I posted about this little thing I’ve been doing for Ben this past week over on my instagram (see here), and I think that was my longest caption ever on instagram. It’s probably why I’m better at blogging than instagram-ing; I like to chat (type) a lot. When I think back to when Ben and I were dating, we were surprising each other with things up the wazoo. Nothing expensive, just thoughtful ways of letting each other know how much we loved and appreciated one another. I used to surprise Ben with a bouquet of flowers (who said only boys had to give flowers), and notes on his windshield, and other little sweet things. Now, after 10 years if marriage (almost), and four kids later, those extra sweet things are few and far between. Ben is really good and does something something unexpected from time to time (like this), but I realized I don’t really do anything like that anymore.
I know the way we show love to each other is by me tending household (and children) things, and he goes to work everyday. Those things are great acts of love and very much appreciated, and neither of us is complaining about wanting more from each other. We know by the end of the day, we are both spent, and we are both working hard for our family. We are a team. But marriage is work, and we should never ever stop working, so I’ve been reminding myself that lately. It’s work to stay on the same page, communicate, and to keep the fire alive.
I’m thankful both our parents modeled good and loving marriages to us. He saw parents who communicated well and worked as a team, and I saw passionate fiery love from my parents (they were a team too!). Of course, both our parents fought, his were probably much more civil than mine (I totally remember my mom kicking my dad out of the house a couple times… hi mom and dad!), but both worked together to get through these things. There was a lot of messiness, but there was a lot of love and forgiveness too. I think that’s normal in marriages. By the way, I’m no expert, I’ve only been married (almost) ten years, so I’m sure so many of you are much wiser than me. And I’ve had a taste to see how really messy marriages can be, but I’ve also seen God work through extremely hard situations and bring restoration, so I’m not ignorant to the really lows of marriage.
That’s why I think we all have to work. If we base marriage on feelings, those feelings will definitely fade. Sometimes, I don’t feel like loving Ben, especially when we are fighting. My phrase after, is always, “Okay, I love you again.” So while I do love him a lot, I do want to (and need to) go the extra mile to let him know. This extra mile isn’t being walked everyday, but I do want to challenge myself more often than I have been doing. Thus, this past week, I’ve been leaving him an “I love you” note on the door, so he sees it when he comes home from work. It’s been fun trying to think of various ways to present this, and I get all giggly inside right before he comes home because I’m excited for him to see it.
I know I love romance (though I’m not much of a romantic movie watcher) and romantic gestures from my husband, I realize I could be doing the romancing too. Also, I think if we as wives go the extra mile, it might encourage our husbands to do the same. I’ve had friends complain that their husband isn’t romantic, but I say, “Why not be the romantic one!” That may spark something in our husbands, so you never know. For sure it would encourage him and let him know you love him, and I’m sure he would love that. So I encourage you ladies, work on going the extra mile once in awhile. I know we’re busy and our plates are full, but it doesn’t even have to be fancy… just a sweet little reminder that you love him!