Friday, January 9, 2015

Warning: Showing Appreciation to Your Husband May Cause Surprising Creativity

A couple of years ago, my husband started making the bed in the morning. It think this came shortly after he learned one of my primary love languages is acts of service.

He was really funny about it in the beginning -- he wouldn't admit that he had done it. To show my appreciation, I would send him a text message to say thank you. He would respond with something like, "I don't know what you are talking about. Must have been the elves."

I thought it was pretty interesting that he would do something so nice for me, but not directly own up to it.

The story doesn't end there, though. Apparently, Paul has gotten bored of making the bed in the normal fashion, so he has started arranging the pillows in different patterns every day. Still blames the elves.

As a woman with a first-born, Type-A personality, do I care that the pillows are arranged in a different order every day? Surprisingly, not at all! It's fun! I look forward to seeing what he has done each morning, plus it's been a great conversation piece.

Why am I sharing this silly story with you? Of course, because it has a lesson! It demonstrates a vital and serious component of marriage -- appreciation.

In her book, For Women Only, Shaunti Feldhahn said, "Very few things are as powerful to a man as feeling that he has tried something, accomplished it, done it well, and someone noticed."

She continues to explain that hearing, "Thank you," "You did a great job" or "You are such a great dad" is far more emotionally powerful to a man than hearing "I love you."

So, when my husband did something nice for me, I showed him my love and appreciation by expressing sincere gratitude. Apparently I did that very well, because it encouraged him to take the task to a whole new level with surprising creativity!

But I've got a a little secret ... just between you and me. Sometimes I would like to "adjust" the bedspread a little after he makes the bed. You know, to make it perfect! As hard as it is, though, I usually do not touch it, because I don't want to tell him his job is not good enough.

When we thank our man, but tell him how he could have done it better, we dilute our "thank you" with criticism and make him feel like nothing he does is good enough. It's like saying, "You tried...and failed."

Simple appreciation is powerful! Just say, "Thank you!"

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