Thank God for Hard Copies

November 19, 2013

in the generous life

I got an email about a post that was so old it’s not in my current WordPress archive. I’m sure it’s hiding somewhere in the dusty files on my computer. Thankfully the generous wife who asked about it eventually found a hard copy and was kind enough to send it to me. (Thanks, Lee Ann!)

It’s still a great tip, so I thought I would share it with y’all again. The original author is a generous wife named Rebecca.

A while back I realized that I didn’t know my husband as well as I wanted to. I didn’t know what my most important jobs were to him, what really made him feel special, what made him feel uncomfortable, etc. So I decided to pick his brain. I typed up on separate lines things that I thought were important that I do on a range of topics. Here are some examples:

Keep clutter down
Speaking well of you in front of others
Being on time
Greeting you when you come home
Asking for advice
Discussing spiritual things
Having breakfast with you before you go to work
Scheduling time out of the house so you can have some solitude
[and] some intimate topics [as well]

On and on, I think I had between 50-75 things. I printed the papers and cut them into strips.

Last night we went through them all. Categorized them into similar topics, and then it started. He explained his feelings on each item, and to my amazement I saw how little I knew my husband. He put things in categories like “important, please continue,” “please improve,” “makes me uncomfortable,” “really nice, but not necessary,” “non-issues, it doesn’t make a difference,” etc. Now I know where to put my energy and effort.

Things that I thought he would enjoy – like public verbal praise, really made him feel uncomfortable. Me greeting him at the door made him feel attacked sometimes, and guilty that I was dropping everything for him. Me spending time with him at breakfast was difficult because he’s in “get ready for work” mode and not “let’s sit and talk at breakfast” mode. It was eye opening and I feel so much closer to him.

It gave him the opportunity to express frustrations he had because certain needs weren’t being met, and also allowed me to do the same. Now I understand more than ever my husband and see how incorrect I was in so many areas, and it only took about 2 hours. I can be a better wife, now – and he wants to be a better husband. Areas that I was afraid to ask about are now open topics.

I think it was the best things I’ve ever done in my marriage.

We all have assumptions and expectations. One of the kindest (and smartest) things you can do is communicate about them so that they are clear and out in the open.

An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.  Benjamin Franklin

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Hot, Holy & Humorous: 4 Ways Sex Can Comfort in Crisis or Grief My RRS feed to this blog somehow died (a personal crisis to be sure ~ where is my husband?), so I’ve missed several of her recent posts. If you have the time after reading this one, skip around a bit to read a few others. “J” is writing up a storm of great posts.

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I’m an Organizing Junkie: How to be Intentional About the Holidays! Very do-able.

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Storyline: Why “Taking a Loss” is Often a Great Career and Life Move It’s a great move for your marriage too.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Darcy November 19, 2013 at 3:27 am

This is along the lines of knowing your husband’s love language. My husband and I look the love language test a couple of years ago and it really explained some of the things in our marriage and has helped us show love in our spouses love language instead of our own. It’s funny because my top love language was his lowest and his top was my lowest when we took the test the first time. We recently took the test again and while our top ones stayed the same, our lowest ones each moved up a notch; I am sure it is because we have worked hard at speaking it for each other.

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Cassie November 19, 2013 at 5:58 am

I have seen this ideas somewhere else too and thought it was a great one! It would be very eye opening! I need to put this on my to do list! Thank you for the reminder!

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Lynne November 19, 2013 at 2:55 pm

What a great idea. Next month we celebrate our 36th anniversary but I suspect I also need to get to know my husband better! Thanks for re-posting this.

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