I want to make clear that this isn’t by any means some type of advice blog on marriage. Nope, I have no business with that. May be in 20 years if my honey and I are still married I might have some words of wisdom but today I will just SHUT UP!
What I do have to share are two little words that have made this relationship with my husband so very different than all the ones before him. “Thank You”. (Short, sweet unbelievable valuable!)
I don’t know how my husband learned to use the words; his upbringing (though I have never heard his folks use them as we do) or as a result of his past relationships, but I am so very thankful he brought them into our lives with such abundance.
I was a bit taken back at first. It appeared he would thank me for just about everything, but then I started using the words just as freely and noticed our connection became stronger. I began to feel truly APPRECIATED. My honey would not only say the words, but he was specific and communicated why he was thankful.
Isn’t one of the biggest problems in relationships that we begin to feel underappreciated? Don’t we begin to feel that chores at home turn in to unbearable jobs that no one acknowledges we do? Then you wonder how did I get stuck with this crummy job?
Well, hearing those words (in my relationship) and saying them at least in my point of view have made those “chores” acts of love. ---- A brief pause for those of you who want to gag.
If we take a second to think about why we say the words, and then make the effort to communicate to our mate briefly why we are thankful, for example: Taking out the trash. My husband does this normally, but we have no contract or agreement that it is his job to do it. I do it when he isn’t around, so when he takes out the trash without me asking (& even when I ask) I say “Thank you honey for taking out the trash”. I say it because dealing with the trash (when I am a bit of a germophobe) and taking it out side (when in south Texas it’s almost always hotter than Hades) is something I can do, but I hate doing it! Thank you because we could take turns and keep score but we don’t, and your action today keeps me from doing a household shore that needs to be done!
On the other hand, I am thanked by my husband for getting dinner started (because in our household we prepare meals together 80% of the time) when he arrives late from work. I COULD SIT and wait around and tell myself “I am not getting stuck doing it all this evening”. I could, but all those previous “thank yous” have me in a different state of mind. He is also in a different state of mind. He could say “what are we having for dinner?” or “is dinner ready?” and not acknowledge me! He knows I also have a long commute after work! He knows that preparing our meal together is faster and that means we aren’t eating so late in the day.
I have shared these stories with loved ones, and some say ‘Ahh, it’s because you are still newlyweds”. That is why we are so good to one another. This makes me fearful at first and then makes me want to scream!! Are they for real? Don’t we marry/choose a companion to love and cherish us? How does it all get out of whack? What makes me crazier is hearing the excuses some spouses give when they are being fussed at for not doing their part of the house work/child rearing or anything else that couples should share!
I know that the stress of arguing about how one spouse might feel may be more anxiety to the already stressful situation of carrying the bigger load. I know it because my marriage isn’t perfect and I choose sometimes to handle a few minor things myself and not make something small an argument: but I am happy because for the most part I see us both as active participants in our marriage.
I tell myself that perhaps getting married so late in life gave me the chance to be specific about many things I expected from my partner; and after finding the companion I needed I have made sure to let him know he was worth the wait. I worry that the years will make one or both “slack”, but I am hopeful that thinking about it and “checking in” with one another on a regular basis will keep us on our toes.
I continue to say the words “thank you” because these have worked well for us. We don’t say them out of habit (like a parrot) or for practicing good manners and we normally take the extra moment to communicate the WHY. I don’t remember being thought to be specific, but if I was.. I am grateful to my husband for reminding me.