Monday, January 14, 2013

Marriage Monday: 20 things...appreciate

Monday.  I have oft joined the throngs who dread Mondays...return to routine, to work, to the rat race.  But of late, and with many thanks to my protective knight in shining armor, Mondays have taken on a new tone for me.  One similar to that of drawing in a long, deep breath.  At least on the Mondays when I do what I'm 'supposed' to by making it a day to refuel myself.  A guilt-ridden, yet healthy choice for me.

Guilt-ridden only because this is a luxury that I realize not everyone is afforded.  And most of all, because when I see my husband needing such a reprieve probably even more than's hard to not have twinges of feeling a bit spoiled. 

My hard-working and amazing man goes all week long at his job, comes home and tries to make the most of his evenings engaging and caring for us, his family, and continues with the pace straight through the weekend as he attempts to keep up with the never-ending list of projects and to-do's that come with a house that had some design flaws from the start, and the family has outgrown, but we are ever-trying-to-make-it-work, because reality is, there's probably just not any other option right now.  He also deals with all the situations, decisions and spats that I finally throw my hands up over and say, "Talk to your father!!" about.  He runs interference between the two females in this house who increasingly are both 'coming into their own', which is all fine and well until our 'owns' don't mesh so smoothly.  And then there's just me...he gets lots of point for just handling me with such love and understanding...because, though I'm sure you cannot imagine this, but I am not always the most loveable creature on the planet.  ;)

So...what on earth does this have to do with marriage, or what I've learned over the years?


It's huge.  Seriously.  I've argued with Todd about this idea of him insisting that I take Mondays 'off' to rest and refresh.  And about how I struggle because I know it's not fair, because he doesn't have...ever...this kind of down time.  And his answer to me is, that if I do it, it is better for me, which is better for him.  He doesn't want my 'martyr' complex...he wants a healthy wife.  And, honestly, doesn't feel any better if I burn myself out, especially in the name of 'fairness' to him.  He wants me to take what he is trying to provide.  He's not asking for anything in return.  But while he's not asking for anything, I know that he does appreciate...well...appreciation!!

This goes both ways, of course.  In my days of endless feeding, changing, and general tending of babies, there was often nothing Todd could really 'do'.  But I would tell him that just his appreciation of what I was doing...recognizing and valuing it...soothed my worn-out mommy soul, more than he could imagine.

Sometimes it's about 'doing' less, and valuing more.  Value each other.  Value what you each uniquely contribute to your relationship and your family.  Don't take for granted that you are 'entitled' to whatever it may be...'me time', meals prepared for you, date nights, the fact that he runs out for milk at 10 p.m. when you realize the kids need it for cereal in the morning (oh, that one just me?)...whatever.  I've seen more than I care to of relationships that lack the things that I take for granted.  Thing that I have tended to think "Well, he darn well better do such-and-such, that's a given!"...for countless wives (or husbands) are NOT a given.  And maybe it's even fair to say certain things are just 'needs'...but that still doesn't mean that it shouldn't be appreciated when your spouse contributes, helps out, or takes responsibility for meeting those needs.

In short...remember to say thanks.  To value each other.  To acknowledge, not only mentally, but to each other, how grateful you are for everything your partner adds to your life.  Oh, and while you're at it, thank the Giver of All Good Gifts as well, for the gift you have in your husband/or wife.

Appreciate.  (And do it in a tangible way!)

What is one (at least) thing that you appreciate about your spouse?  Tell me about it in the comments...and then tell them about how you bragged on them today!! it!!


Keri said...

I'm sad that there are no comments yet. I think this is an excellent post, and if I had a husband, I would certainly be inspired to do some bragging about him here!

And I think his logic about you taking Mondays off benefitting him must be absolutely true. Even though he doesn't have the time to take a day off, having a wife who can must be a blessing because you're less stressed and better able to handle all that life throws your way because of it, which in turn makes life more enjoyable and less stressful for him. Enjoy it while you can :)

Laura Johnson said...

I appreciate how hard Luke works- both at home and work and church. At home he doesn't hesitate to jump in and help with the girls or cleaning up... He almost always puts me first.

Also, he is a very good listener and generally 'evens out' my serious personality.

Zoanna said...

Excellent post. It sounds like he's a keeper. It's easy to take for granted the kind of men we have. Sometimes I don't realize it until I'm around certain people whose husbands feel entitled to flop down and stay down from the minute they walk in the door from work till they go to bed. I can brag that my husband works really hard at a job he no longer enjoys; in fact more than half of his 28 of his years in the business he hasn't enjoyed. But he comes home, works out (to keep himself fit and to relieve stress in a healthy way) and if the old dog has peed on the floor and I've cleaned it up with cleaner and rag, he gets out the steam cleaner even though he is "dog tired." :) I also appreciate how quiet he is in the morning, and he helps with homework and teaches our boys handyman skills and takes our daughter to do things she enjoys--long car rides to PA to get groceries. He fixes whatever is broken and is generous with resources. I need to tell him this more often.

Jessi said...

Thanks for the comments ladies!

Keri, it is true, I think he does benefit from me taking care of do the children and and everyone else that has to put up with me! ;)

Glad to hear you ladies brag on your don't forget to tell him you did! :)