Appreciate Each Other
At times do you feel taken for granted, and not “special” in your relationship?
Sometimes we are not aware that we have an expectation or wish to be appreciated, adored and cherished more…until we are disappointed, hurt or angry.
When I go out with my girlfriends, I often hear a theme of us feeling that our spouses take us for granted. Fortunately many of us are married to good guys who are our friends, our partners and wonderful fathers to our children. However, do we really feel like they appreciate, adore and cherish us? And…is it even reasonable to expect to be adored, cherished and appreciated after all of these years?
When I asked my friends on Twitter, I heard back many passionate responses such as “Not only is it expected, but appreciation is required”; “Love and respect yourself and your partner….and it will be reciprocated” and “I wish I felt that way in my relationship. I just can not imagine”; “No wonder people have affairs…so they aren’t taken for granted and feel appreciated”.
When I ask my husband, Patrick, “Do you really appreciate me?” He says, “Of course I do”. I add, “Really? Sometimes it does not feel that way”.
After teaching 90 Marriage Prep 101 workshops to over 1400 couples the past ten years, Patrick finally knows what I need to hear… “Babe, I always appreciate you. I adore and cherish you. Maybe I need to do a better job conveying that to you”. My fantasy is that my husband will spontaneously grab me, gaze into my eyes and tell me how much he loves me. And, Yes after fifteen years together, I still need to coach him to do so. I have the fantasy that he will pursue me like he did when we were dating. I ask myself is that a reasonable expectation?
In an article in the New York Times Magazine, “What do Women Want?“, a study found that many women “wish to be an object of erotic desire” and want a partner who is a “caveman who is caring.. who will throw them up against the wall, but not endanger them”. Yeah, that sounds pretty good to many of us!
In the book, “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate“, Gary Chapman writes about the five main ways that we like to be loved. Choices include: Acts of Service, Quality Time, Gifts, Physical Touch and Words of Appreciation. How do you prefer to be loved? What about your partner or other important people in your life? Are you showing them love in the ways that they want to be loved? Are they showing you love in the ways that you want and need?
It is no surprise that I prefer to be loved with “Physical Touch” and “Words of Appreciation”. My husband, on the other hand is an “Act of Service” guy. He feels most loved when I make him dinner or clean out the garage. I feel loved when he passionately tells me how much he appreciates and cherishes me, and how he can not live without me. It is not his nature as an Irish Catholic New Yorker man, yet he is working on becoming my Latin lover, and little changes go a long way with me.
Please do not take each other for granted. Rather than focus on the problems of your relationship, try showing appreciation of each other. You may have better results!