Every Tuesday we’ll post something to do with restoring marriages. Hope it helps.
One on the axioms our Personal Intercommunications instructor drilled into us in college was that you cannot not communicate. Your words, tone and demeanor are always messaging, and paying attention to the message you’re sending is part of the relationship bargain. When you’re close to someone you’re influencing their environment for better or worse, so clearly what you’re communicating to your spouse has a lot to do with her/his general well-being.
That tells me I need to be sure my wife hears the message from me, daily, loudly and clearly, that she’s valued.
One of the commonest complaints I hear from spouses is not that they find their partner to be mean or obnoxious, but rather, that their partner has come to take them for granted. The daily routines have been settled into, the responsibilities divvied up, and the ruts get defined. The partner becomes business as usual; needed, perhaps, but not openly appreciated. And while many women and men won’t openly say they miss being appreciated, their souls will still crave it. So if I’m leaving my wife hungry, I’m negligent. The kids are still growing into their ability to appreciate Mom’s routine sacrifices, and the many people she helps in our church and community may or may not recognize her efforts, which isn’t good, but allowable. What’s not allowed, though, is silence on my end. Renee’s a treasure who should never be allowed to feel like loose change. Her value in God’s sight and mine, and the appreciation of it with time, is a message I’m mandated to send out daily.
And it’s not a hard mandate. To meet it, all I need to do is observe and express. I can pay attention to what she contributes and creates, and express appreciation for it. I can observe her beauty and comment on it. I can watch the way she handles a difficult situation and praise her skills. This isn’t rocket science, since any guy can apply himself to simple observation and expression. If you make it a daily habit, you’ll sow into your spouse’s peace and strength, and both of you will reap the benefits.