Heaven Help Us
Tips for Building lasting love
Corrie Lynne Player
It’s traditional to talk about love and relationships during the month of February. Store aisles are filled with red teddy bears, dancing hearts and candy kisses. Retailers hope you’ll splurge on your sweetheart, and they spare no effort in convincing you to remember parents, grandparents, children and friends.
Florists and candy makers tell me that they typically earn 25 to 40 percent of their yearly income during February. I actually enjoy looking at all the cutesy things on the shelves and, if I can afford them, I buy valentine cards for my children and grandchildren—and my husband. I think it’s fun to say “I love you” with a card, candy, or flowers.
I like to be remembered, too, which is a main reason I advocate celebrating this non-holiday—as long as you show love through word and deed the other 364 days a year. So, let’s consider some things to help you demonstrate affection and love for your spouse.
While digging through my “inspiration” files, I found this following bit of advice.“To keep your marriage cup brimming with love, whenever you’re wrong, admit it; whenever you’re right, shut up!”
In that same file, I found some interesting information about whether or not a marriage is based on selfishness. My notes indicated that during the depression of the 1930’s, the divorce rate, which had been climbing in the Roaring Twenties, dropped dramatically.
A marriage relationship requires that both members give up some personal freedoms. Most of all, it requires responding to the challenges of marriage through positive communication. Couples can experience poverty, illness and death of a child, and still remain together if they’re committed to their marriage and serve one another unselfishly.
I’ve said in this column before that positive actions and words reap great benefits while negativity and criticism don’t accomplish much. I’ve also asked you to share how you show your love for your spouse and how your spouse shows love for you. And a whole bunch of you did!
Amber wrote, “I’m afraid I’m the big ‘taker’ in our relationship. You name it, he does it. If he sees dinner isn’t started, he’ll jump in and do it. First thing he does when he comes home is straighten anything that’s out of place, and he never says a word.”
Jessica wrote, “He’s very supportive of me being back at school. He stays home with the kids and does all the work while I am at my classes. I can talk to him about anything. When I’m stressed out, he gives me complete body rubs, and if I am upset, he’ll just hold me. It seems like such a small thing, but I feel so safe and secure in his arms.”
Another reader who didn’t sign her name said, “My one pet peeve in life is DISHES; they NEVER get done. …you wash them and there’s another pile to do. My husband knows this, and every day (well almost every day) before he goes to work he does the dishes! It takes one thing off my plate in the day, and when I wake up to a clean sink (he gets up at like 5 a.m.), it always makes me smile and reminds me that he loves me!”
Let’s all concentrate this month, and the rest of the year, on demonstrating our love for our spouses: hugs, doing the dishes, picking up scattered toys and starting dinner. And a red fuzzy heart, a rose, or a box of chocolates is okay, too.