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Wifey Wednesday: Do You Appreciate Your Mate?
It's Wednesday, which means it's time to talk marriage!

Today I want to talk about appreciation. A counsellor I know sent me an email about a study that was done where people were asked to say the first thing that came into your mind when you heard certain words. Here's a sample, which she says was quite representative of the responses:

Your significant other? doghouse
Your mother? helpful
Your father? wise
Your friends? supportive

Your significant other? pain
Your mother? Love
Your father? quiet
Your friends? silly

Your significant other? irritating
Your mother? working
Your father? gone
Your friends? spectacular

Your significant other? annoyingY
Your mother? loving
Your father? smart
Your friends? important

Your significant other? messy
Your mother? friend
Your father? unique
Your friends? amazing

See a trend there? People love their moms. They adore their friends. But the words for significant other are always negative.

Perhaps she sent me a skewed sample, but I wouldn't doubt that this is true. I think we're most negative about the ones who are supposed to be the closest to us. Those are the ones who are supposed to complete us, who are supposed to meet all these expectations, and when they don't, we get mad.

But people don't thrive on condemnation; they thrive on appreciation. I honestly don't know what we think: do we figure that if we criticize enough, or withhold affection, or complain, that they'll magically change? Or are we trying to punish them for not being what we want them to be? If we do, we simply push them away, and we end up punishing ourselves. What we really want, you see, is a truly intimate relationship, where we are known and still accepted. But how can we get that unless we're also willing to give it?

Perhaps you think he doesn't deserve it. After all, you're a better spouse. You care for him, cook for him, raise his kids, and all he does is sit in front of the television. You have a valid complaint. But expressing it in a judgmental way will not help you. Working on yourself as a wife, and learning how to build intimacy before we confront will go so much further.

So today, I have an assignment for each of you. In the comments, tell me what you appreciate about your husband, even if you're mad at him right now. And then tell him, too! If we start talking the language of appreciation, we build him up, and we concentrate on what we like, rather than on what we resent. And then both of us will be in a much more positive framework to work on our issues!

And, if you want to participate even more fully, why not write a Wifey Wednesday post? Go to your own blog and write a post about what marriage & appreciation, or whatever else is on your mind about marriage. Then come back here and enter your link! You'll be eligible to win one of my audio downloads: Protect Your Marriage! I so appreciate everyone who contributes!

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To Love, Honor and Vacuum

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At 9:09 AM , Blogger Lisa said…

I am mad at my hubby right now. We are having problems and he won't talk to me. He even locked the bedroom door on me on Mon night! I had to sleep on the couch. :(( But I really appreciate how hard he works to provide for our family!


At 9:20 AM , Blogger Fruitful Vine2 said…

Oh my! So sorry to hear that Lisa. But that's a great attitude - finding something to appreciate.


At 9:51 AM , Blogger Sheri said…

Oh Lisa, I'm sorry.

Sheila: I couldn't list the things I appreciate about Mike here. You'd run out of bandwidth. Check out my blog for a breakdown (sort of)


At 10:31 AM , Blogger Deborah said…

I also appreciate how hard my husband works. And I appreciate how gentle he is with me, even when he's tired and irritated, like when I gave him bad directions to a friend's house last night. And I appreciate that even after I gave him bad directions, when the cats started pouncing my toes at 1am, he got up and kicked them out of the room instead of waiting for me to wake up enough to do it.


At 12:23 PM , Blogger Angel Reuther said…

I've been feeling a cold coming on all this last weekend. My husband really wanted to take the kids to his parents house for some alone time for us. He did and even though he wanted us to have time together he spent the weekend and the last few days checking on me and always asking how I was doing or if I needed anything. He bought me coffee twice this weekend (a huge splurge for us). I've really felt loved this week. Not that he doesn't do a good job usually, but I have really noticed the effort he has been making and I really appreciate it. I told him so last night. :)


At 2:35 PM , Blogger Allyson Kellner said…

I really appreciate my husband's love for the Lord and the Bible. From that that love, comes a love for me and our kids. We are well taken care of and cherished by him, even when finances are very tight, our living situation may not be ideal, sickness happens or little mistakes are made.


At 2:41 PM , Blogger Kim said…

My husband is a great provider going most days without lunch or money to buy lunch cause things are too tight sometimes. He is so kind to pitch in on laundry or dishes without my even asking him to and most times he thinks of me above himself. I wish I could be HALF as kind, loving and caring as my husband.

I struggle for him to fulfill my love language needs which is mainly physical touch (holding hands, etc) so this week we began joking around about a "point" system...when we do something nice for the other we get a "point" (no one keeps track but it's fun) we let the other know that we're getting a point and it has added some much needed "fun" to our relationship and has gotten us interested in doing more for the's been well worth it!


At 3:24 PM , Blogger Tonia said…

I love so many things about him, even when I'm angry with him or when I disagree with him. When someone mentions my husband I always feel great joy. He is a WONDERFUL father, husband, & son. He's not too bad in the brother, and uncle department either ;) . He is a hard worker, very smart, and a great friend. In fact he is my best friend and he is always in my corner. I can't imagine having the negative response that so many people list.

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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