After various discussions during the week, I thought I might elaborate on a topic in the previous article. There seems to be much marriage discourse about the little things… which add up to very big things. The question is, are the little things promoting positive relations or are they fostering hard feelings? The next thing to consider is are you the giver or the recipient?
The little things in a relationship can make it or break it. Have you ever noticed a couple that held hands or he held the door open for her…small wonderful things. Usually it is done without even thinking about it. They are loving gestures. There are millions of wonderful ways to do this for anyone at anytime; from asking if you can get your mate something on your trip through the kitchen or to taking out the trash- even giving him his 10 minutes of downtime before he engages in the chaos of family time. They show respect, kindness and love. The interesting thing about this gesture is most of the time it goes by unnoticed but it makes a huge long-term impact.
Then, there are the negative little things. These always get noticed and add up quickly. They are a black cloud in a relationship. You have seen it in action many times- usually in a very selfish gesture and me first attitude. The following tend to be some that have been expressed to me recently: the insult in public, not offering to help with the dishes or a child with homework, interested more in the computer or video game rather than a conversation with a loved one. These mean little things can steal the love out of a marriage. Be wary of them.
Here at home, I hadn’t realized that I was doing a mean little thing until my husband pointed it out one day. He didn’t point it out in front of the children and he wasn’t mean. He just made a statement. He informed me that I had gotten into a very bad habit of talking over him and not really listening to his points of view. This is not really a far-fetched bad habit for me. I am a talker, yap, yap, yap. But, because he expressed that it was making him not want to engage in conversation, I have worked on being a better listener to him and the kids. The lesson in this is that I would have never known if he didn’t speak up.
I recently read about the greatest thing we can do in our life is love and to show that love the greatest thing we can give is our time. Once time is spent, you cannot get it back. I ponder how we spend our time with our relationships. That fraction of time it takes to do a wonderful little thing can foster love for a lifetime. So what I would like to know is what wonderful little things do you do or receive from your partner that promotes your love for each other?