It is amazing to me how something as simple as leaving the recliner and my laptop and going and sitting on the sofa with Mike at 9pm in the evening can make such a difference in how Mike and I relate to one another. It makes him feel loved and important in my life. OH! How I wish someone had given me these tips when I was younger . . . Huh! I wish someone had given me these tips a year ago, because by now, our marriage would be so much stronger and healthier and happier.
I was astonished to find out that he felt that there was little place in my life for him because I had volunteer work I do; I sang on the worship team, which required a night out each week and early departure for church on Sundays, I have support groups I run online, I have a newsletter that I did, I had the kids to tend to, the house to clean, food to make, and I needed to relax too . . . He felt lost in the cracks and I couldn’t understand this before, they are his kids too, his house and food too . . . It isn’t like I ignored him or his “needs”. I thought I was doing good; I go to bed when he does, get up around the time he does, I make him a hot breakfast before he leaves and pack him a lunch each day, have his clothes washed, try to have things ‘picked up’ when he gets home in the evening, and have dinner ready shortly after he gets home. I don’t spend time in another room in the house in the evenings, we are all in the living room together; we may all be doing something different but we are together and do share what we are doing with each other.
I thought I was sacrificing and doing good . . . But he saw clutter and that one pair of pants that he wanted to wear tomorrow were dirty, and would’ve liked to have had dessert or something different for dinner. He saw me on the computer, neglecting him. Much like I imagine God feels, he just wanted me to pay some attention to him. It is sad that it has taken me this long to get it, but thankfully, I finally did! Now, I hope to help you!
Around the time I got this realization, we were able to spend the weekend together and have a chance to just talk. You see, God had been preparing me. I picked up a book from Mardel’s (a local Christian bookstore) entitled Before the Last Resort: 3 Simple Questions to Rescue Your Marriage, by George Kenworthy. I cannot recommend this book highly enough! The author pastored a church in Minneapolis where he saw God heal about 90% of the marriages of all the couples they counseled. Did you see that? 90%!!! These weren’t just slightly troubled marriages, some of these were severely troubled, like one couple ready to file divorce because one partner was living with another man having an adulterous affair. The stories he shares are astounding, and do precisely what he shares them for, GIVES HOPE !
One of the first things that struck me was the 3 simple questions he asks, questions EVERY Christian should be willing to answer yes to and very easy to do. Then he suggests a “Communication Date” which is very simple as well but I have to tell you, it shook me.
On this ‘date’ you tell your spouse how you felt their love for you this week. Wow! Stop and think about that a minute – Have you shown your love to your spouse in a way that he will recognize??? Or that will make an impression with him??? It was out of this thought that the “sofa time” with my husband has emerged. What will you do this week to ensure that your husband feels your love for him?
At any rate, back to my story, Mike and I were able to just talk, not confront, argue, gripe, or nag about anything. It had been a very busy two weeks of volunteer work and I was afraid to ask him “how he felt my love for him” recently, as was suggested in the book, because I wasn’t sure he was going to be able to pinpoint anything in all our busyness but thankfully he did. It was a good weekend and we were able to connect with each other and then fellowship with several couples around our age from the church we were attending at the time. It was a truly enjoyable weekend.
Finally, in an effort to keep this a G-rated article, I will merely say that I have put effort into “spicing up” our time alone. No one likes to be caught in a rut or feel that they are the initiator all the time. Surprise your man! Do something you haven’t done before! Bring a smile to his face. Let him know that you still desire him too.
Until next time, God bless,