One of the greatest gifts my husband has ever given me is the gift of appreciation after the “I Do’s!” It is easy and very natural to be on your best behavior during the dating phase. We bring out our best manners saying little things (even though they’re actually quite huge) like “thank you” and “please!” While dating, we are mostly concerned with pleasing others rather than ourselves. We want them to be impressed with us and we go above and beyond to “be nice and act right” because we know if we don’t, they will more than likely move on! So we whip out the nice-a-ties and act in a way that would make our momma’s proud!
However, sometimes things change, often very quickly, after the “I do’s!”
Why is that? Where do our manners go when the ones we so wanted to impress become our spouses? When does the change happen from wanting to please them to only pleasing ourselves? Basically, why do we become so “all about us” after the honeymoon is over?
This all became so apparent to me when I married the love of my life 9 years ago.
My children and I had moved to South Carolina and I was busy trying to make a home out of this newly blended family. I went about doing what “wives” do...cleaning the house, cooking the meals, and doing the laundry. One day Michael my new husband came home from work and noticed there was folded laundry on the couch. After dinner he helped me put the fresh laundry away. As we were doing this “chore” (and notice I said WE) he offered up some simple little words that blew me away! He said, “Thank you for doing MY laundry and folding it. I appreciate all that you do for me!” Really? Wow! Who says that kind of stuff? Lucky me, my husband does that’s who! And at that moment I experienced how true appreciation impacts a relationship.
No one likes to be taken advantage of! No one likes to be unappreciated! No one likes to be unseen! When someone feels under appreciated they very easily can slide into resentment. Resentment for the things they do that go unappreciated by those they do it for. These feelings of resentment can snowball into a life of separateness from the ones that we love. Resentment separates you! It separates you from people, joy, blessings and the goodness that life wants to offer you. I believe that many problems in relationships, especially marriages, can be solved with one phrase...I appreciate you!
A simple “thank you” will go a long way with others. If they know that you are noticing them and all they do, then the feeling can be reciprocated and the snowball that is rolling down a negative path, can begin to roll in a new positive direction towards unity.
Thank you is enough!
Thank you for dinner...even if I make Michael a peanut butter sandwich he never fails to say thank you. He notices that even the sandwich took effort...it was something I did because I chose to, not because I had to. Thank you for thinking of me, thank you for helping me, thank you for all that you DO for me! Two simple yet monumental words...THANK YOU!!!
Try it...see what happens not only for others but also for yourself when you begin to live with an appreciative spirit.
Take a moment today to do a “thank you” check in your life. Are you being as kind and appreciative after the “I do” as you were before? Would your Momma be proud that you are still using your good manners?
Be honest now...would she?