That saying, “actions speak louder than words” has to be your unspoken mantra now.
Talking is important, because only by talking will you begin to gain the clarity of the full scope of issues that, fairly or not, have been hidden from you.
All Posts in this Series:
- I Love You but I’m Not In Love With You, Meaning and Advice
- It’s Normal for Your Heart to be Afraid, but fighting for the Past Will Mean the End, So Start Accepting Your New Beginning
- What do I do with this Broken Heart? Avoid Requests for Space and Use Your Head to Think about what You Want
- Once Upon a Time We were Happy, and Suddenly it’s Over? The Heart Heals Slowly, don’t Fear the Future
- Intentions do not Win Hearts, Actions are the Secret, How to Start Connecting Today for a Happier Tomorrow ⇐ You are Here
- Say Yes to Everything and Reveal the Secret of the Heart
- Learn to Speak the Language of the Heart
- Become a Sex Master and Learn How to Heal the Heart with the Body
- It’s Time to Get Some Help, Starting Today
- Rekindling the Flame Can Sometimes Burn Too Hot, Use Caution While Reconnecting
- Some Words about Physical, Sexual, Verbal and Emotional Abuse
But telling your partner that you are going to change, how you’re going to change, when you’re going to change, or any other “assurances” you might want to make are going to sound desperate and hollow.
You need to show your lover that you are going to change. There are myriad ways you can do this, and it’s important to start thinking of them now and keep thinking of them.
What you’ll begin to see is likely to astonish you. It may be that you begin simply looking for actions you can take in order to “win them back”, or “impress them”. But what will end up happening is that you’ll actually begin to change subtly in many ways, and ultimately a transformation will take place, you’ll begin to develop a conviction of sincerity. Sincerity wins over manipulation in the long term.
To state it simply: You will start acting for them, and you will end up doing it for yourself.
This is ultimately where you need to get to, because when you sincerely start thinking about others, and less about yourself, you will begin to see the world in a different light. One of the most attractive aspects of humans is their altruism.
When a man helps others, a woman believes that man will be a good provider to her and her family. When a woman helps others, a man believes that a woman will think of him and his children first.
These are simplistic concepts, they speak to biology, genetics and evolution. All you need to understand is that everything that makes you more attractive, helps to increase your chances that your partner will begin to see a future with you again, and that’s what you are after.
Even if it feels like your efforts are going unnoticed, you have to keep it up. I assure you they will be noticed. Sometimes it really will be that some of your subtler actions aren’t noticed, but you never know what will be and what won’t be noticed, so get used to doing this all the time. It only takes one episode of hypocrisy to undo days, or months of effort.
Act the same when there are people around AND when there aren’t. Remember, the truest test of a person’s character is what they do when nobody is watching.
Sometimes it’s as simple as your partner doesn’t know what to do, or how to act. They might even think that you’re “putting on a show”. That’s why it’s so important to keep it up, that instills doubt into their assumption that you are “faking it”, which it’s natural for them to assume. Ultimately when this goes on for months, years, and ideally your whole life, they will begin to get the picture…You. Are. Serious!
Perhaps you’ve started letting yourself go, start regularly grooming yourself. We tend to become complacent about this given time and familiarity. We’ll groom ourselves for others, but not our lovers. This sends the message that you think less about your partner’s opinion than people you say you care less about.
Thoughtfulness and Chivalry:
People have said that chivalry is dead, and yet, I know a LOT of women that still appreciate it when a man opens a door for them.
If you are a man, take the time to run around to her side of the car and open the door for her, when she gets in close the door. If you haven’t typically done this, you will feel uncomfortable at first, do it anyway, do it until you don’t feel uncomfortable and especially do it where others can see, that tells her that you care more about her than what people think.
As a man, your goal should be to be a good role model for your kids and other people’s kids.
If you have a daughter and/or sons, you need to teach your sons the way to treat and respect a woman. If you have a daughter, you need to be setting the expectation for her so she knows how she should expect to be treated.
For a woman; compliment him. Talk about how much you appreciate what he does. Talk to him and do things for him using his “Love Language”.
Many men feel best when they feel that their partner understands them (just like women do). But if you take this to the next level, they like to feel interesting. If your man is constantly “boring” you with what he talks about, then get out there and research it. Get interested, know some things that allow you to talk on equal footing.
Most importantly, even if you don’t understand fully, he’s often not looking for you to solve it, just be a sounding board. However, when two men talk they do tend to throw out an idea or two (it’s in our nature). Being able to do so semi-intelligently can tell him that not only are you paying attention, but that you care.
Men want to feel important. They want to feel like they have some power over “their universe”. If you can help your guy feel like that instead of making him question himself and lose confidence, that’s going to be appreciated.
This can be huge, and don’t just do it for your partner, do it for everyone you can.
Basically, if you see something that needs doing, do it. If someone asks you for help, help them, and do it happily!
If you see that the dishes need to be done, do them. If you notice that laundry is starting to pile up, handle it.
If you see that mail is starting to pile up, even if you’ve never been an active participant regarding the month to month operations of the budget, express interest.
Sometimes when you attempt to do this you’ll get “push back”.
For example, I decided that I was going to help my wife with the laundry. Problem was, I didn’t know the first thing about colors, temperatures, clothing types, and the like. So when I attempted to help at first, it was a disaster!
My wife was both mortified and furious! I apologized and explained to her that I was trying to help and become more self-sufficient since it was possible that I would need to be doing this for myself someday and would really appreciate it if she could teach me the proper way that she did the laundry.
You see what I did there, I used our “situation” as a legitimate reason to be taught the “proper way” to do laundry, further implying that her way was the proper way. This gave her a legitimate reason to teach me, and legitimately allow me to do the laundry without her feeling guilty, and engaged the two of us in time well spent…with each other. She took pity on me and did just that.
My wife on the other hand, and this is something that happened much later after we’d started growing toward each other again, indicated that she’d like to better understand our financial situation. This is something that you can use as well if you are the one being left and you’ve not handled finances before.
I was thrilled, and jumped at the opportunity to spend more time with my partner and show her all that I consider and think about, I must say, her insight has been invaluable, she felt appreciated, and so did I because she had a far greater understanding of the stresses and worries I often went through alone.
Now, I could have approached this from a negative standpoint. I mean, what if she was trying to get a better idea of how to “live without me”? Or what if she wanted to know what our financial position was because she wanted to know what to go after?
This is where faith and trust come in. If you are trying to rekindle a flame, you can’t assume the worst about your partner. Of course, every situation is different, use common sense with yours.
It’s important to note that you MUST maintain calm. You cannot get frustrated. No matter how ineffective or embarrassed you feel (and I was pretty ignorant when it came to laundry), no matter how short tempered your partner gets while working with you, you have to stay very calm and level headed.
Did you notice what I mentioned in that paragraph above? I said, “You cannot get frustrated. No matter how ineffective or embarrassed you feel…”
That’s a really important point; people lash out not just because they are angry, but when they get into a situation where they need to defend! Remember that the next time your partner lashes out at you. Your lover may not be acting irrationally or angry for no reason like you may often think, it could be a self-esteem thing, meaning you aren’t the actual problem, they are. Building them up can go a long way toward your own personal happiness.
However, and this is a big deal, you are NEVER to allow your partner to abuse you. If you truly feel like you are being abused (name calling, cruel teasing, belittling, rage-filled screaming), you need to calmly explain to them that you would really like to “do this” (whatever this is) with them and deeply value their assistance (teaching, guidance, conversation, whatever) but you will not sit by and allow them to abuse you.
Inform them further that you will try again later when they have more time and can treat you with respect and then, this is the most important part, walk away and find something else to do!
You HAVE to establish your integrity, and by doing this you communicate to them that you will not be mistreated, you set expectations and you indicate that you’ve not given up, and that you’ll be approaching them again. You’ve drawn a line, and it MUST be respected by you, to be respected by them!
The ideal situation is that soon after, they come to find you and apologize to you, if not, wait until an opportunity presents itself and ask them if they’d be willing to please try to help you improve yourself by doing whatever it was you were doing (laundry, dishes, bills, continuing a conversation, whatever).
One last thing on abuse. If you are ever physically abused, even once, get out! That is not to be tolerated in any fashion! Nobody has the right to hit or hurt you on purpose, and if someone slaps or punches you it was NOT on accident, I don’t care what they say.
Physical abuse is not to be tolerated ever! If this is happening to you, your partner needs professional help, refuse any reconciliation of any kind until that help is sought out and pursued. You have to have proof that your partner is better because your life may very well depend on it!
If your partner has been asking you to do something for a while and you’ve been procrastinating, make sure that you do it.
In fact, if you can, always try to make it a team activity. Meaning, if you can somehow figure out a way to legitimately “need help” then ask your partner for help. Ask them if they would like to help you even if you don’t need help.
If they say no, do it by yourself and if you suffer, do it silently. If it’s a two-person job and your partner refuses to help, get someone that you trust to be “on your side”, but not judgmental. Sometimes these types of friends can be difficult to come by, but however you do it, get it done!
The point of having someone you trust, and that will be positive and non-judgmental, is that during these times, we’ll often reach out. It’s natural, people want to talk about these types of things and seek guidance. You don’t want someone to come in, listen and then condemn the person you love, or worse, start gossiping about them.
Reconciliation is hard enough without having to combat “he said, she said” type issues. Talking often helps, just make sure you surround yourself with people that are going to listen, maybe offer some good advice, sympathize, reserve judgment and keep you from making bad decisions.
Develop your Altruistic Spirit:
This is vital. As a person, you should be willing to help others, especially if it doesn’t hurt you.
I can speak with some authority to the fact that if you are willing to go a little out of your way to help others, this will speak volumes to your partner.
This altruistic spirit in general makes you more attractive, but there are a few key people that often will help expedite these feelings and make them deeper felt, in order:
- Aging parents both yours and your partners
- Your children, and your partner’s children (from another relationship)
- Your lover’s siblings
- Your partner’s friends
- Organizations that the relate to (animal shelters, VA concerns, homeless shelters)
An important note: Charitable money contributions are fine, but will not work nearly as effectively as actually doing what needs doing with your own two hands! If it’s important to win back your partner’s respect, you’ll make the time and spend the effort. You’ll also come out the other side of this a better more complete person, regardless the outcome between you and your partner. It’s worth it!
Your partner and others will begin looking at you differently, they will see you as a wonderful human being. It is very difficult to “hate” a wonderful human being.
But don’t escape through altruism. This like all things can be overdone and you’ll end up potentially neglecting your duties as a wife/mother or husband/father.
The truly ideal situation is if your partner engages in the assistance of another person or group of people with you. Now you are spending some of the best quality time you can spend and those that cooperate to solve problems that help others, tend to be able to solve their own problems as well…assuming their efforts are sincere and not “for show”.
I’ll end this with a story…
Once while I was at my mother in law’s place, there were a pile of dishes and the kitchen was a mess because they’d been preparing food for a good many people.
I was agonizing over the ongoing realization that I could be losing my whole world, as was my daily “thing” these days.
So, in an attempt to occupy my mind, and help my aging in-law’s, I started doing the dishes and cleaning up.
It’s important to understand that my true intention was to help my mother in-law, but also for the selfish reason of numbing and occupying my mind. I did not do this to gain any “love capital” with my wife.
I was nearly complete with the entire task before people really started to notice. The reactions were varied.
My brother in-laws teased me, even implying that I made a nice maid or something similarly sexist.
My mother in law thanked me heavily, but insisted that I need not bother.
My father in law started teasing me gently, and then ended it with “thanks for being such a great son and helping mom”.
My wife passed through the kitchen, causing me to tense because I suddenly realized that this might “look bad”. Like I was intentionally trying to “make an impression”.
All she did was kiss me on the cheek and said, “thank you”.
From that day on, whenever I’m there, I always make an effort to help out especially when I see something that needs doing, even though nobody asks.
This had the effect of causing my brother in laws to help out more. Perhaps it was shame, perhaps not, but regardless I’d become “an example”. It also cemented the fact that I was consistent, and not doing it for any kind of gain, but because I wanted their life to be a little easier as they age, and that was my true motivation, nothing else.
Does that make me a good person, perhaps more worthy in some way? That’s not for me to decide, but it sure feels good, and they appreciate it! Does it make me more attractive? Perhaps to some, perhaps less to others…but without a doubt it made me more attractive to my wife…and who else matters?
Keep Vigilante for Opportunities to Show Change:
The point of all this is to use actions, whether observed or not, to show that you are serious about change not only to your partner, but to yourself!
You can’t tell people that you’re going to do something, because too few people actually follow through anymore. You especially can’t simply tell your partner who likely is (currently) prone to disbelieve anything you say for myriad reasons.
Always keep your mind open and creative juices flowing for ideas to show you care, show you’re serious, show you’re changing, and ultimately increase your value as a partner…and more important, as a person.
Long lasting attractiveness is in actions. The other consequence is that you will be a more well-rounded person and a positive role model to your children, and other people’s children. We need many more of those, especially today. Teach your kids and others how to treat people, and how to expect to be treated. That will make your world and the world in general a much better place, period.
The next part of the series is: Say Yes to Everything and Reveal the Secret of the Heart