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Here at Core Values, there’s a phrase we tend to return to: Are you turning towards your partner?

What does that mean, exactly? Well, it can mean a lot of things.

Turning towards your partner means going back inside after you’ve stormed out. It means, even when you just want to be angry and distant and leave, you choose to be present.

Turning towards your partner means listening — really listening — when they tell you about their day.

Turning towards your partner means leaving work early when you get the chance to go be with them, rather than waste an hour dilly-dallying at your desk.

It means making the choices, both little and large, that centers your partner as important in your life.

It means little, tiny turns — smiling instead of zoning out, reaching out to hold a hand while you’re driving, helping them clean up.

It means big, enormous turns — saying no to job offers, relationship offers, or any tempting offer that, while exciting, you know will pull you away from your partner in some way.

Turning towards your partner is an active, daily choice. Sometimes it’s an easy choice; sometimes you want nothing more than to throw your arms around your partner and hold them forever. Those are wonderful moments.

But sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes it’s real sacrifice, sometimes it’s growing when you want to rest, sometimes it’s letting go of big dreams or bigger paychecks. Sometimes it’s going inside when you want to drive away.

Turning towards your partner is a choice. Sometimes it’s easy, and sometimes it’s hard, but it is an essential, powerful choice if you want your relationship to flourish. Without it, any kind of healthy relationship just isn’t possible.

So how will you turn towards your partner today?