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Charity in the Couple


By Diane Simoni,
Mansfield – Many find delight in giving to charities. The delight is the “carrot” that might keep them doing “good.” People generally enjoy supporting the causes they find dear. And, perhaps they feel good because they did their duty or had a spiritual experience by their “involvement in something larger than they are.”
Yet, when it comes to charity in the home or in our relationships, barriers can exist and limit the practice of charity and the good feeling that can come from being generous.
Charity in couples means:

  • Giving the benefit of the doubt on the intention behind what our significant other did that hurt or bothered us. This includes allowing that they would take it back if they really knew how much it hurt us.
  • Giving up the desire for things to be our way so that we can give others a sense of “it’s ok what you did” (even if it did mess up our plans).

Exploring the Barriers
Here are some questions to ponder as to what might be hindering you from charity towards your partner:

  1. Does your partner not give to you and your sense of fairness is holding you back?
  2. Are you feeling too stressed because of life circumstances and/or not taking care of your own health and well-being?
  3. Do you think if you give then your significant other will keep on taking and you won’t have anything left?
  4. Has your loved one hurt you in a way that makes it hard to have feelings of endearment towards him or her? In other words, your partner is not a “cause you find dear”?
  5. Are you needing to reconcile first over some hurts within the relationship before you can exercise your generosity muscles?

Exploring well the barriers is the first step to making things more pleasant at home. Addressing the barriers is the next. Often, merely exploring them deeply is enough to allow us to step over them. Contemplating strategies to overcome the barriers can be done alone or with your spouse, a friend, a pastor, rabbi or therapist. Fortunately, just practicing charity within the couple can give us enough “carrots” to keep on going. And, when our partner senses our efforts, he or she may be encouraged by our example to do the same.
About The Author
Diane Simoni, LICSW, is a clinical social worker who provides counseling to couples, caregivers, families and adults with signs or symptoms of depression or anxiety facing overwhelming stressors, chronic illness or disability. She can be reached via email at Info@caringandcopingwell.com or by cell phone on (508) 243 – 7481. For more information, visit www.caringandcopingwell.com.