Finding your marriage of awesome

When the demands of family life can leave us feeling down, there are moments in our marriage that are awesome.

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  • Editor's note: This article was originally published on Lori Cluff Schade's blog. It has been republished here with permission.

  • As the mother of seven children, one word I admit I have grown fatigued of hearing over the years is "awesome." I don't have anything against that particular word – it's even a bit energizing – it's just that it brings so much promise and then falls flat when it's used to describe something that's really just copasetic. Then, it just feels tawdry, like Christmas decorations hanging in February.

  • However, I have to admit that I am a big fan of Neal Pasricha, author of "The Book of Awesome," and other related titles. He's just so darn optimistic – but in a way that feels authentic. He highlights the moments in life that when juxtaposed with the mundane, become downright exceptional – things like popping bubble wrap, high-fiving babies, sleeping in new bed sheets, etc. It's an excellent strategy, and one that I think could effectively be applied to marriage.

  • Just about every married couple has their own moments of "awesome," that can get overshadowed by the whirlwind of family life. Just off the top of my head I can think of several in my own marriage:

    • Looking out the window and seeing that my husband has mowed a huge heart into the grass with our initials inside; ditto on his stamping it out in the snow.

    • Asking my husband to print something for me, and realizing that he created a watermark to read, "SS + LS," all over the page.

    • Hearing the song "Everything," by Michael Bublé and remembering the first time my husband couldn't wait to play it for me because he said it reminded him of me.

    • Having my husband walk in from the store and present me with the rarer yellow flesh watermelon, because he knows I am a produce geek and thought I would like it.

    • Being in a crowded aisle alone at Target at Christmastime, shopping (which I hate), feeling burdened, and having my husband appear at the end of the aisle, which made my heart jump.

    • Hearing my phone ring, and knowing it's my husband because he downloaded the song he said reminded me of him and reminded him of me.

    • Receiving a text from my husband during the day, bearing an acronym only we understand.

    • Racing my husband every day to see who can text the other person first at a special time that has meaning to us.

    • Having my husband come home and greet me with "Hi gorgeous!"

    • Being in the car with my husband and hearing "our song," on the radio.

    • Listening to one of my many subscribed podcasts, realizing my husband would like a particular episode, feeling excited to share it with him, and then watching him act interested when I do.

    • Watching my husband's face right after our son scored the first touchdown at the football game or the winning 3-pointer of the basketball game.

    • Planning our next couple adventure.

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  • Sometimes, focusing on what is going well in a marriage can shift people into different behavioral patterns. Take time to think about it. Make a list. What is your marriage of awesome?

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Lori Cluff Schade, Ph.D., is a licensed, practicing marriage and family therapist and supervisor and adjunct faculty member. Her research has been covered in national media outlets and addressed in television and radio interviews. More importantly, she is a mother of seven and owner of a metaphorical gray picket fence.

Website: http://www.compassionateconnectionscounseling.com

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