The Happy Hubby and I were experiencing some tension a few weeks ago as our baby was preparing for his feeding tube surgery.
We were both kind of reaching a point of exhaustion with the whole ordeal and ended up taking it out on each other.
These last 3 months my brain has been a daily distracted ball of worry. I often didn’t think of much else beyond – how can I get to the hospital to visit the Happy Baby today? What time do I have to pump next? Who can watch the Happy Buddy while I am with the Happy Baby and vice versa (as once we were in the pediatric ward, I did not feel comfortable leaving our little baby alone)?
I struggled to remember my own name let alone pack a lunch for the hubs for work.
And the Happy Hubby was caught up in the pressure cooker of responsibilities of managing a full time job and haggling with our insurance company almost every day that he came home completely worn out.
All of these distractions began to breed a growing list of expectations and quiet pain that pulled us in opposite directions.
One night, though, a conversation in the kitchen helped us to realize that the root of our issue was not necessarily that we were upset about our situation.
It was that somewhere along the way we had stopped being grateful for each other.
We were so focused on our circumstances that we began to take the other person for granted and stopped taking stock of the things we find most valuable in our marriage.
So we made up a simple game.
At any given moment throughout the day, we planned to make it our mission to tell the other person a specific way in which we appreciated them.
For example, a simple, “I appreciate you for spending 8 hundred hours on the phone with the insurance company to make sure they don’t bill us out of house and home. You are some kind of superhero for understanding all that policy jargon like deductible and out of network provider.”
Or a quick, “Hey hun, I appreciate you for pumping every 3 hours. You are some kind of milk machine that is providing our boy with something good in the midst of a whole lot of bad.”
It’s interesting that no sooner was the praise off our lips then we found ourselves infused with a renewed strength to keep pressing on.
And pressing on together, for that matter.
Now the Happy Hubby and I ‘appreciate’ one another all day long.
He’ll shoot me an email appreciating me for washing the clean shirt on his back that day, or I’ll text a quick appreciation for his courageous ability to destroy the army of bees that randomly infested our bathroom the other day.
How can you appreciate your spouse today?
No matter what you are going through, whether you just had a new baby (even without all the hospital drama that is a lot of stress) or you have been married for a long time and are just in a rut, there will always be something you can appreciate about your spouse.
You simply must make the choice to be intentional.
And don’t get upset if your hubs doesn’t catch on to the appreciation thing right away. If it’s the right time, have a conversation about committing to appreciate each other. If you don’t feel you can discuss it, simply start verbally appreciating him as often as possible throughout the day.
He just might be inspired to reciprocate. 🙂
Either way, you are being obedient to God to selflessly love and serve the one He gave you to endure life’s ups and downs with.
That, in itself, is something to be appreciated!
Need even more great ways to show appreciation to your Happy Hubby? I am kind of obsessed with this creative list found HERE that features 101 ways to tell your husband, “I love you.”
Happy I Appreciate You-ing! 🙂
*Big Huns, I appreciate you for subscribing to Happy Home Fairy and reading all of my crazy posts and for participating in ridiculous date night ideas for the sake of the blog and for letting me talk about you to thousands of readers when I know you prefer your privacy . You’re the best.*
Thank you Julie, for reminding me of the gift of time…how precious it is to have…for beinging such an inspiration and becon of light to those (like me) who need to remember, we’re not alone with the problems we face and we’re a prayer away from peace. Thank you for being you….Tina
What a great reminder, when life gets busy, and the kids are all demanding something at once or needing to go a hundred places all at the same time, you do tend to forget about the spouses need to be remembered. Just a few words can make a difference. Thanks.
Wow – what a blessing u r! God is using u in mighty ways to be his HEART! I love reading ur blog, but this entry today really touched me! U have a special way of wording thoughts and ideas. Thanks for the encouragement and may God continue to care for and bless u and ur sweet family. ((Hugs))
Thank you for your honesty. My husband and I are experiencing the same response to a totally different kind of tragedy, but all the feelings you describe are exactly the same. Seems strange to have to be reminded to be “thankful and appreciative” for each other, but I really needed it. So thank you again.
Just sent the Hubby an appreciation text 🙂 … I try to do this often since Words of Affirmation is one of his love languages. Thanks for being open, you’re an encouragement to so many!
You know, Julie, I think we’re living in parallel universes, years of marriage apart! During our son’s recovery, we’ve experienced so many of the same things, and this is definitely one of them. I wrote about family having an attitude of service last week, and some of these very concepts are there! Praying for you and thanking you (and the Hubs) for sharing so honestly and helpfully.
Such. good. words.
This post “randomly” showed up on my Facebook feed today. I couldn’t have needed it more. We have a new baby and as often as that goes, we are all in our own worlds doing ten million things for ourselves and each other, wishing to be appreciated and not appreciating the other. This post led me to tears. I’ll be making sure to appreciate him and all that he does.
Happy Home Fairy
Andrea, you are so sweet. I love your heart and teachable spirit. May the Lord bless and strengthen you and your hubby in this newborn phase and may He draw you closer to one another and Him! <3