I don’t know if it was because my late husband Chris and I had been unhappily married before, but we never took each other for granted. Three months before Chris passed away – when so much has already been taken from him – he looked at me and said: “We are one of the happiest couples I have ever known.” He was right; we were.
Chris and I accepted each other as we were. Even when he wore the most atrocious shirts – to my taste at least – I’ve never said anything. I didn’t because I accepted him. And when I was caught in my rat wheel, he stood by me patiently letting me know he was there.
We were each others best friends. We supported one another on the path we chose for ourselves. There was never any talk of “you should be this way or you should do this.” Our talks were more about how we could support each other in our life adventures.
We checked in with each other during the day and at night we had what I called “quality time.”
Quality time was when we turned the lights out and before going to sleep in the darkness we held each other and shared our feelings. Whatever they were, we were there to listen.
We made a point – without making a point – to thank each other for little things we did. We also paid compliments as often as possible. Not phony ones, but real ones that came from having slowed down enough to pay attention to one another.
Chris used to bring me flowers and I cooked special meals for him. Without thinking about it, we were making sure we both knew how appreciated we were and how lucky we felt to be together. Sometimes we even blurted out: “I’ve never thought I could be this happy.”
I think that was the secret of our beautiful relationship. Not just that we loved and appreciated each other, but that we let one another know.
Time goes by quickly and we never know what turns life will take. Why not let the people we love know how much we appreciate them? That is the secret to a successful relationship.
Please read on.
The Secret to Extraordinary Love Every Day (And 6 Easy Ways to Make it Happen)
By Ashley Davis Bush, LCSW
In a word: appreciation. It sounds simple but its power is super-charged. The dual aspects of gratitude and recognition, both imbedded in the loving art of appreciation, are like sunshine and water to a plant..Continued
As modern couples, we are at extreme risk for taking each other for granted. We juggle career, family, home management, extended families, aging parents, and health concerns. It’s no wonder that our most intimate relationship gets lost in the day to day shuffle…Continued
When the DMV alerted my daughter that she passed all of the necessary tests to award her a California driver’s license, you would have thought that she won the California lottery. Needless to say, she was ecstatic …. and rightfully so. I actually started teaching her to drive when she was just twelve years old; her feet couldn’t even reach the pedals at the time. She would sit in my lap and I would let her steer. Of course, her mom wasn’t privy to all of these “lessons”; they were our “little secret”, though the grounds keepers at the Great Western Forum, former home of the Los Angeles Lakers, could have easily spilled the beans.
As time wore on my not-so-little girl was catching on and started to get bored with the seemingly endless circles we’d make in the huge parking lot. Well, faster than it seems possible, she and I were shopping for her first car just last week. Guess who fell in love with he first car she test drove? Well, it wasn’t me. My daughter’s decision was the perfect fodder for my thoughts for this posting.
I explained to her that buying a car is not like buying a dress. If you purchase the dress and get home to find that it’s not the color you thought it was, you have the option of returning it. I also managed to mention how you don’t have to insure a dress or maintain it or pay for it monthly through the years. Her focus was pure and simple: to have her first car.
There are some who treat their cars like they should treat people and …. there are some people who treat people like they are cars. Depending on your perspective, either may work for you. What I hope works for all of us is that things (i.e relationships) of value are not appreciated overnight. They are not forced, they are nurtured; they are not haphazardly formulated, they congeal. It’s not about getting to the finish line first, it’s about staying in the race at the speed that is comfortable for you.
So many of us are absorbed in the the turned up pace of the new millennium that we often ignore the gentler days of yesteryear. I think that it’s fine, as a matter of fact, healthy, to get excited about so many things. I also think that the laws of the universe have suggested that comfort and success are found by those who comply with an even keel approach. Before we rush to or into a situation, we should take our time to procure the best results. Simply put, easy really does it.