Any of you who are involved in long term marriages know how much work it is. That it isn’t always a bed of roses, and sometimes you wonder what you were thinking when you chose this person to be your life partner. Or at least that has been my experience. Somehow I thought it would be easier. Eventually. But in my old age, after years of bashing my head against a brick wall trying to “change” things, I have come up with some coping mechanisms that work. At least for me.
The amazing one, the one I don’t completely “get” – the one I find most difficult to do on a regular, every day basis – but the one that works very best, is putting my spouse first.
Sounds awful, doesn’t it? But it isn’t.
I often find myself fighting for what I want, only to discover that once I get it, the price I had to pay was too high. And I don’t enjoy whatever the “it” was. I do it over and over and over.
BUT, when I put what he wants first, or take the time to let him know I’m thinking of him, even when I’m not with him, or do thoughtful little things that may not be in my job description, things go much more smoothly. AND, rather than that resulting in him being lazy and waiting for me to do things for him, more often, I find him more attentive to my needs in response.
So, what I TRY to do is wake up every morning and think “what can I do to show Mr. Tattered how much I love him today?” I’m not always successful. Sometimes I forget. Sometimes I’m just feeling pissy and don’t want to. But on those days I remember? Life is sweeter. And I’m into a sweet life, big time.
The best part is, there doesn’t have to be a big conversation about how poorly things are going, and I need him to step up and do (fill in the blank.) I don’t need his buy in to anything. I don’t need to point out how awesome I am. I just need to show up day after day making a conscious effort to add to his happiness quotient. He may not notice right that moment, or even that day or that week. But he WILL notice. Eventually he will say “we’re sure getting along well lately” (which CAN mean a big fight is looming! The kiss of death, we call it sometimes! But that’s a whole ‘nuther post!) And if I do a mini check in on how “I’m” feeling, I will almost always notice MY happiness quotient is pretty high… Sometimes it DOESN’T take two to tango. I start dancing, and soon he is, too.
Makes me wonder why I don’t just automatically do it EVERY day without fail. But, that probably is one of the things that make us human – we don’t always do what is in our own best interests.