If you’ve been following our monthly Marriage Monday posts, you probably remember that Maison + I started intentionally digging into our marriage with a group of close friends over this past year. This group has been the host to some deep topics … highs, lows, smiles, tears + everything in between! Something we recently learned through the study was such a seemingly remedial topic that when we first heard it, it had almost no effect on us. It wasn’t until we hit the personal project at the end of the chapter that we realized the beauty of the idea. Any guesses?
As spouses, boyfriends, friends … in almost any relationship you can see the depth in how you compliment each other. Really, a wife is a reflection of her husband’s ability to compliment her. Wow. Here is a question for you: is my spouse (or significant other) confident in himself or herself? Now, the purpose of this post isn’t to make you feel guilt (I initially felt guilt because I saw how far short I was falling from what Maison deserved), but rather to encourage you to give the best version of yourself to your spouse. Essentially, Maison desires to hear from me that she is desired, loved, beautiful, smart, valued/cherished, + noticed for the hard work she does for me/our family (if you are looking for words for a husband just replace the word beautiful with strong or handsome, for example).
This is the “meat + potatoes” of compliments, but I found that was where struggle began. I can’t simply say, “Maison, I think you are beautiful … or smart … or valued, etc.” It has to be genuine + it has to be specific (here we could go into the art of receiving a compliment, but I’ll save that for another day ; )). I’ve realized that this is something that can be either extremely hard or extremely easy depending on timing. I had a realization that if I didn’t immediately vocalize my feelings in compliment form to Maison right when they happened, it’s almost like I forgot they happened. During our marriage group I sat there + struggled to come up with non-generic compliments + felt really guilty. I knew Maison was all of those things mentioned above but I couldn’t vocalize why. Then later that night, I had a light bulb moment. I looked over at Maison + as the computer screen lit her face, I admired the way her glasses made her look sexy + smart, + also how hard she has been working during our busy season. What did I do? I simply did the opposite of what I normally do. I vocalized exactly how I was feeling. I said, “Maison, I really love how good you make those glasses look! I also, wanted to thank you for working so hard today. I know it requires a lot of you.” That’s it. If I can just stop + vocalize my thoughts instead of keep them to myself, I can compliment Maison in a way that makes her feel cherished as my wife + as a woman.
If you are struggling to try + think about these lines during the day, + try filling in the blanks:
1. That outfit you are wearing ______________________.
2. Can I get your perspective on ______________________?
3. I noticed my love for you growing when you ______________________.
4. I’ve noticed I’ve grown in ______________________ way + wanted to thank you for the way you make me want to be a better man.
Let’s make this week truly about how well we can serve our spouses. Take just a few extra minutes to plant the seeds that will truly return a harvest in our marriages years down the road. What seems hard now will all make sense. Sow into your spouse + watch their confidence soar + your marriage/relationship flourish! Cheers+ Happy Monday!
Photo by Shaunae Teske