If you are on Facebook and your friends are anything like mine you have probably noticed a popular article getting lots of attention titled something to the effect of “I’m Dating Someone Even Though I’m Married” and when you click into it, it is a call from a pastor and husband to date your spouse. It is not a new concept, but it is a good reminder.
Where I think most people go wrong, myself included, is that we think dates when we hear dating. Between my 12 hour days at work, taking care of the farm animals and renovating our farm house, I don’t have time to go on “dates”, nor do they really do much for me as far as feeling connected with my husband. In fact, if I am being honest half the time we end up rushing because we are late and getting stressed over what to wear and where to go. Fortunately, as the blog post suggests, dating isn’t just about going on dates it’s about pursuing your mate and being nice.
When my husband and I were dating, I would take every opportunity to cuddle up with my husband on the couch and when he came over I would try to make his favorite meals. We kissed often. He wanted to date me because I was fun, considerate and nice, and I let him know I was super into him! Sure I had my moments and he certainly got to see his fair share of them, but for the most part I really gave it my best effort.
Five, almost six, years later I have gotten lazy. I come home and talk about how rough my day was. I sigh heavy and talk about all the chores that need to be done and bills that need to be paid. I don’t make the effort to smile, laugh and focus on the positive. I am not the uplifting, positive, wife I want to be and I am not the nice, fun girl I was. It’s not that I can’t be it’s that I am not making the effort.
I often make excuses about why I don’t make the effort, such as I am just too tired, or I have too many things to think about, or that it’s natural to lose the flame after getting married. Then sometimes I blame shift and tell myself that I am not as nice because he isn’t as nice as he was. If he isn’t making the effort why should I? All are poor justifications. It doesn’t take that much effort to give an extra kiss, write a nice note or let a hug linger for an few extra seconds and if I love my husband like I think I do, it shouldn’t matter who initiates the romance. In the end that extra long hug is as enjoyable for me as it is for him. Rather than make excuses, I need to stop thinking about my romantic gestures as a chore I do for him, but instead realize they are a gift I give myself.
So here’s the plan, it’s a simple one and it’s good! I am going to make a conscious effort to be a nice wife. I will not spend my time planning elaborate dates or vacations where we can reconnect, instead I will focus my efforts on the small things. I will kiss my husband at least once a day and let my hugs linger a little longer, not for him, but for me! I will write him little notes not because I want one in return but because I like the idea of him smiling when he finds it. I will give him compliments because it feels good when I build his confidence. And, my guess is that when I start really making an effort, my husband will see how much fun I am having and he will want in on that fun. If any of this resonates with you I hope you will join me in being nice to your spouse!