Kindness: Not what I said, but how you mean it | Columns

The Taos News is committed to putting together a weekly column to help educate our community about emotional healing through grief. People can write questions to Golden Willow Retreat, and they will be answered privately and possibly in a future article for others. Please enter a first name that allows printing.

I’ve noticed lately that my husband and I are going to get into the most “silly” arguments that can cause major damage to our sustainability in the relationship. We’ve seen a lot of losses over the past year, and it seems like this is the time when we could be each other’s support rather than the other’s saboteur.

Ideas and thank you,

You touch on many interesting topics with this question. Support, partnership, and healing from a loss are all very important and can be difficult to navigate any day and especially after a loss. When you experience a loss, you will find that many aspects of your life will be disrupted, including daily routines, conversations, and daily supports. If you think of life as a continuous seesaw and continually try to balance that seesaw, the loss takes the balance away, causing varying levels of chaos. You will consciously and subconsciously try to restore balance and through the natural, normal process of grieving healing you will slowly begin to redistribute the weight on the seesaw until there is a new normal in your body. life. It doesn’t mean that you replaced your loss, but that you redistributed the weight to reduce the drastic changes in your pace of life. In relationships, you may find that you are irritated by your partner because they feel like they are disturbing your balance on this seesaw.

Your internal dialogue may have a theme such as “If it were only done this way, my life would be easier”. The problem is, everyone has their own drum they walk towards, and the key to relationships is finding a way to have a level of normalcy by honoring the other’s drum rather than just hearing yours and yours. require the other person to live the same way. like you. When the drums are in sync, there can be a magical harmony called a healthy relationship. When there is loss or transitions in life, there is often a higher level of anxiety, which can make you more irritable, sensitive and impulsive (of course, this also applies to your partner). Control seeps into this arena and you may start to want your partner to do it your way and dance to your drum beat. This leads to a power struggle, where each person in the relationship demands the other to do their own thing and then more friction is added to the relationship.

Communication is what is needed in relationships, especially during difficult times. I believe there is great importance in how something is said, as opposed to what is said, in conversation. If you feel safe and feel that your feelings are being taken into account in the conversation, you will be able to hear with an open mind rather than defensive or aggressive. When you or your partner asks a genuine question, it is a way of being vulnerable, so if you immediately react to what has been asked, minimize the question, ignore it or do not take it seriously, your partner will have tendency to retract or go back. Finding a way to listen with an open mind and heart, and asking when you are unclear or have a need, in a loving and kind form, can overcome huge differences with the relationship and enable healing. for you and your partner individually and as a couple. If there is security in the conversation through kindness, miracles happen. I wish you good luck and please stay safe. Until next week, take care of yourself.

Golden Willow Retreat is a non-profit organization focused on emotional healing and recovery from all types of loss. Direct questions to Dr. Ted Wiard, EdD, LPCC, CGC, Founder of Golden Willow Retreat [email protected] or call 575-776-2024. Free weekly virtual bereavement groups are offered to help support emotional well-being. Information is accessible via

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