It never fails. Each time I attend a wedding, I feel a renewal of my own vows to my wife and to my marriage. As I sit there, appreciating the joining of two people in love under God, it is impossible for me to reflect on my own marriage. My beautiful wife, with her hair flowing in the wind, looks at me as I look at her. Passion and reflection pass between us through our eyes like large elegant ocean waves flowing invisibly between us. I take her hand, as she takes mine. We each give a gentle squeeze as we turn our attention back to the marriage ceremony at hand……
As I reflect on our marriage, I try to remember the things that I still do for her. A way to honor her in my marriage. This is a good thing, as it keeps me on track that I haven’t fully taken her for granted. She may not always recognize these items when I do them. But, what’s important is when she does reflect on them, that’s how she remembers me.
Ways I still honor my wife after being together for 15 years.
(in no particular order, except how my brain works):
- Opening car doors – If we ever go somewhere together, even if to the store, I will always open and close her side of the car door, whether it be at our house, the grocery store, or a date.
- Opening store doors – I will open the door to the store first to let her in. The difficulty in this, is at stores that have a “double-door” lobby. It’s very hard to stay elegant and graceful when you open the first door, and then race to the second set of doors, while not making it look like you are trying. I still fail at this sometimes.
- Going with her for mundane errands – Any time she asks me to go with her, even if it’s as mundane as going to the bank, I will always make an attempt to go with her. Not because it’s important, or because she needs me. But, to just always be with her when she wants…. not when I want. Sometimes, I’m not eager to go, and she recognizes it. But, I still make the effort. She asked me for a reason. That’s important enough.
- Massages – I’m not talking about giving her a back or foot massages when she asks. That’s too obvious, though, I still do. While that does show care and love, it’s more important to offer it when she does not. That implies that you are thinking of her well-being and want her to feel better or just to relax. Sometimes, while we are watching TV together, I’ll just ask her to sit on the floor in front of me, while I just rub her shoulders. If she is laying on the couch with her legs propped up in my lap, I’ll just start rubbing her feet.
- House Chores – OK. I *ALMOST* didn’t put this in. That’s because it is sexist to say that she must do the house chores. Yet, she feels it’s her responsibility, so I help her by doing things that I *know* she hates doing, just so that she doesn’t have to. Like folding and putting away laundry. She doesn’t mind washing clothes, but she hates the folding/putting up part. I try to do this before she has a chance, so she doesn’t feel she has to do it.
- I *NEVER* talk poorly of her to others. I don’t care if it’s my best friend or my parents. She is my wife. Why would I want ANYONE to see her other than at her best? If someone *does* insist by saying something like “she sounds too perfect. Surely she has faults”…. I will simply respond with “Of course she has faults…. but her weaknesses are my strengths, so it matches well”, and leave it at that.
- She has not ever or will ever be my servant. i do not ask her to do things for me, that I can do myself. If she offers to do something for me, then that is HER way of showing me honor, and I must let her. It’s not a pride thing. If she feels she can’t do anything for me out of love, then she will feel that she does not have a place.
- Relax her. When I know she’s had a really tough day, I try to come up with things that will help her feel better. This does not always work, but I make the attempt. For example, maybe I’ll run her a hot bath with some lavender in the water and some soft music. Or maybe I’ll fix us dinner.
Endearing ways I show her she is important to me:
- I rarely use her first name. I would generally use loving pet names, even in public, to show her that she is more to me than just a first name. I will call her “Babe” or “Honey”. When I answer the phone, I may say “Hey Beautiful” or “What’s up sexy”. Of course, after 15 years, she then gets a little concerned when I actually DO use her first name. I may just do it anyway, just to make her give me a second look. 🙂
- I will post loving items on Facebook to her. Now, I’m not a Facebook person. I generally shy away from browsing the rumor-filled feed. But, because she loves facebook, I will go to “her” spots to show her she is loved.
- Find things that are best done by me. For example, my wife got a new office at work. While she is perfectly capable of hanging pictures and maybe even a whiteboard, I am usually more handy at measurements, centering, and hanging. So, I did it myself.
- Listen. This is the most important. Everyone always knows this, but rarely know why. Have you ever been out to dinner and find you have nothing to talk about? It may be because you haven’t really listened to what’s been going on with her, and have nothing to talk about. I keep hearing from long marriages “We have been around so long, we run out of things to say”. I find that an interesting remark. I have known people that have had best friends for 30+ years, and I never hear them say that about their friends. If the table discussion goes “stale”, I will ask her about something she talked about earlier that week, like: “What ever happened to that thing you did with that person?”.
That being said, I also have some things to work on. I am not perfect, and I am always reviewing my life with her to see how I can do things better. I’m not always good about this.
Here are some things I need to work on:
- Always be available for her. If I’m at work and she calls, I must find a way to take the call, even if I’m in a meeting. I will usually silence the call, and then immediately text her saying I’m in a meeting and if it’s important. This is sometimes tough for me, as I also do not want to be rude to the person that I’m with. It’s a juggling act, but my wife is my life. My work is not.
- Do the tasks I told her I would do. This, apparently as I learned the hard way in the recent past, is huge. I am the guy who continually gets a full plate quickly. Mostly because work plans or family agenda’s take up my time. But, before I know it, that stair banister that I said would fix 3 months ago is still broke. Your “honey-do” list should be important to you.
- Identify what she doesn’t like, and make the effort to stop it. There are some things that my wife doesn’t like, or maybe would prefer not to do. Like the “House Chores” or the “Tasks” topics identified above, there are some things that your wife may not like. Maybe it’s the way you raise your voice, how you spend your money, something in bed, or the way you dress. While you may disagree, it’s still her feelings and opinions, and they should matter.
As I close this self-reflecting post, I remember why I married her. This gets lost in life so many times. But, she has a great heart, and she has so much love to give. Her smile and her laughter melt my heart, and I get lost in her eyes when I allow myself. She is such a beautiful person inside and out, and she balances me. And while it’s a bit redundant, most of all, I love how she loves me. God Bless you and your marriage, as he has blessed me and mine.