kind would last if the silent repairative force of forgiveness were not working almost constantly to counteract the corrosive effects of resentment and bitterness.
Without forgiveness there could be no allowance for human frailty. We would keep moving on, searching for perfect connections with mythical partners who would never hurt or disappoint.
The wish to repair a wounded relationship, whether it takes the form of forgiveness, apology, or some other bridging gesture, is a basic human impulse. The need to forgive may be as strong as the need to be forgiven.”
Once you have forgiven empathy is possible. Empathy, seeing life through your partner’s eyes and purposing to feel what they feel is the final step of the Intentional Dialogue Process after Mirroring and Validating.
When your partner receives the loving intent you hold by choosing the self discipline of this technique, chances are the heat you generate will be the fun kind. There is nothing like Make Up Sex!
Make a one week commitment to practice this Intentional Dialogue Process for a few moments every day. Don’t wait for a conflict. If you practice this in simple conversation, it may feel contrived at first, but go through with it anyway, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the amazing results. And report back on how it’s working for you!
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