It is common for us to think of our own level of appreciation, but do you think of your spouse also? How does what you say and how you react to the things they do make them feel? Do they feel appreciated? Or, do they feel that they “just can’t win”?
For instance, when your husband attempts to make breakfast and burns it are you appreciative of the effort. Do you thank him for his thoughtfulness or do you merely point out what he did wrong? Or if your wife stays at home with your children and does her best to keep the house do you ask her why the house isn’t just so? If you have projects that need to be done and two busy mates do you blame each other for their not being completed? Or, do you try to make a plan that will allow for both of you to put time in and get things done?
These things may seem minor and in reality the item that causes the annoyance is minor, but your reaction to it can have dramatic implications. How so? Every time you push your spouse instead of endeavoring to make them feel appreciated for the efforts they have made in behalf of the family you create an emotional rift. This rift can eventually develop into a deep chasm that is virtually impossible to close. You don’t want your spouse to resent you. You married because you wanted this person to be your friend and lover forever.
If you see your spouse avoiding contact with you (like missing your phone calls) or spending a lot more time away from home whether it be at work or elsewhere, take these as signs for direct action. No need for confrontation. Remind your spouse that you love them and that you want to get back to the way things were when you were dating. Make time for yourselves. Take at least a couple days a month, if not a day a week, planned ahead that you can be away from the house and the kids. Vow not to talk about bills, the house, work or the kids. It may seem like, “What else is there to talk about?” Think back to your courting days – I sincerely doubt that you talked solely about stresses of money, work and family. You would never have married.
This kind of one on one interaction will remind you why you married this person in the first place. It also will help you to be more kind, considerate and appreciative of the things they do in your behalf. Trying to be kind on your part will move your spouse to reciprocate – thus drawing you closer together.
What kinds of things have you done to draw closer to your spouse?Originally posted: October 6, 2008 2:00 PM EST