Focusing on the positives of your loved one is best

Having been laid out like a limp rag with a stomach bug has given me plenty of time to think.

First, I think the term “stomach bug” is a misnomer. This is more a Godzilla-esque stomach slayer armed with sticks and sharp knives and bent on killing me from the inside out. There may also be flames involved.

I was just sitting here, feeling mighty sorry for myself, when my eye spied the ginger ale in a cup to my left. Ginger ale is not something we normally keep in the house. I am my great-grandmother’s girl and in her world ginger ale cured a variety of ills.

Thus, the very moment I feel ill I am certain that only ginger ale can save me.

I know it doesn’t seem like a big thing, but it made me just stand completely still and think.

Cure

I have told Mr. Wonderful in the past how I feel about the marvelous healing properties of ginger ale. I have further told him all about how, even if I know that today’s ale probably contains no real ginger and thus any healing properties are all in my head, it make me think of my grandmother, and soothes me nonetheless.

Both conversations were just in passing, nothing memorable, but… He listened to me.

I felt really humbled. Humbled, but loved. I tell him, probably too much, that he doesn’t listen. That I have to tell him the same things a hundred times, and a hundred times he has to ask again because he didn’t listen the first time.

I roll my eyes and ask him if I’ll ever be able to just tell him once what time the program, game, or party is — and on what day. He just smiles and waits patiently for me to give him the time — and plans — again.

Me being me, I can really be a pill about it. You’d think he’d forgotten one of our children instead of soccer practice or a township meeting the way I carry on sometimes.

Well, I have just decided that presuming I survive this horrid flu (prone to drama as I am) I am going to have a love affair with my husband this year!

I am going to recognize the things he does without being asked and I am going to stop pointing out the little annoying things, like forgetting a showtime or item at the grocery store.

I’m going to start showing him the appreciation he deserves.

Busy

Our children are 11 and 13 and their wants, needs and social lives seem to fill our every waking moments. We are blissfully blessed to have them and secretly enjoy even the overwhelmingly jam packed days.

Still, our marriage is often taking the backseat to parenting as we hand off responsibilities and kids like a well-oiled, albeit somewhat distant, machine. We live a blessedly busy life and, as such, our home sometimes reflects this.

As much as I preach to myself what a blessing it is to have dishes on the table (we eat!) and shoes by the door (we are dressed!) and toys strewn about (we have a family!) I confess, I hate it.

I like things neat and tidy. I fully admit that it is one of the joys of my life to walk into a spotless home. You can imagine then, my normal reaction when I come home to chaos. Dishes in the sink, shoes (and socks?) by the door, stuff just everywhere.

Appreciate

Just once I’d like to not be so predictable. I resolve to not freak out as if my entire day, nay existence, hangs in the balance over errant socks and an unwashed dish. To appreciate that a man who gets up at 5 a.m., works hard all day, coaches youth sport and oversees the care and maintenance of an entire family, their vehicles, home and yard might once in a blue moon just go ahead and leave his shoes by the door without fear that capital punishment may be invoked.

Today I am moving marriage back into the front seat. I am really excited about showing him how loved he is and how much I notice and appreciate the little things he does.

Whether your relationship is a strong one or on the rocks, it’s a great idea to consciously remember to treat our spouses and significant others like we did when they were “just” our dates.

Equally as important to treat them at least as well if not better, politeness wise, as we do our friends.

Remember, friends don’t let friends feel like total flops — as spouses or people — over the occasional missed sock, forgotten appointment or failure to notice a new hairstyle.

About the Author

Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless. More Stories by Kymberly Foster Seabolt

3 Comments

  1. will jessop says:

    That is the one thing that all people forget. If only everyone thought the same way, how much nicer of a society could we be. When your relationship is strong everything else seems to come along as well.

  2. The Mom says:

    Spotless house? Wonder where you ever picked up THAT trend…..
    Your Mom

Leave a Comment

Receive emails as this discussion progresses.

eNewsletter

Get our Top Stories in Your Inbox

Recent News