Compassion is one of the love values. Compassion is very different from pity. Compassion is difficult to convey in the written word. Have you seen people post on social media that they have suffered the loss of a loved one or a pet? How about that they have been in an accident or that someone they love has suffered an injury or illness? We all have. Notice the comments.  They routinely go along the lines of “I am so sorry that happened to you.”  Feeling sorry for someone is pity.  Offering to be there for that person if needed is compassion.

You may not like or agree with what I am saying. It is true.  Having compassion means fully embracing that someone you care about is suffering at this time and needs you to just be there. Your relationship needs this kind of love. This kind of love heals.  What do you do when your partner is experiencing pain? Do you hold them? Do you comfort them? Do you make sure that they know that you are fully present and listening?

Sometimes people believe that the way to show compassion for their partner is to “fix” the problem. If you feel that you need to fix the problem then you are not showing compassion. Your need to stop your partner from feeling pain is about you and not them. Here is an example of that:

Beth and Joe come home from work. There is so much going on in the house with the kids, dinner, homework, showers, and bedtime.  Beth looks really sad but the family is busy. Joe does notice that his wife looks sad but she doesn’t say anything so he doesn’t ask.  When all is settled, Beth begins to talk.  She tells Joe that she was let go from her job that day because the company was going out of business. She tells Joe that she is really sad.  Joe begins to start Googling jobs to see what jobs she can apply for. Beth just looks at Joe. Beth tells her husband that she doesn’t want to do that right now.  Joe gets mad and tells Beth that he is just trying to help.

It is so easy to read this story and see that this is not what needed to happen but….have you had situations very similar to this one?  Joe wants to fix Beth’s problem but Joe doesn’t see that what Beth really needs right now is compassion.  She needs to be held and loved. She needs reassurance and comfort. What about Joe? We forget about the other side of the coin sometimes, huh?  Joe knows his wife is sad and wants to help her by fixing the problem AND Joe needs compassion too. He is also thinking about how this will affect the family and their finances. Joe also needs to be comforted and reassured by his wife.

How do you approach these problems in your relationship? Compassion for what each partner is experiencing will make those situations much easier to come through together. Compassion will help you to keep your vulnerability. That vulnerability will bring you closer together so that you absolutely know that whatever comes…you will rise above it…together!

Many Blessings

Kari Petruch

The Relationship Reigniter

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