Day 2: A Lesson in Communication

It was a sunny, peaceful morning. Noah was napping. Mike was enjoying a cup of coffee and reading a book. I was heating up my cup of tea and had just finished praying for my husband again.

Day 2’s activity was similar to Day 1. And today’s prayers for Mike transitioned to prayers for our future. However, in my prayers for the future, I focused more on the impact they’d have on Mike and prayed for specific opportunities for him to draw closer to God. Usually, and especially in seasons of scarce prayers, I find myself mostly throwing out prayers for my own growth and spiritual walk. Today’s prayer felt refreshingly less self-focused, and having Mike at the forefront once again brought to mind how wonderful he is in so many ways.

One thing I’ve caught on to is the fact that Mike is all about affirmation. He showers me with it, and I have a vague memory of something I learned from that 5 Love Languages book I read years ago about how people default to showing love in the way they’d like to receive love. Mike shows love through his words and praise. He constantly tells me I’m beautiful (it’s taken years to receive this – if your husband tells you you’re beautiful, HE IS RIGHT HE IS RIGHT HE IS RIGHT and you are not allowed to argue). He raves about things I do to keep our home or family together. He swears to me that I’m an awesome mother (sometimes while I’m in the middle of a breakdown telling him I’ve already bombed as a mother, broken my child, and guaranteed his need for therapy when he’s 15 because I excessively disciplined him at the age of 1 for throwing his food). Mike loves to affirm, and he totally lights up when I affirm and encourage him.

With this in mind, it seemed like an excellent time to let Mike know what I was thinking. I had so many good things in my head that I decided to aim for a simple blanket statement so I wouldn’t interrupt his reading for too long. I walked over to where he was sitting and he grinned. He leaned toward me, we kissed, and then we leaned back and just smiled while looking deeply into each other’s eyes.

What happened next was just downright bad timing.

MIKE: Man, you’re really hot.
ME: …You’re amazing.
(pause)
MIKE: Okay, so I’ll work on the hotness.

Note to self: be ready to adjust your words of affirmation to ensure they don’t come across as “at least you have a great personality” after your husband totally beats you to the punch by speaking first.

Thankfully, all is not lost. We had a good laugh together (while I tried to get through an explanation that only seemed to make everything sound worse). Mike seems to recall my promising a movie date tonight to make up for my error, so you know what? That’s probably happening.

Lessons in marriage:

  • Timing is everything.
  • Pay attention.
  • Laughter is incredibly important. The more you laugh together, the better you’ll both be at not sweating the small stuff (even when the small stuff feels like bigger stuff – not the case here, but it can work with the bigger stuff too).
  • Movie dates = winning. At least according to my husband.
  • Do not balance your phone on bananas when trying to take a family photo. It will fail you like a badly timed conversation.

 

No TV Month Challenge update:

Terms have been revised. Mike has requested 2 TV shows a week to keep up with 2 shows running through summer. I’m allowed to watch the Today show in the morning, because sometimes that’s my only way to know the world is still doing things (albeit things like buying $150 sunglasses on sale for $75 and danger-proofing children one day until the next day new studies show that danger is good for children). Going to the movies is officially not watching TV. It has been 37 hours since we’ve watched TV based on these new terms.

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