Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Day Ideas 2

In my last post, I talked about what a wife would really like for Valentine's Day. What would your husband like more than anything else for Valentine's Day? What would mean the most to him?

It's simple: Your honor, trust, respect, and appreciation.

Now we all know that your man has weaknesses. I have many weaknesses that require constant apologies. I understand. Maybe you struggle with your feelings about him. It might be hard to feel respect when the qualities you married him for have lost a bit of their luster.

But it still counts for a lot when you believe in him, in spite of his foibles. Remember, you married him largely because you could see his potential and boyish idealism. You could see it better than he could. 

Believing in him means you must be willing to set aside your judgment, at least for a day. Look for the good, point that out, and compliment him sincerely. The more you pay attention to the good, the more you'll see it come out. The less you pay attention to the bad, the less you'll see of it.

No one can bring out his best qualities like you. In a way, you hold the most critical key to his self-esteem and success. It might be hard to see and he might not show it, but your belief in him means a great deal to his success. Nothing will motivate him more to do good and to be good than your positive belief in and support of him.

A pattern I see too often in couples is (1) the wife does not feel love from her husband and (2) the husband does not feel respect and honor from his wife. Then they both start doing things or not doing things, often unconsciously, that make things worse. The less she feels loved, the more grumpy and disrespectful she is, and the less he feels respected and honored or appreciated, the less love he shows to her. Very happy is the couple who discovers this cycle and finds the courage and wisdom to break it.

One way to stop the cycle is to stop playing defense and start playing offense. Defense you know is part of a game strategy to keep an opponent from scoring against you. But you can't win any game just by playing defense. It is a reaction. You have to play offense to score points and win a game. It is taking positive action. I see offense as the positive side of play and where our focus should be.

If you want love and respect in your relationship, you've got to put love and respect into it. You will never get good back out of your relationship if your main focus is the negative aspects of your partner.  Highlight his good qualities, show respect for those qualities, and you'll see more smiles, more effort, more try, and he'll find it easier to show you back the love you long for.

Play offense and see what happens. It will work. Maybe not as fast as you'd like, but it will eventually work. In fact, nothing else will work or get you what you really want. It will ultimately bless your life to be a positive force for good, no matter what the reaction of your spouse or anyone else is. As the day follows the night, so will the light follow your choice to be positive, appreciative and respectful. Remember: "Whatsoever good thing any man [or woman] doeth, the same shall he [or she] receive of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:8).

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you.

2 comments:

  1. I can vouch for this approach from personal experience. When I focus on my feelings and reactions, the cycle of criticism and blame seems endless and I'm upset about what he did or didn't say or do. When I focus on what I can put into the family and recognizing the good in my spouse no matter what, even when criticisms are made I do not get into the emotional cycle and my days are more peaceful and my home more loving.

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  2. I loved your post! I read something once that made a lot of sense and I have used it in my marriage and it works! I read that if you want someone to change, you compliment them on every positive trait you see. For instance, when he puts the dishes in the sink, when he picks up the room, when he makes the bed. You need to notice! Then, the hard thing, you don't ever say anything about the negative. This approach does two things. It lets him know exactly what pleases you, and it doesn't focus on any of the bad behavior that you want to eliminate. Now, I am sure there are exceptions, but in my marriage, this works everytime. It has had amazing results. I am not sure if he has changed, or if I have just noticed more often how much he does to please me. Either way, we are both happy. And that is what makes the difference. I think it is gratitude for each other that really helps you appreciate your spouse.

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