Good morning dear reader.
Every morning Tim & I sit in bed and drink coffee together. We’ve done it ever since the first night we spent together. Now that he leaves at 6:00 every morning, we get up at 4:00 so we have time to do it. It’s a wonderful practice. It gives us a chance to connect before the busyness of the day pulls us in different directions. Even the dogs get in on it, climbing onto the bed with us.
We’re doing pre-marital counseling (only 3 more weeks until the wedding!) and learning tools to have a stronger, happier marriage. It’s actually a lot of fun. What has struck me the most about it is how many of the things they recommend that we already do and have been doing. While they don’t specifically say, “morning coffee time” it is something that fits very well into the things they do encourage couples to do.
This morning I started thinking about how many simple things we do that make our relationship stronger and happier. I don’t know if any of them will apply to any of you, but I’m going to tell you about them anyway.
I believe this is vital. We eat dinner at the table (away from the TV) two or three times a week. Other times we eat in the living room watching the news. That keeps the table dinners from becoming a chore. It’s always a little bit special when we do it. When we reconnect at the end of the day, we take the time to talk about how our day has gone…both of us. I listen (and sometimes comment) as he tells me about his day, and he does the same for me. While we’re apart during the day we touch base once or twice. It may just be a text that says “I love you” or “Hope your day is going well.” It’s more about letting each other know we’re thinking about them than what we say.
What we say and how we say it
Let me start this part by making it clear that there are always times when things are misread or misunderstood. Here’s a perfect example: We had a meeting scheduled with Ali for the pre-marital counseling Friday morning. I was on the phone with someone I hadn’t talked to in years. Tim was in the yard with his best friend trying to get Duke and his dog to get along so we could dog-sit for him. I looked at the clock after I hung up the phone and realized we were supposed to be there in 15 minutes and I was still in my bathrobe. I hurried down the stairs and to the yard and said, “Do you realize we’re supposed to meet Ali in 15 minutes?” Tim’s response was, “And you’re in your bathrobe.” Long story short, we ended up running about 10 minutes behind which worked out perfectly because so was she. Yesterday we were sitting on the couch together and Tim said he wanted to talk to me about something. He said that when I did that Friday morning he felt scolded and embarrassed because he was out there with his best friend and I had been so “harsh” about him forgetting. I had not even thought about it that way. I wasn’t upset with him for forgetting, I was upset with myself for forgetting. I was also feeling very rushed and a little bit stressed because of it. I’m one of those people who are anal about being on time. I’m normally at an appointment 10 minutes before I’m supposed to be there. So you see what happened there? A total misunderstanding. Things like that happen to everyone. Nobody reads things correctly all the time, and nobody says things the right way all the time.
That being said, everyone has a need to be loved, appreciated, admired, etc. So saying things like “I appreciate you” or “You look nice today”…things like that, can make a relationship much happier. Think about it. If you hear things like, “Why in the hell did you do that?” or “You really need to do something about your hair” or “This food sucks” etc., how much are you going to look forward to communicating with that person? Hearing positive things from someone makes you draw closer to them and want to talk with them. Of course, nobody does everything right or always looks wonderful. It’s a matter of choosing to focus on the positive. Sometimes you have to look hard to find it, but when you do it should be expressed.
An important aspect of how we talk is simple courtesy. I’ve heard many couples talk to each other in ways they wouldn’t talk to anyone else. I remember a friend of ours who was amazed that we said “please” and “thank you” to each other. Think about it. This is someone you love. Don’t they deserve at least as much courtesy as you’d give a stranger who was asking for directions?
Wow! I really took off with this! I’ve hardly scratched the surface, but I think it’s probably enough for now. Seriously, think about these things. The difference they can make is incredible. Or…say to yourself that Lynnette is full of crap and forget about it. Definitely your choice. Just because these things work for me doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll work for you.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts about it. Simply hit the comment button below and let it rip.
Until next time…