Marriage requires your undivided attention. Even though many other important elements of living have to be attended to, nothing is more important than your marriage. There are those moments in life when you need to give your full attention to your spouse. Here are a few of those most important times.
1. When you wake up in the morning. Let him or her know right off the bat at the beginning of your day that he is vitally important to you. Start with a kiss and a, “I’m the luckiest person in the world to be able to wake up next to you.” Then make the bed together. We didn’t say make out in the bed together, though there will be times for that. When you help each other make the bed it’s a beginning statement that you’re working together to make your home a pleasant place to be. The bedroom is a great place to start. It shows you care.
2. When you’re back together after a hard day’s work. Greet your honey with a loving embrace and another one of those kisses that says, “Oh, baby, do I ever love you!” It will feel like an electrical charge, giving you the energy to make the evening duties more enjoyable. Helping kids with homework, then putting them to bed will be much more meaningful when you’re carrying around the afterglow that comes from that memorable greeting.
3. When it’s your spouse’s birthday. Don’t you dare let that day slip by without some very special celebrating. Start the day with a, “Happy birthday, honey!” Don’t make your mate wonder if you remembered. Start early and make it fun all day. Birthdays are a great time to serve breakfast in bed. Going out to lunch with just the two of you can be fun, too. Include the kids with a dinner of his or her favorite food. If your spouse prefers pie to cake then load up the favorite pie — or whatever the preferred dessert is — with birthday candles, then sing out the traditional birthday wishes. Whatever you do, let your kids see you celebrating as a husband and wife. That’s how they’ll learn the right way to do it when they’re married.
4. When your spouse is “on stage”. That means whenever your spouse is in the spotlight, so to speak. That can happen if he or she is playing a basketball game, running a marathon, giving a speech, or singing on a program. Any activity where she has prepared hard and needs your loving encouragement and applause. A friend of ours was performing in a community choir. She had worked hard learning the songs and was looking forward to having her husband at the performance. He became ill and couldn’t attend. She said, “I felt so let down to not have him in the audience. He’s been to all the other performances and it means more than anything to me to have him out there smiling and applauding.” Your spouse needs to know that you are proud of her. Don’t for get to say the words, “It was so fun to watch you tonight. I’m glad I could be there. I’m really proud of you.”
5. When your spouse is ill. Nothing is quite so comforting when you’re sick as knowing that your sweetheart cares about you enough to give you the attention you need. Even if all your spouse needs is to be left alone to rest, then make it happen by taking care of the kids or whatever else needs to be done. Offer drinks, food, ice packs — whatever will be comforting. Loving care can help the healing happen faster.
6. When your spouse experiences a big disappointment. For example, the only thing that makes losing a job worse is to have a mate criticize you for it. That’s true with any major let down. We all need to know we are loved and valued as much during the hard times as during the happy times. Even though you can’t make it all better, you can be there with empathy and a listening ear. Traveling through the murky parts of life feels a whole lot better when you feel loved by your mate.
7. When you know your spouse will be checking social media. This is a fun time to show the love. On our Facebook news feed we saw a picture of a friend with her arms around her husband, both had big smiles on their faces. Here’s the message she posted with it, “Every once in a while I just feel like sharing this photo a hundred zillion times….cause I have the sweetest husband on the planet. He is just one of the most dedicated husbands, and kind souls. I love him.” That had to make his day.
Giving your mate your full attention these 7 times can keep your marriage alive. It’s the nourishment needed to grow a strong and lasting love. Now, think of your own ideas for giving your mate your full attention. There are a million times and ways. Start today and enjoy the rewards it will bring into your marriage.
Gary Lundberg is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Joy is a writer and lyricist. Together they present seminars and author books on relationships. Their website is garyjoylundberg.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org