Nothing is more powerful than the force of Love. Men have died for it. Nations have risen and fallen for it. It can strengthen you, or destroy you. When you first fall in love it feels like magic.
Lynn G. Robbins, one of the founders of Franklin Covey, talked about love and true love in an article in 2000. He said, " ... while a person may 'fall in love' with a spouse by emotion, the husband or wife progresses and blossoms in love by decision."
. If you want to be praised, noticed or otherwise complimented, give it first. Find ways to give your husband praise for the little things; taking the trash out, washing the car. Praise whatever you want to see more of. If you want to see more time together, express your gratitude for the time you have. It's amazing what will happen with this little transformation.
Turn it around
. Words are powerful, watch what you say. Try turning your sentences around. Instead of saying, "I know you work hard but I hate it when you forget to deposit the check on payday." Turn it around. When you use the word "but" everything you just said to compliment him was erased. Try instead saying, "I get frustrated when you forget to deposit the check, but I know you work hard and appreciate everything you do." When you turn your sentences around you can end on a positive note. You reduce the impact of your complaint and put the focus back on what you want to see.
Who doesn't love walking in the kitchen after breakfast to find someone else has cleaned it? Why not take a minute and do something for your husband to surprise him? Clean up his pile in the corner, sweep the garage, find a way to show your love in a secret service. Once, Shannon picked up her husband's car while he was working. She washed, vacuumed it and had the oil checked. Then she quietly parked it right back in its spot, so the surprise was waiting when he got off work.
When you get irritated by the little things, pick your battles. Let go of the small things. Toothpaste on the mirror, toilet seats left up, and gross noises are a fact of life. If you can let go of his little imperfections, he will let go of yours. We may not admit it, but everyone has gas.
"I love you" is a powerful promise. Robbins tells us, "Because love is as much a verb as it is a noun, the phrase 'I love you' is much more a promise of behavior and commitment than it is an expression of feeling. 'I love you' is a phrase we should be using in our homes much more than we do." Write your husband a note, leave it on his razor, on his pillow, on the seat of his car. They don't all have to be serious and sappy, write a silly love joke to make him smile:
Roses are red, violets are blue, I am your wife and I love you.
Corny pickup lines
Who doesn't like a good laugh? Text messages work great for this. Face to face is even better, so look your husband in the eyes and give him a very serious line...
Like my asthma...you take my breath away.
If kisses were snowflakes....I'd send you a blizzard.
The reaction to a cheesy line is priceless and can add a little silly into your life. And let's face it, everything is better with a smile.
Go outside the box
. If you feel like your date night has fallen into the dinner and a movie rut, surprise your spouse. How about dinner in the back of a pickup truck on the top of a mountain? One of my personal favorites included a special after hours tour of a local aquarium. Another favorite involved an oversized air mattress and a lake. Get creative with the resources you have.
It doesn't have to cost a lot to create a lifetime of memories. If all you can afford is a video and a snuggle on the couch, add a foot massage, and it will be just that much more fun.
I promise, if you will take the time to focus your attention on your spouse's strengths, his weaknesses will become unimportant. You will soon feel more love, and a deeper love, than you felt before.
Once you know it is love, put your time, talents and emergency into keeping the flames alive. Add self-sacrifice and personal investment and your love life will be rich.