If the goal of your relationship is to have a harmonious connection with your partner, then having quality responses should be your objective. The way in which you respond to your partner is important in the sense that they will judge you by your actions. The more poorly you respond, the less your partner can trust you with what is meaningful to them. The more you respond in an emotionally reliable manner, the more room you create for intimacy. Furthermore, your responses to your partner’s attempts to be intimate can be viewed as a test of your character. How will you respond?
Sometimes, your partner’s attempts to create intimacy is an effort to repair the damage of something hurtful they might have done. It is important that you respond to such attempts in a manner that allows the intimacy to flow between you and your partner. Responding in any other way will possibly deter your partner from giving as much effort the next time they have a desire to do something meaningful or attempt to repair some hurt they may have caused. Your responses to your partner, over time, condition their behavior towards you. You can use this dynamic of your relationship to create and allow intimacy to happen or you can use it to drive your partner away.
One particular case involved a person who was seeing me about his relationship issues with his wife. John was struggling with his frustrations towards his wife about how she would often criticize him. However, his real frustrations had to do with her never apologizing for her wrongdoings and not owning her part in their…