Read Restore Your Marriage & Fall in Love Again Online
Authors: Krystal Kuehn
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THINK ABOUT IT
I can live for two months on a good compliment. ~Mark Twain
Nothing makes people so worthy of compliments as receiving them. One is more delightful for being told one is delightful -- just as one is more angry for being told one is angry. ~Katherine Gerould
Everybody likes a compliment. ~Abraham Lincoln
Men prefer brief praise, pitched high; women are satisfied with praise in a lower key, just so it goes on and on. ~Mignon McLaughlin
Did you ever talk to your spouse and think that he or she heard you, but was not really paying attention to what you were saying? There was once a funny commercial that comes to mind. A woman walks in a room and asks her husband if the dress she just put on makes her look fat. He is so engulfed in the television that he responds to her with “you betchya.” He thought being agreeable would answer her question, but instead it revealed that he was not being attentive to her. Obviously, she was not too happy with his response and he had to find another place to spend the night.
There are so many distractions that can divide our attention. We may be having a conversation and at the same time check email messages, reply to a text message, flip through television channels, listen to the radio, look through a magazine or newspaper, go through the mail, and so forth. Our minds can easily wander if we do not make a concentrated effort to stay focused, listen and respond with both our hearts and minds. We may start daydreaming or thinking about what to eat or what is on our agenda for tomorrow.
We know the importance of giving our undivided attention to someone from our school days. It always seemed that teachers favored the students that hung on their every word, raised their hands often, and looked right at them as they instructed the class. It is not that these teachers were so impressed with how smart these kids were as much as it demonstrated interest and engagement with their teaching.
Everyone not only wants to be heard, but everyone wants to be interesting enough that others will pay attention to them. We like people who find us interesting. And, we know when they do. They pay attention to us. They are engaged in what we are saying. They maintain good eye contact, nod their head, and ask questions. When we do these things, we show our partners that we are genuinely interested in them and what they have to say.
The next time your partner has something to share with you, consider the following:
• Is my mind wandering or I am completely focused on what my partner is saying right now?
• Am I looking at my partner, or am I gazing out the window, at my cell phone, at the television, etc.?
• Am I interacting with my partner – asking questions that show I am being attentive?
• How else can I express my interest in what my partner is saying?
SAY IT & BELIEVE IT
Read aloud (individually or together):
We all want to be liked by others, especially by our spouses. It is easy to let distractions keep me from giving undivided attention to
. I understand that he/she wants to feel important to me. _____ wants me to know that I find him/her interesting and fun. When _____ speaks, he/she wants to know that I want to hear everything he/she tells me. When _____ shows me something, he/she wants me to watch with interest. When _____ wants to have a discussion with me, he/she wants me to interact with him/her and be engaged in the topic. These are the same things I want from him/her as well.
From this day forward, I will give _____ more of my undivided attention. I will express more genuine interest in him/her. I will become more interactive and curious. Even if I am not totally absorbed in what _____ is saying or doing, I will pay attention to him/her. And as I do, _____ will feel important to me. He/she will know that he/she is interesting, fun and truly liked.
I will give my attention and show interest in my spouse as I admire who he/she is and enjoy his/her company.
PUT IT INTO PRACTICE
This week, pick a day in which you share something interesting and fun with your spouse. It can be anything that you want your partner to know and appreciate about you.
For example, Diane enjoys blogging about health and fitness. She writes her own articles and makes video demonstrations to share with her online community, but she would also like to share her passion with her husband Ryan. Knowing it is important to his wife, Ryan agrees to participate in her next video and start reading her posts.
Ken is an enthusiastic football fan. He has a great deal of knowledge about the sport’s history, teams and players that he would like to share with his wife Rachel. Knowing how much her husband enjoys football Rachel chooses to be open and learn about her husband’s favorite hobby. She also plans to watch the next game with him.
After you complete the exercise, talk about your experiences and what it meant to you. What did you learn about your partner? What was it like to share and participate in your spouse’s interests?
THINK ABOUT IT
I just want to be loved, is that so wrong?! ~Harvey Fierstein
Whatever we possess becomes of double value when we have the opportunity of sharing it with others. ~Jean Nicolas-Bouilly
Promise yourself to be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. ~Christian Larson
You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins. ~John Stovall
I love you not because of who you are, but because of who I am when I am with you. ~Roy Croft
Can you recall a time when you felt truly happy and in love just being in the presence of your spouse? Maybe being with her made you laugh and forget all the cares of the world. She had a way of making you feel important and valued. You may not remember exactly what she said or did at the time, but you can remember the feelings you had. You felt alive and special.
Though simple acts of affection like holding hands, hugging, kissing, and saying “I love you” can do wonders in a relationship, they become unforgettable when true love and concern are present. Imagine how Jerry must have felt when Anna showered her affection on him after he lost his father. She rubbed his shoulders and spoke words of comfort to him. She did extra work and chores to help lighten his burdens. Her tenderness and warmth and the way she made him feel during an especially difficult time in his life will be etched in his memory forever.
How about when Jessie trained for her first marathon? There were times when she almost quit. Her husband encouraged her to stick with it. She will always appreciate the massages he gave to ease her tension, the motivating words he said, and how she felt empowered and strengthened by his love and affection. It was enough to motivate her to keep training when it got tough and to keep believing when she doubted herself.
Words and actions can have a significant impact when coupled with love and affection. Their impact will be long lasting when it moves the heart and emotions. Your spouse wants to have the assurance and feel the warmth of your love. You can do the right things, say the right things, but do not forget to show affection and love that will leave your partner will tender memories and fondness that will last forever.
SAY IT & BELIEVE IT
Read aloud (individually or together):
Just as tension can be felt in a room after an argument, love and affection can be felt in the presence of someone who makes us feel valued. It is the kind of atmosphere we all like to be in. We enjoy being with our partners when they make us feel loved and show us their affection.
to enjoy being in my presence. I realize that I can create my own atmosphere and energy. This can be done with simple things like lighting, sounds and music. But more importantly, I create the tone of my atmosphere by choosing my attitudes and actions. I can choose to be friendly, playful or kind. And if I am feeling irritable, I can choose to not be confrontational.
I will not withhold my love and neither will I withhold physical affection from _____. I will remember the importance of physical touch and express my love physically as well as emotionally. I want _____ and me to enjoy one another as we show each other our love and affection both physically and emotionally.
I want to be a pleasure to be around. I want _____to feel so safe, at ease, comfortable and loved around me that the best of him/her comes out. I want to be a positive presence in his/her life.
With heartfelt, genuine care and passionate, gentle touch, I will show my spouse love and affection to remember
PUT IT INTO PRACTICE
Recall the times you enjoyed being in one another’s presence. What made it so special and memorable? What was it about being around your partner that you especially enjoyed? Was it his or her humor, passionate kisses, flirtatious manner, gentle touch, energy, motivating attitude, positive outlook?
This week, make a conscious effort to display your love and affection to one another. Toward the end of the week, talk about the experience and how it made you feel. If you had a difficult time being affectionate, ask yourself what made it difficult (unresolved relationship issues, discomfort, lack of interest).
Some ideas that show physical affection include:
• Kiss your spouse good bye and hello
• Hold hands
• Give hugs
• Embrace and kiss for several minutes
• Offer a back or foot massage
• Rub your spouse’s shoulders
• Whisper in your spouse’s ear
• Tickle each other, play footsie or flirt
• Make love
You may also want to pick a day and create an enjoyable, pleasurable atmosphere in which to spend some time alone together. You can make it a romantic and unforgettable time of love and affection. Some ways to create a memorable romantic atmosphere may be to:
• Use soft dim lighting and scented candles
• Play some of your favorite music
• Dress specifically for the occasion
• Change the environment by decorating/rearranging
And most importantly, choose the tone of your romantic climate by planning to have a great attitude that will make your spouse feel that there is no place else you would rather be.
THINK ABOUT IT
Sometimes we make love with our eyes. Sometimes we make love with our hands. Sometimes we make love with our bodies. Always we make love with our hearts. ~unknown
Somewhere there’s someone who dreams of your smiles and finds in your presence that life is worthwhile. So when you are lonely, remember this is true….somebody, somewhere is thinking of you!