Monday, October 14, 2013

Step Twelve: To Get You've Got to Give

This is kind of a two-sided suggestion.

First of all, giving feels really good.

No, not necessarily that kind of good, guys. I'm talking the kind of good that comes from volunteering or doing something self-less because it feels good to give to others. I love making other people's day, be it a card in the mail or an extra soda from the machine at work. I'm always on the lookout for that little something extra to let people know that they are important to me. So why not use this on my husband?

Sure, I can show him a little love but what I'm really trying to do is associate myself with the act of giving so when he sees me it's a quick association with receiving something he likes. There's a lot of hardship that can go on in a relationship, but when I go out of my way to pick up a Slim Jim at the gas station or buy a movie I know he wants, I'm keeping our bond on an even keel. There's not always time for long conversations about how things are, but a pair of socks (one of his favorite gifts, I'll have you know) can have much the same meaning: I'm thinking about you even when I'm buying a work uniform.

How does this help him do what you want? I don't know about you, but there's always a little friendly competition going on in our house. We're not necessarily trying to outdo one another, but hardly a day goes by when we can't help ourselves from matching each other's gestures. For example: while he's busy doing something at home, sometimes I'll turn to him, meet his eyes and tell him just how happy I am that we got married. Snapping him out of his task and stating how much he means to me can be a pretty powerful mood changer for him. Of course, he can't let that go unmatched- and he often turns the tables on me a few hours later.

It's sort of like leading by association. Mr. E sometimes needs a little reminder that I could use a pick-me-up, but instead of pouting or whining or "I wish you would..."-ing (yeah, I just made that a verb) I encourage him in a way that's stress-free for the both of us.

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Mrs. E