5 Ways to Show Your Partner You Care — Just by Being Mindful

Mindfulness is a practice that has been used for thousands of years to reduce stress and increase brainpower. But you can even use mindfulness to improve your relationships.

Just think, if you were to call your spouse right now and ask them, “On a scale of 1-10, how loved do you feel by me today?”Would they say 10? Probably not. But that’s no reason to worry. There are many different ways that you can show your partner how much you care without spending a lot of money or disrupting your work schedule.

Mindfulness is a simple technique shown in countless clinical trials as an effective way to boost overall health and drop stress levels. It has even been shown to change your brain! So, how can mindfulness help your relationship?

5 Ways to Use Mindfulness to Show Your Partner You Care

  1. Take a Breath. If you and your partner are like most couples, you disagree at times. You argue and sometimes (ok, most of the time) you hurt each other’s feelings. That is completely expected. However, over time, it can lead to resentment, hostility and even stonewalling. Practice mindfulness as a way to show your partner you care any time you feel frustrated with them. In that moment, just before you express your annoyance STOP. Take a deep breath in through the nose for 5 seconds, (1-2-3-4-5). Then, release the breath for 5 seconds out of your mouth (1-2-3-4-5) and as you do, change your reaction. Opt instead to just listen to your partner and let the argument pass if you are able to. That’s how you can mindfully avoid conflict and show them you care.
  2. Give a Compliment. When you get the chance, it is ideal to compliment your partner in order to support their healthy self-esteem. However, if you are not aware of the opportunities you may not take advantage of them. Practice mindfulness by focusing your attention on your mate, and when you can compliment them. Look for chances to tell them about their great work, good looks, loving heart and any other positive attribute. The rest of the world will do its job of focusing on your partner’s flaws — so, show them you love them by doing just the opposite.
  3. Silence Their Critic. One of the hardest parts about being human is the critic inside our own minds. That inner voice may say things like, “You’re not attractive,” “You don’t make enough money,” or “You’re fat.” But as a spouse or romantic partner, you can use your mindfulness to help silence that critical voice inside their head. Become more aware of moments when your mate may be paying attention to that “critic” with a loving touch during a stressful moment or a supportive comment when you know they are struggling. That’s all it takes to show them you see them and that you care.
  4. Avoid Triggers. In any relationship there are times when your personality simply clashes with the other person. This is common in romantic relationships just as much as any other. However, the special bond between romantic partners is one that should be honored with peaceful communication. Show your partner that you care by being mindful of their personal triggers. This may include some for anger, sadness, irritation, self-consciousness and other painful emotions. So, use your mindfulness to AVOID those triggers — at all costs! It may just save your relationship.
  5. Invite Them. Mindfulness can happen any time during your day or night and your partner doesn’t need to know you’re practicing a technique. But you can also ask them to join in with you during a mindfulness practice by trying something more engaging like the mind/body mindful practice of yoga, or even a simple breathing exercise. Inviting your partner into your mindfulness practice is a great way to show them you care and that you want them to also be more present in your relationship. This can help you to also cultivate a greater sense of peace between you.

Talking to a Relationship Counselor about Your Spouse

Your relationship might be one of the most important things in your life. And if you truly value it, you will put the relationship with your spouse at the top of your priority list. Consider talking to a relationship counselor about your struggles or how to approach communicating better by applying mindfulness to your relationship. In clinical studies, practicing mindfulness within romantic relationships was shown to not only help with satisfaction, but also reduce emotional stress, resolve conflicts and encourage a positive perception of the relationship. So, start with these 5 tips to be more mindful with your spouse. Then, also consider talking to your partner about including a counselor in your relationship to further develop your connection together.


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Wildwood Daze – Winter of 1979 – Tools of the Trade

I think because I was doing well in school and they had failed me as parents in my obvious musical upbringing and had handed over their money to Mr. Buckwalter to teach my sister Janice piano lessons so she could please my dad and not be able to play a fucking note they had no choice.

I started to think about buying a real guitar. I was excited about the notion of getting a REAL guitar. Obviously, this rock and roll thing was sticking and I needed a proper instrument. Jim had a Fender Stratocaster and it was a good guitar but it was brown and sensible. A Gibson Les Paul was simply too heavy and way too expensive.

I wanted something that would define me as a rock star. I wanted something else. Everybody played Fender, Gibson, Yamaha, Guild, and whatever boring guitars were out there. A Gibson Explorer crossed my mind but looked too bulky. A Dean looked too much like everything else.

One day I was reading Creem or Circus magazine, (Other than Rolling Stone, they were the two leading music mags of the time) I saw Paul Stanley from the band Kiss playing an interesting-looking ax. The way it looked really touched something in me.

Yes. That was the guitar for a future rock star.

I had to have that.

A 1979 Black Ibanez Iceman. Double humbucker pickups. Rosewood neck, and a sexy young body. Just like the girls I liked. That hook. That stinger. Yes!

I had to have that guitar.

Jim had introduced me to a guy that gave guitar lessons in town. He was an older dude whose father owned a storefront down on Pacific avenue when that meant something. It was a radio and TV repair store. A dusty old place that felt like its time had come and gone.

I was surprised how many people Jim knew at his tender age, but he was a seeker and was always thirsty for knowledge. He somehow found Charlie Billaris the son who was this great guitar player back in the day.

He introduces me to Charlie and he’s a really nice older guy. (Now when I say older, I mean back then, the late twenties because we were so young) He had been teaching Jim some songs and I thought he was cool.

We would sit in this old store full of old TVs and radios and just jam. It was beautiful and primitive. He had taught Jim and I wanted some of that. I think I would give him ten bucks and he would teach me songs by Led Zeppelin and basic blues runs.

Charlie was a great guitar player. He had once played in a band called 12 Gauge years ago but they never made it and now he worked in his dad’s shop. I wondered how a guy that was this good had never gone forward to pursue music full-time. But he was married now with a baby and had already been burned out from the circuit. I assured him that would never happen to me. I was going to be a rock star like Joe Perry and become a great songwriter.


“Yea, man.”

“How can Keith Richards be such a drug addict and still perform and make great records with the Stones?”

“When you got it… you got it.”

That was his only answer. He was right. Simple and complete. He was older. He knew stuff.

He taught me so much. I got better. I started to really understand my little Silvertone guitar so much better. Under Charlie, I wrote better more melodic songs and was really coming along as a guitar player. I wanted it so bad it was coming on fast. My mind was starving for rock and I just breathed it all in. I would go home and learn the songs and keep writing and playing non-stop in my room.

One day Jim and I were at Charlie’s house just hanging out and jamming. Jim starts talking about how I was thinking about getting a REAL guitar.

I tell Charlie the guitar I’m dreaming about.

“I can get you that. But I have to go to New York to get that baby. She’s rare.”

I had to clear that whole transaction with my parents because it would be my entire savings from working as a busboy all summer at the Dolphin restaurant for this guitar.

I think because I was doing well in school and they had failed me as parents in my obvious musical upbringing and had handed over their money to Mr. Buckwalter to teach my sister Janice piano lessons so she could please my dad and not be able to play a fucking note they had no choice.

It was money I had earned being a busboy so they technically couldn’t say shit. I’m doing my homework. I’m excelling as a student. I’m not getting into trouble. I’ve somehow adjusted to this nightmare I’ve been dropped off into so let me do what I want with my money.

I gave Charlie $250 to go get the guitar of my dreams in New York City. That seemed like a world away back then.

A week later I get a call from him and he says he’s back and he has her.

I call Jim. We have to go together to collect my dream!

We walk out to Charlie’s house and I’m excited and apprehensive. This is the biggest purchase of my life and it’s tied to my greatest love of all time. MUSIC!

We knock on his door and his wife answers. (Lisa was a hot little blonde. Just saying….musicians pull sweet tail)

We go in and Charlie comes out. We’re nervous and excited because we both are anticipating what’s supposed to happen. We sit down and he offers us both a beer. We’re teenage boys so of course, we’re going to respect and accept but we’re not really drinkers. (Yet… Me. Not Jim)

We’re nursing out beers trying to be cool during this watershed moment in my young life. Then he brings out this black rectangle flight case and lays it on the sofa like a coffin. My mind can’t comprehend what’s inside of that box.

“Go ahead. Open the case.” Charlie’s wife is smiling.

I set my beer down and go to the flight case. I unsnap the buckles and locks on the case. I slowly raise the lid.

Tears fill my eyes.

There she is!

That’s my new axe! That’s my girl! That’s going to be what will carry me forth in rock and heavy metal in my future. I already feel that I am going to go beyond Wildwood and everything in my worthless anxiety-filled life with her!

On the little box inside the case where you keep your picks, slide, and other cool goodies I decorated it with twin skulls, a little scarab, and a miniature Iceman pin!

This IS Rock and Roll. I have arrived on life’s stage as a musician. A worthless nothing with depression and anxiety has taken a step to strap on an elegant guitar to make great music for the world and be a star!

I remember my eyes not being able to accept the instrument before me. The possibilities with Jim. The songs we would write. The incredible jams. The songs we would play together on stage. Everything was coming together for me. My dreams were coming true!

I told Charlie I had the other half of the money in my account. (That guitar cost $500 in 1979. That’s a shitload of cash for a busboy back then. That’s basically all I made that summer) He is hesitant to let her go, but his wife intercedes.

“They’re good boys. Let him take it.” (Is she into me?)

I promise to bring Charlie the difference tomorrow, and they let Jim and I leave with my brand new battle-ax.

I had to stop two times on the way home and open up the case and just look at her again because she was so beautiful. She was the most beautiful guitar I had ever seen and I couldn’t believe she was mine. Having this guitar and looking upon her was like taking little Terri to Star Wars and kissing her for the first time and feeling what love was.

It was just an amazing time-stopping moment to stand under the street light at 22nd and Central with my best friend and favorite guitarist and open that case and look at that guitar.

It reminded me of when I was there when my mom first saw the shore house completely remodeled by my dad.

“Oh Hoss… this is too nice for us.” my mother said.

This was too nice for us. But I’m an overachiever and this is the perfect guitar for me.

I have arrived.  I just hope Jim and I can make the band work out.

Here’s an amusing footnote: The Ibanez Iceman that brought me years of joy upon acquiring it cost me a whopping $500 in 1979. An incredible instrument!

A friend of mine recently sent me this…

Nice investment that I’d like to be buried with.

Oh, and still rocking out today…

Here’s a song I used to love to listen to at the beach in the summer of 79. Great pop song and solo.


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