Plenty. Hence the Divorce rate, all my Wifey Wednesday type blog posts, and all the how-to books on marriage out there. This week, I want to be sure to pass on one of my favorite ways to keep a marriage healthy and strong:
Be grateful. Say thank you.
Obviously, neither of you is perfect. Obviously both of you need to continually strive to become better lovers, friends, companions, and Christians in order to make this marriage work, but we can get awfully discouraged by all the work we have yet to do. Don't forget to reward each other for those times you get it right or merely close enough.
Today, take a moment to think on a few things that your husband does right.
Say Thank You Just Because...
--1-- He Makes You Happy
Today thank him for just one thing that he does that is vital to your happiness. It doesn't have to be a big deal, it could be something as simple as remembering to turn on the coffee pot each morning so it's ready when you get up. Or it could be one of those important qualities in him that you love and need. For me that would be my husband's kindness. I know that no matter how frustrated or exasperated he becomes, I can count on him to be careful with my feelings. Even when he does slip up and lash out emotionally, it takes very little time at all for an apology to follow it up. (Thank you, honey! I really love that about you.) For someone else, it could be that he remembers to send flowers on your birthday or he kisses the kids goodnight every night. For others it might be that he is an emotional rock to lean on. Everyone measures their happiness differently. How do you measure yours and where does your husband measure up?
--2-- He Has Your Back
There are plenty of moments where a man steps between you and the world and tells it to back off. From the, "You listen to your mother!" moments with your children to the, "My wife called about the car and you said..." interventions with mechanics, he is there for you. He lets you put your cold feet on him at night and he holds your hand when you cry at weddings. Pick one of those many, many times he has expressed in some way his manly, supportive, and protective instincts for you, his bride, and let him know that those moments matter to you.
--3-- He Rings Your Bell
Because sex is so important to your nonverbal connection and communication as a couple as well as to his self worth as a husband, be absolutely sure to include an "When we're in bed, I go wild when you..." on your list. Don't even worry about all the blushing and giggling it might take to get the words out, he'll find that absolutely charming even as he blushes and giggles back (especially if you add, "Can we do that later?" to the end of your giggle!).
We find it easy to criticize, be so practiced at gratitude that it comes easy, too!
The Caveat at the End: If you are struggling to find three things to be thankful for, now is the time to consider a trip to Confession, an appointment with a counsellor, and a fervent prayer to God to see your husband and yourself more clearly. If you are in the lowest of low spots in a marriage, also consider looking into a weekend retreat. I highly recommend Retrouvaille for help in turning your marriage around again.
This has been a Wifey Wednesday post. For an even wifier Wednesday click on over to To Love Honor and Vacuum!