24 Sep AUGUST – Give proofs of love
Give proofs of love
“Found it!” My husband called from his bedroom. I heard the thumping of his footsteps as he ran into the office where I was tapping away on my computer. He bursts into the room with a smile spread across his face. He was clasping my note in his hand. “Babe, this is so nice. Thank you. I love getting these!” He beams down at me and wraps his arms around me, nuzzling his nose into my neck.
For the past week, I had been leaving him notes all over the house in surprise locations – in the microwave, hidden under the avocados in the fruit bowl, I even attached one to the tag of his pants and he hadn’t noticed it until the night when he striped down for his shower. In keeping with my August theme of gratitude, my marriage resolution this month was to give my husband ‘proofs of love,’ and I was having a lot of fun doing it!
I want the kind of marriage that makes my kids want to get married. It’s no secret that it is my goal in life to boost the quality of my marriage and keep it there! I have discussed in previous months the strategies that I employ to keep things light, loving and functional. Since beginning this project in May, I had set resolutions to compliment my husband, be more affectionate and be positive (not passive). Up to this point, we had brought our marriage to a place where it was more sustainable, even during tough days and weeks. All of the positive steps we had taken had lead us to a point where things were inherently better and could operate well with less effort. This month’s resolution was important as I wanted to embrace more opportunities to acknowledge Matt in ways that made him aware of how grateful I was to have him.
Throughout the month, I continued to leave little notes around the house. They may have just been a simple reason for why I loved him, a thank you for going out of his way to look after me and sometimes I wrote him funny poems. I didn’t want the notes to lose their excitement so I would work on verbally acknowledging and thanking him. Using emails, I would attach cute graphics and send him nice messages to brighten his day. I didn’t want the notes to lose their meaning so I thought of other ways to give him proofs of love. Whether it be getting his breakfast or dinner ready in the morning, cleaning the kitchen or helping out around the house. This may seem like everyday tasks for anyone but what is important to note here, is that my husband does all of this stuff most of the time in order to allow me to take on all the projects and roles that I do.
As we neared the end of the month, I completed a major assignment for uni. As soon as I submitted it, I tapped out and Matt tapped in. He was due for surgery on his knee the following week and it occurred to me that he was withholding offloading his concerns and stress whilst I was progressing through my own. I hadn’t even noticed he was feeling this way, I was so caught up in my own mess that I hadn’t even taken note that he was struggling. It was now my turn to get things done. After his surgery, I gave the ultimate proof of love and took care of everything while he recovered. The old me would have been resentful, and I’m not denying that in a way a part of me was (this is the fourth knee operation after all – read more here!) but taking care of him was the least I could do after all he does for me everyday. This opened my eyes up to how important it is to engage in a mutual give and take in a marriage. There will be times when you do more than you usually do, you will be frustrated, overwhelmed and annoyed. But there will also come a time when your partner will do exactly the same in return! Rather than complaining, plaster that smile on your face and keep a positive mindset. You will be much happier for it in the long run.
The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together. At the end of August, I asked Matt what he thought of my month filled with proofs of love. He said that he found it “amazing.” He explained that it made him want to do more stuff for me. This launched us into a conversation about how we both contributed to the relationship in different ways. I credited him for giving me proofs of love at every turn (cooking dinner, keeping the house clean, administrative tasks) whereas I had to write up notes and plan to give favours due to my heavy workload and lack of time. What was interesting is that I wanted to get better at being more useful around the house and as a wife, but Matt wanted to improve on giving me the tangible evidence such as the notes, messages and emails.