One of the things that happens when you spend a lot of time with someone you love and respect is you learn about how to love well.
The people who love me teach me about how to better love.
And Husband makes my life better in so many ways…I’ve learned so much from him, from what he does for me and with me.
I’ve also learned from what he says.
I’m starting to say some of the lines he says. They aren’t just lines…they are part of a post of a posture of caring and love. I know how the effect they have on me…and so if I can give someone else that feeling, then I’ve done something good.
Mebbe you’ll learn something from these lines too!
“Thanks for telling me that. I like to know what works for you.”
This line usually comes right after I have told him something that doesn’t work for me or when something I don’t like happened. It’s right after I’ve given him feedback that let’s him know I didn’t like something he did.
He, amazingly, often says this line right after I’ve said something critical to him.
Like when, early on in our relationship, he called me “cutie” a couple of times affectionately, and somehow that term of endearment just didn’t sit right with me. I’m just not a “cutie”.
So often, people would be tempted to get defensive or protest, or say how they were misunderstood or they aren’t intending to be hurtful or explain away the behavior…
And he just cheerfully says, “Thanks for telling me. That’s good to know.” It’s like he is confident in himself and in my love.
So often, many of us would see a raised concern as an attack on our character or very worth as a human being. For him, the raised concern is purely information and he is grateful to me, rather than shutting me down.
It startles me…and relaxes me…all at the same time.
It increases my confidence in my ability to teach him about me. Cuz really, how is anybody supposed to know who we are and what our preferences are unless we teach them?
It is hard to tell people we care about what we need. It’s so easy to stay silent and let others be unaware of how we are being hurt in a relationship.
And he welcomes my teaching. And so I feel (mostly) confident in telling him what works for me.
How can I not want to steal that to use with others?
“What can I do for you right now?”
I’ve written about this one before, but I just have to say it again, how much this means to me.
He uses this one when I’m stressed or overwhelmed or sad. And he leaves it open to me to teach him about what is helpful to me.
It’s an amazing task–to be able to imagine what would be helpful knowing he needs to know.
Sometimes, I have to ask him to wait a minute so I can figure it out. I’m still not used to someone really wanting to do for me whatever is helpful.
It’s a truly wonderful gift to be asked this question!
“I love you more than I love to [insert activity here] with you.”
Sometimes I can tell that he would really like to be active…to hang out together and have some fun. And he see that I am tired. And he accommodates where I am at without resentment as part of loving me.
That still astonishes me.
It’s this way he has to let me know that part of loving me is his commitment to making my life better.
It makes me want to love him more than I love to read or spend time on Facebook.
I also love him for the variation on this that goes: “I love our Junior Tribe Member more than I hate playing that bean game.” as he goes off to play the game.
“I’m glad you’re not perfect. Because I’m not perfect, and if you were perfect, then you wouldn’t be perfect for me.”
He says this one right after he sees me make a mistake. When I know I’ve blown it, and I say something like, “Well, that was sure a stupid thing for me to do.” or “How could I be so dumb?” he says this.
This one reminds me, in a compassionate way, that we all make mistakes. He gives me permission to be human.
No, actually, he gives me the expectation to be human.
He encourages me to be gentle, as he is gentle.
And he (correctly) reminds me that part of me relating to him well is a lifestyle of kindness to all…and that starts with me! 🙂
How can I pray for you?
Sometimes, Husband asks me that just as I am starting my day. He has brought me a latté and we are just sharing a few moments together before we start the day.
The ironic thing is that when he asks me that, I know he has already prayed for me. Husband gets up before I do, every morning, to spend some quiet time in prayer, where he prays about all sorts of things.
But he asks me, because I know he continues to pray throughout the day…invite the Divine’s love and mercy into my life. Wow.
It often stumps me…what can he pray for me? It gives me pause–to be mindful of myself…to go down deep inside to see:
- Where is my spirit troubled?
- What hard thing do I need to do that I need courage for?
- What challenges do I face, what fears do I have, where do I lack in love?
- Where is my calling to grow in this day?
Knowing he is in my corner and has my back for the growth and challenges of the day is quite incredible.
“Will you marry me?”
OK..so I like this one, but I’m not learning to use it with other people! 😉
And we are married already, but he still often asks me that.
Like he is delighted and thrilled all over again that he wants to spend his life with me. Like he is again making the choice that he wants to spend his life with me.
He says it like he has rediscovered that his love for me is lifelong. His eyes light up hopefully when he asks me this question.
It keeps our relationship fresh.
He. Still. Chooses. Me.
“I love you”
Now, this one is hardly original to Husband. But it’s meaningful.
And it is a line we all need to use liberally with those we love. We all can tell ourselves stories that talk ourselves out of feeling loved.
Husband tells me often, at different times of the day, while we are doing different things, or sometimes while we are doing nothing at all.
We all do well to remind those we love of our love.