Of course I want to affirm my husband so he feels loved by me. The problem is sometimes I get too busy, or he gets on my nerves and I don’t feel like saying nice things. Sometimes, I would much prefer to tell him all of the things I would like him to change. But I have to guard against the urge to list off all the things he’s doing wrong, because I know I also make mistakes. The goal is to extend to him the same kindness I also need.
If we start to nit pick each other, we can quickly find ourselves in a cycle of negativity
It’s not that we have to ignore things that call for change, but our natural tendency is to point out the bad and forget to mention the good. It’s easy to complain, and difficult to give praise. If we are kind to one another and deal with each other lovingly, we will be able to work on the things we need to change in an environment of trust. If we’re afraid of always being criticized, we’re tempted to withdraw from intimacy. It’s easier to isolate if we feel like we are always failing. We all know that isolation creates more problems.
Sometimes you just need to connect without distractions
Last week I was feeling like our marriage was in need of some attention. It seemed we were going in a million different directions and we were barely able to speak to each other without friction. (Friction is just another word for fighting, and sounds less miserable.) We finally just decided to just go away for two days. Thankfully, my niece offered to watch the kids (okay, I asked her, she recognized the frantic look in my eye, and she said yes).
I don’t think I even fully packed. I grabbed a couple articles of clothing and a book to read. Oh, and my flat iron because frizzy hair never helps anyone feel fun or carefree. As I drove to meet my husband, I decided that no matter what, we were going to have a fun for two days and not discuss problems, relationship issues, or kids. I had plenty on my mind that I would have loved to bring up, but I intended on being friends with him for a couple of days and that meant we could set things aside for a bit. I wanted to smile, eat good food, and hold hands like normal, in-love people did every day all over the globe.
We went to a concert, shopped, and had quiet meals together. I told him how blue his eyes were and how great he looked in the new clothes we bought him for his birthday. He needed to hear it. I needed to say it—and I meant it. His eyes are just like tropical ocean water, so why not tell him? It was a nice change from the frustrations of the previous week. Nothing big was really solved or fixed, we just said nice things to each other. How lovely to know we still get along.
Weekly challenge: compliment your husband every day this week!
If you feel inspired, consider simply encouraging your spouse this week. Find something good about them and voice it. It might feel foreign or even forced, depending on your current situation, but it’s okay. Kind words have a way of working their way through cold or distant hearts, including our own. It might soften harshness, remove bitterness between you, or bring peace.
“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” —Proverbs 16:24
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