Appreciating your spouse
This morning, I had three (3) initial consultations. This took me from 9 – 1 pm. As an aside, my initial consultations are very thorough. It is a time to discuss all the issues in the divorce, and for me to carefully educate you on the law and the procedure of family law. It is not a time where I pretend to be a therapist – because I am NOT a licensed therapist. Personally, I take my consultation time very seriously and thus, I charge the same hourly rate I do for my existing clients. I never offer free consults.
Back to my story. So, in all 3 of these consults, the same phrase was uttered by 3 different people. “I don’t feel appreciated”. “He never appreciated me.” “She doesn’t appreciate me.”
What is the main cause of marital unhappiness? Not feeling appreciated. Feeling “taken for granted.” For example, one guy – poor thing — he works night shifts. He said he sleeps only 2 hours in the day, because he is watching his kid during the day. And yet his wife blames him for not doing A, B, C. She failed to see that he is giving up his SLEEP. Another woman feel that her husband took her for granted, because she is the one who pays all the bills, and he just spends. Another man feels unappreciated because his wife doesn’t pay attention to him.
So how do you show appreciation to your spouse?
Pay attention. Put down your cell phones and devices. They are the root of all evil.
Try doing housework. Ever notice the dishes are clean and put away, laundry is always clean and folded, and the floors are clean, and meals are given to your kids timely, every day? Guess what? It’s not the tooth fairy. It’s your WIFE. or your HUSBAND. THANK THEM for feeding you and your kids, and try doing these things once in a while. Even if it’s the same meatloaf you’ve had 3 days in a row, say, “Thank you, this is so yummy! Let me do the dishes.”
Try paying the bills. Ever notice that bill collectors don’t call? And that your car isn’t repossessed? And you’re not foreclosed on? It’s not Santa Claus. It’s your HUSBAND. or WIFE paying the bills. If you have a roof over your head and furniture, someone paid for it. THANK YOUR spouse. If you don’t have a job, give her/him a massage. Don’t demand blow jobs. Or maybe GIVE massages and sex. APPRECIATE what you have, not what you don’t have.
Leave a note in their lunchbox. Or if you don’t pack them lunch, try packing one! One anniversary – it was the paper anniversary, my dear husband gave me the best present ever. No, it wasn’t real estate, or Amazon stock, or a Tesla. He left me post-in notes all over our house- i mean, cabinets, drawers, refrigerator, TV, computer, on our dogs – with love notes and thoughts about us, about ME. I’m tell you – I felt so appreciated that night that I gave him something special.
And it was the gift that kept giving – because my children who witnessed this magnanimous gift of love from my husband, carried it forward and they both leave me and each other notes to this day.
Speaking of which, I was cleaning out storage the other day when I found shoeboxes worth of handwritten letters from old friends and penpals. It was so wonderful opening all the crusty paper and reading the handwritten notes. I knew none of these were copied, or digitally transmitted. It blew my mind that I was the intended recipient and I alone had the only original letter. I remembered waiting for the postman to deliver mail every day – just waiting for the US mail to carry across the sea a letter from my pen pal in London. Where is that hope and anticipation? These days, it’s instant gratitude, and emptiness.
Try listening. Ever notice you know nothing about the other side and they have been very unreceptive to listening to your hour-long anecdotes after work? Perhaps you are taking their listening ear for granted. After all, a psychologist would charge you $200 per hour to listen to the same thing. THANK YOUR SPOUSE FOR listening to you. Because no one else in their right mind would.
Try showing love THEIR way. Women, this means sex. Remember this song “More Than Words”?
If your marital bed has grown cold, put some heat in it. Maybe you feel underappreciated. Express yourself, TALK. LISTEN. A healthy marriage should have sex. It may not be PASSIONATE fireworks like when you guys first started. But it should feel comfortable, like a warm apple pie, a warm hug.
Anyway, guys, try appreciating each other instead of complaining about each other. Just trust me on this.