Monday, July 9, 2012

Time, Love, and Tenderness

I’ve been extremely busy lately with an editing project, and juggling that with keeping up with my boys, cleaning the house for last minute showing requests, and making sure my other work responsibilities get ample attention (such as the two summer courses I am teaching) has kept me up late and slightly on edge the past week.

I’ve noticed that when I attempt to be AwesomeWoman, one aspect of my life tends to be the easiest to ignore: my husband.

Jay always seems to be able to entertain himself well enough, but I need to remember that his Love Language (Thanks, Dr. Gary Chapman, for creating a dialect in which any who have read you now communicate.) of quality time cannot go unnoticed. Though he isn’t the type to very often ask for attention, or even to make obvious his pleasure in his needs being met, he still does need attention and still does have needs.

For some reason, this month I have been especially thinking about The Five Love Languages. Though I don’t have time until this project is complete to give it the required time and energy, I’ve decided I want to do five consecutive blog posts, one on each language. So, coming July 16th to a blog near you (specifically to this blog), will be my reflections, musings, ramblings, and some challenges related to this book.

Until then, I did read a short article by Madonna Behen in USA Weekend (posted below in its entirety) that will guide my actions towards Jay this week. Behen’s suggestion is to target each day of the week with one “secret.” Here is my schedule:
  • Sunday: “Have realistic expectations” (Behen 6).
    • On this day, I will evaluate what I expect of my husband and see if any areas need tweaking. They say to pick your battles: am I fighting any losing wars? Are there some points worth sticking to?
  • Monday: “Sweat the small stuff” (Behen 7).
    • Though it seems a bit in opposition to the first point, this day is about figuring out the little things that you can request change. (I think Sunday is more about large scale expectations.) Little, unresolved issues can pile up and end up creating an explosion. BUT, I MUST come in kindness with requests.
  • Tuesday: “Consider yourselves a team” (Behen 7).
    • We both work outside the home, and we are truly a partnership. I don’t feel my husband devalues my work, but I often tend to take over the home side of responsibilities because I have a hard time asking for help. On Tuesday, I will work on figuring out how we can better share household duties without me feeling like a nag.
  • Wednesday: “Remember the little things” (Behen 7).
    • On Wednesday, I will make it a point to do the “little things” I know make a big difference for my husband.
  • Thursday (I got out of order from her list.) “Accentuate the Positive” (Behen 7).
    • Today I will make a list of what is going right in our marriage and the positive qualities of my husband. 
  • Friday: “Have friendships with people of both sexes” (Behen 7).
    • Luckily for me, Fridays are when we spend time with our small group, which is made up of guys and girls who are like family to us!
  • Saturday: “Spend time apart” (Behen 7).
    • Again fortuitous, Jay works an eleven-hour shift on Saturdays: we truly spend time apart this day! However, I don’t always have the most enjoyable “apart” time on Saturdays as I usually run around the house making things happen. I will make it a point to do at least one thing on this day that I enjoy that Jay does not.
Each day, I will blog about my experience on this experiment. Want to join me in rethinking and then reacting positively to the health of our marriages?


  the entire series (with written posts linked)
Secret #2 Sweat the Small Stuff 
Secret #7 Spend Time Apart

Behen, Madonna. “The Seven Secrets of Lasting Love.” USA Weekend 27-29 April 2012. Print.  

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