I was driving to the grocery store the other day and my husband gives me a call from work. He has been dealing with a bone spur in his foot and called to let me know how much it hurt. Here’s how the conversation went…
Me: Hey babe, how’s your day?
Hubby: Good, but my foot is still hurting.
Me: Why don’t you call the doctor?
Hubby: I have an appointment next week, I’ll go then if it still hurts.
Me: It’s been hurting for two weeks – why don’t you just call now?
Hubby: It’s okay – I’ll wait.
Me: Well you’ve been complaining about it – I don’t understand why you just won’t get it taken care of.
Hubby: Whatever, it’s fine.
Me: (aggravated) You keep telling me how it hurts – so just go call the doctor!!
Hubby: (frustrated) Okay, have a good day – I gotta go.
Me: Why are you upset? It’s aggravating that you just won’t call the doctor.
Hubby: I will call the DOCTOR! I JUST WANTED TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT IT!
Me: I can’t fix it though – so just call the doctor, urgh.
Hubby: My foot would feel better if you would JUST LISTEN!
Both: (insert laughter)….
See what happened here?
I wanted to fix his problem (and not hear him complain anymore) and he just wanted me to feel for him and understand him.
I turned away from him by trying to problem solve – and he (understandably so) got frustrated and angry with my lack of sympathy.
Luckily – he was able to so eloquently tell me that he just needed me to listen to him "My foot would feel better if you would just listen!", and it also broke up our frustrations with laughter.
It’s in these simple every day conversations that we are building or breaking down the foundations of our relationships.
Every time we take time to listen and turn towards our spouse – we are creating new feel good sensations and building our relationship.
Conversely, when we try to problem-solve (without being asked) or rush the listening process we make our spouses feel unimportant and little-by-little our relationships start weakening.
It’s the little stuff, the every day conversations, the extra touch or compliment you give your partner, or the couple extra minutes you take to truly listen and understand your partner.
I’m assuming you’re here to create an awesome relationship/marriage and life, so take time everyday to nurture your partnership. Watch for those moments that you can give a little extra – without asking for anything back. Look for those times that you can offer more support or love – without asking for anything back.
It’s in these moments that you will be creating your future relationship, so don’t let it go to waste.
What will you do today to build your future happiness?
Remember, ACTION CREATES CHANGE. I would love to hear what action you are taking to create change, comment below and I’ll make sure to reply back to personally!
Valerie Kolick, therapist and relationship expert has created this blog to help couples and individuals create happiness and joy in their marriages and lives. If this is your first time here, LEARN MORE here and don’t forget to Download Your FREE Extraordinary Relationship Workbook.