Sharing about caring

In couple dialogue, we often share gratitude with our partner for ways in which they have cared for us. This activity looks at caring from a slightly different angle by asking us to reflect more deeply on what we choose to do to care for our partner, and why. 

Step 1: Individually, write down 2-3 answers to the question “How do I care for my partner emotionally, spiritually, or physically?”  Try to be as specific as possible, e.g, “I care for my partner by making time to be present to them when they’ve had a bad day at work because….” or “I care for my partner by giving them a back massage because….” 

Step 2: Briefly share your lists with each other, using reflective listening to make sure you understand what is being said.

Step 3: After sharing, take turns as the “speaker” in the Couple Dialogue format to explore what has risen up about assumptions, feelings, or patterns in caring. Possible prompts can be:

Remember to use I-Statements (I feel...when...because) and reflective listening to provide structure for the sharing. The goal of the dialogue is not to solve any problems, but to raise awareness of patterns and preconceived notions about what caring should look like in your relationship, 

[This is based on an activity shared at an ongoing monthly Couple Enrichment Group by Laurel Benfield in Durham, NC, 2023]