In families, love can range from downpour to drought

Jan Kwiatkowski, LMFT, is a psychotherapist and mental health consultant for Aurora Family Service in Milwaukee, WI.

Within the past few days, my husband and I drove from Madison, WI to Richmond, VA.

While we were in Madison, it rained. Well, it sort of rained. I was in attending a class.

My husband spent the day waiting for me and we left for Richmond right after the class. When we met after class, one of the first things we asked each other was if the other got rain. The area I was in got two minutes of a rain. My husband was a block away and didn’t get any.

On the trip, we encountered a little rain, here and there. Arriving at the Richmond city limits, we were greeted by thunder, lightening and a hard rain. Our hosts mentioned that it’s been really wild, weather-wise and that they never know what to expect. They complained that when the rain comes, it comes in really hard, with destructive downpours, spectacular lightening, thunder and damaging winds. We all said we were hoping for a steady, nourishing and constant rain. I’ve heard or made that comment more than once in the last several weeks and my guess is so have you.

I think it’s like that with showing love in families. There are times in all the stages of family life, when love, like rain, is evident in abundance. The flip side is also true. Families can experience times when the experience of love is very dry or comes unexpectedly, and with big display. Just like all living things in the natural world need water on a consistent basis to mature and bloom, every person alive needs love on a consistent basis to mature and bloom.

Families have differing styles of showing love. Some do things for each other. Some are more verbal about saying “I love you.” Some families use gifts or other tangible tokens. Others use physical touch, like hugs, running hands through the hair, high fives, etc. Whatever family members do show love for each other, it’s important that they do so consistently and with intention. With our crazy, busy lives we all, often forget to consistently and intentionally, let the people most important to us, know that they are loved.

If you haven’t before, try to take notice this week of your families’ style of showing love to each other. Do family members all have the same style? Is your family pretty consistent or are you in a dry period? Remember, too. that every family has dry periods and most survive. It’s when the dry periods become drought, that families start to wonder if their family will survive. If you’ve gotten into a bit of a dry period, be the one to make a more towards love. If you or your family’s dry period is concerning you, we at Aurora Family Service are here to help. Give us a call at 414-345-4500.

I’m curious. How do you show love in your family? How do you know that you are loved? What tips your family members off to possible dryness or drought? I’ll look forward to your comments.

Aurora Family Service helps families overcome challenges, changes and crisis to live well again. We achieve stability and strength for families through counseling, parenting, elder care, financial, career, health and community services.  For more information, visit our website, follow us onFacebook, or call 1-414-342-4560.

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