If I were to ask you what you think is a question that you could ask your mate that would require a great deal of courage on your part, what would you choose as your question?
One of my male clients dared to ask his wife this question.
“What is it like to have me as your husband?”
This man’s wife looked at him to see if he was serious. When she saw sincerity staring back at her, she said, “Well you haven’t said anything hurtful lately, but I can’t remember the last time that you said anything really nice.” Ouch! How would you react if your spouse were that honest?
At one point David and I interviewed a group of newlyweds to find out how they felt about the interaction between their mates and themselves. We were surprised at what we heard. The major complaint was that their partner did not give them enough verbal expression of affection. So we pressed in a little more and asked the young men what they would like to hear. They gave us this list:
“I’m so proud of you.”
“I love you.”
“I desire you.”
“I value you.”
“I find you so handsome.”
“I am so grateful that you love me.”
I believe that there are many older men and any number of women who long to hear similar words of affirmation.
When is the last time that you verbally championed your husband? How long has it been since you told your wife how
she takes your breath away? Do you elevate your mate when you are talking to your family and friends? Do you bite your tongue when you are tired and/or irritated?
Teeth marks on our tongue can demonstrate a tremendous amount of maturity.
Let’s use our head in order to save our hearts. Marriages don’t just naturally grow they naturally stagnate.
Over and over I stress to my married clients that working on a marriage would be better described as working on yourself so that you bring your best self to your interactions with each other.
Speaking constructively, first of all, begins with really seeing your spouse. How are you going to champion each other if you have not trained yourself to be observant?
No one wants to be invisible to the person he or she loves.
Years ago I had yet another embarrassing experience in our marriage. Dave had shaved off his mustache and I am ashamed to say it took me two days to notice. I am the therapist who stresses to my couples the importance of being aware. Oh my, I had to eat humble pie and confess to my dear husband my preoccupation on less important matters.
The opposite of love is not hate it is indifference. There is no rejection that hits quite as deep as indifference from a spouse.
On the other hand when our mate notices and encourages us our step is a little lighter, we walk a little taller, and we can even enjoy our own quirkiness a little more. After all we feel loved.
Do you remember how affirming you each were during the dating period? Now that you are married the need to notice and appreciate your spouse isn’t over. You got the prize now you have to be intentional about prizing the prize.
Do you champion your spouse?
If so, you have a very fortunate mate. If not, as Nike’s slogan says, “Just do it!” It’s never too late to make the loving choice.
Until our next Conscious Lover’s Blog…