Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Step Two: Fostering a Positive Envrionment

This is such a simple, easy thing to do that has SUCH a big impact. Like anyone else, husbands LOVE to hear that they are loved. You wouldn't expect plants to thrive with no water, a body sustained without food or a blogger to function without coffee or tea. The same is true for your husband! Long after those puppy-love feelings have been extinguished, after the honeymoon is over and the weight of living together has really set in, what's left over is the environment the two of you have founded. Is it based on positive affirmations or degrading one another? Do you encourage each other's interests with love and support or are you biting and sarcastic? Are you loving and self-sacrificing for his needs as well as your own? If life at home is consistently negative, or unsupportive (for either or you) then how can you reasonably expect your husband to WANT to do anything for you? Why should your husband put forth the effort willingly and eagerly if he is unsure of the reaction he'll receive? Mr. E and I work hard to make sure that the home we've created is positive. It's a place of rest, a haven to return to and not worry about judgement or ridicule. Positivity comes in all shapes and sizes- Mr. E and I are incredibly vocal about our feelings for one another. One of my favorite things about him is that he would sing nonsense songs to me- with silly lyrics about how I'm "awesome" or "so beautiful". Sometimes I'll turn up the radio and dance really silly with him; that always makes him laugh. When we're out we stop by stores we know the other would want to stop in- whether or not we're really interested. Because we give to each other 110%, we reap the love and affection everyday, all the time.
Believe it or not, we actually use this angle when training our dog, Ripley. It's positive reinforcement- praising the things our pup does right and re-directing the things she does wrong helps her understand the rules of the house. Maybe it's a bit crass to compare dog-training and spouse-conditioning, but the idea is similar. 
I know that I am much more motivated to do something for my husband when I am recognized and appreciated for it- even something as small as grabbing a glass of water for him before going to bed. 

When your husband feels comfortable and welcome at home he's more likely to listen to the things you ask him to do.

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Mrs. E