A marriage relationship is important and tough (probably tougher than any other relationship ever in the whole world, in my opinion.)
I’m always looking for simple ways to help relationships be healthier. My husband and I have started saying this one sentence and I noticed this could be helpful in possibly any relationship.
Here is an experiment we’ve just started a couple weeks ago.
Every morning we say (out loud to each other) something good we have noticed or something good that we like about each other.
“One thing I like about you is _____________.”
We get too busy in life sometimes, ya know? With work, school, church, kids, housework, bills, finances, volunteering, rough times, health problems, and a billion more things we can forget to nurture important foundations and critical relationships. It’s not that we mean to; but it’s just that life happens and sometimes we let moments go by that need attention.
This one sentence thing is proving to be a great idea.
One thing it does is it helps us THINK about the positive things during each day (and night) because we know we need to tell each other something we like about each other every day.
And the negative stuff seems to constantly already be lurking around and threatens to remind us of things we DON’T like about each other… Not sure about you but I’ve had ENOUGH of that.
Another important result of this experiment is that we’re both getting to hear some positive words in the morning. (Yes, it must be genuine and yes it can be something from the past or present. Actually, it could even be something positive we see in the future.) Getting to hear blessings spoken over you is such a powerful thing.
Our kids just told us they’d like to be included in this in the evenings. Good stuff can be contagious.
We all probably hear WAY too much negative stuff about ourselves (even from our own thoughts) and this is damaging to our brains, hearts, self esteem, and probably in a hundred other ways I’m not thinking to mention.
If you have a great marriage, that’s wonderful! Maybe this can just be icing. (And maybe you’re already doing this.)
But many of us have a tougher time in marriage and I know this can help lots of people and wanted to share this idea.
I believe absolutely EVERY person could benefit from hearing something good every day that someone notices about him or her.
Here’s one from me to you today: One thing I like about you (the person reading this) is that you’re beginning to realize your value; you’re a worthwhile person and you matter.
There are a lot of tough jobs in the world but marriage… just wow! I know we’re not alone when we say this.
Many people share great ideas and it’s always fun to learn new things that work for other couples.
I’m always trying to figure out how to make our marriage better and help others at the same time. My husband is a praying man and asks God how to be a better husband to me and better daddy to our kids. And I ask God to show me how to be a better wife and mommy.
Here is something we started about a year ago. It’s helped us sometimes when we argue. God put this idea on my heart and I shared it with my husband. We didn’t waste time getting to the store.
We bought a ball (A 12 to 15 inch ball is best. And NO. Not a baseball or bowling ball even though it’s something that some people may think they’d like to do sometimes – Just don’t.) and when we’d argue, we’d pass the ball back and forth.
It is harder to stay angry when we are playing catch.
We both take turns talking (Toss it. Don’t hold it. That’s the point. It’s easier to talk this way sometimes.) and maybe a few times we threw it rougher than we should have but it really helps during fights.
You could try it and see if it helps for your marriage. If someone can learn anything from our mess we’re glad to share.
We really do like each other. It’s just that sometimes we forget.
Note: If you play ball in the store, they may -or may not- appreciate it so very much. You probably don’t need to ask us how we know this.
“Mom, Dad, I know I’m only two years old and if I knew the words to say I may be able to tell you why it’s frustrating when you don’t give me time to finish my work. Instead, since I don’t know the best words yet, sometimes I overreact by screaming or crying. I apologize for that. I’m still learning.”
What if someone picked YOU up right now from your computer and said, “Time to go!” No notice. No regard that you are in the middle of something very important.
How would we feel if WE were immediately removed from OUR work? A little screaming? Hmmm…
Our kids are busy, too. They may be just building with blocks. To YOU, it may seem like they’re just playing, but they’re actually doing their WORK. When we pick them up and say “Time to go!” without any warning, it can be upsetting.
I’m SURE we’d be upset, too. Think about it. You don’t get to finish your mascara so one eye has mascara and the other is naked. You don’t get to finish the email you’re working on to send to a teacher so an important conversation about a possible scholarship is not happening now. You don’t get to know how much longer til you leave so you can decide whether or not to start the next laundry load since you’ll be gone three days and if the dryer load is not dry all the way it can mildew. You don’t get to see the rest of the football game because someone just turned it off and commanded it’s time to go. Important stuff. All of it is.
And even when we tell kids they have a few minutes left, they may not grasp how long that is just yet. When my kids were little we used to measure time in “Blue’s Clues time.” (I think that was about thirty minutes for one Blue’s Clues television show.) So I’d say to my girls, “Okay, this will take three Blue’s Clues.” My kids could measure time better when I said it this way.
When they’re little they may be thinking, but don’t have the words or time to respectfully and boldly articulate, “Hey, mom and dad, what I am working on is very important to me. I was really busy with that and I wasn’t finished. Would you please give me some time to finish next time? You may be looking at the world’s next great architect.”
Also, when we do give them a five minute notice until it’s time to go, we need to remember to keep it at five minutes. If it changes, I believe we should apologize to them and say it’s a little longer than I expected.
I’ve been a nanny and child care provider for many years in the past and it makes me sad when parents tell their children they have five minutes to play while we talk then it’s turned into thirty minutes and then the parent talks to the child like it was their fault they didn’t leave when they meant to. If the child goes back to playing while they wait WHY is that not okay? Should they stand near you like a soldier awaiting commands? They are little CHILDREN. Cut them some slack.
There are LOTS of television shows and songs teaching kids how to be patient. Some teach them to make up a game of some kind when they have to wait. And let’s face it; our kids do a lot of waiting. Waiting on dinner, (they can help with making dinner or setting the table, by the way) or waiting on Mommy or Daddy to come read to them at night, waiting on the bus, waiting for their turn, waiting on the teacher to finish talking to another student when they really have to go to the bathroom but do not want to interrupt. Waiting, waiting, waiting.
Maybe we need to show them a little respect by showing them that we realize their time is very important just like our time is.
It’s totally okay if you do not agree. I’m speaking what I know to be true through my experiences with very awesome kids through the years.