These ideas sprung to life with special help from Ho’oponopono, the ancient Hawaiian practice of forgiveness. Its literal translation is ‘to put to right; to put in order or shape, correct, revise, adjust, amend, regulate, arrange, rectify, tidy up, make orderly or neat.” Many practitioners use “I’m sorry, please forgive me, I love you” as a mantra during their practice. So how can this help your relationship?
Check out these ten things you can say to your partner when your relationship is tough:
1. “Thank you for being someone I respect.”
There can’t be love without respect, and certainly anyone can take a good hard look at their partner and consider whether this is a person they can respect. When things are rocky, it can be helpful for your partner to hear that you respect them.
2. “I’m going to try harder to…”
This is especially important to show your partner that you are growing and changing. It may encourage some growth or change in them, or it might just be a wake-up call for them to take a look at their lives, but let them know about the changes you’re trying to make in the spirit of the growth of the partnership.
3. “I love you…” Be specific about why. “
I love you because you make me laugh and I love the way you take care of our kids.” “I love you because you make us coffee everyday.” Something along those lines. “I love you” is simple enough…this gets a little more into the why.
4. “Please forgive me…”
Again, be specific as to why. This harkens back to our Hawaiian notion of Ho’oponopono, where we specifically ask forgiveness for wrongs we have done to the other person. “Please forgive me for dinging your car the other day when I was driving it.” “Please forgive me for ogling that handsome young man.” You get the idea.
5. “Our kids are lucky to have a mom/dad like you.”
This is especially important coming from YOU. You’re the only other person in the world who knows what it’s like to raise your kids. You’re the only one who sees it from a uniquely parental role. So make sure you give them props for that.
6. “I’m proud of you for…”
Speaking of props, let’s check out #6!! Again, be specific on this one. It can be virtually anything from pretty small things (“I’m proud of you for getting the lawn mowed. What a great example you’re setting for our kids.”) to huge things (“Honey, I’m so proud of you for keeping a cool head when the grill exploded at the Barvidge’s house the other day. Everyone else freaked out and you just located a fire extinguisher and put out the blaze. The Fire Department even congratulated you when they showed up. I’m just so proud of you.”) but whatever it is, make sure you mean it and make sure you are specific about what it is.
7. “Thank you…”
Again, be specific as to why. Your gratitude shouldn’t be something that you give away lightly. Let your S.O. know what they did to please you, to incite such gratitude.
8. “I’m sorry…”
Once again, make sure you’re specific about what you’re apologizing for. This is the beginning of the Ho’oponopono mantra. So be specific why and offer how you’re going to improve next time. (“I’m sorry I didn’t turn the compost heap yesterday and now it’s stinky. I’ll be more aware of that and I’ll turn and water it today.”)
9. “How can I help take some pressure off today?”
By making this offering, you are showing your partner that you are cool and collected, that they are in a safe space with you. Whether they just need a sounding board or a backrub, if you offer this, be aware that you need to follow through with what they ask you.
10. “What do you need from me right now?”
This is the ultimate fight-defuser. Take all of the wind out of a fight quickly and easily with these words. It’s clear, direct, honest and to the point. You can’t really go wrong with this question.
Wishing you the best! Aloha!