Principle 2: Nurture Your Fondness and Admiration
Work to increase/recall/unearth positive emotions about each other.
The ‘fondness’ and ‘admiration’ aspects of couple relatedness are the antidote to contempt - it is a buffer to stressors due to a fundamentally positive view of each other. If current relational situation seems negative, the therapist may want to look to the past for positive times/basis. Fondness and admiration prevents the ‘four horsemen’. Without Fondness and Admiration, the relationship has little if any basis. Increasing discussions (acknowledging and open discussion) of the positives of the partner will help the fondness and admiration.
Tools to Improve Fondness and Admiration
- Fondness and Admiration Questionnaire: Take this self-assessment to delineate the current state of fondness and admiration in your relationship. You will find it on Page 26.
- Exercises: You'll also find the following exercises in the Couples Workbook. Print it out if you haven't and get started!
- ‘I appreciate…’ - Listing things that one appreciates about the partner + Ground it in an incident - then share it with your partner.
- ‘The History and Philosophy or Your Marriage'- Highlight the positive history and the love/great expectations which brought the couple together.
- ‘Seven Week Course in Fondness and Admiration’ - This exercise schedules a daily rehearsing of positive thoughts and a related tasks.