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
Beautiful Pablo Neruda poem. Enjoy!
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms,
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers.
Thanks to your love a certain fragrance,
risen darkly from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride,
so I love you because I know no other way than this:
where “I” does not exist, nor “you,”
So close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
So close that your eyes close and I fall asleep.