So I posted this challenge last year but since Valentine’s is right around the corner I thought hubs and I should try the Love Challenge again! Come along with us as we add some simple and effective strategies into our daily lives to communicate our love better! Enjoy!
A Love Challenge…
My hubs and I started the weekend off with an argument. Both stubborn and childish in our actions and words, we spent an entire twenty-four hours being mad with each other. We went to bed Saturday night not speaking. Two hours after we had been asleep I woke up thinking our argument had been a dream only to realize it was not. I rolled over and watched him breathing. I love the amazing man in my life yet I was hurting so badly over our disagreement. He was sleeping so peacefully, I tried to tell myself to just roll over, go to sleep and resolve the issue in the morning. So I closed my eyes and tried to relax. 10-15 minutes had passed and the feeling of hurt and resentment only grew more intense. I couldn’t stand the feeling anymore, I woke him up. He slowly sat up and turned the light on. We sat on the bed looking at each other as best we could while our eyes adjusted to the light bursting into our wide pupils. As our brains groggily forced themselves awake we started to talk. I will be honest there was a lot of pent of frustration between us and many tears that fell down my cheeks. It may have been the middle of the night but it was the right time and place to resolve the issues.
The issue we seem to argue about the most is the communication between us. You see there is no lack of communication. We both communicate very well, the problem is the way we are communicating. I am trying to communicate my love and appreciation to him by having the house cleaned up, the kids active, food on the table and by having things done that he asks me to do. He is trying to communicate his love to me by helping with the kids, doing some “honey do-list” items, working hard at his career to provide for his family. As we talked in the early hours of the morning, we realized that these things we are doing to “show” love are not actually coming across as love. The “to do list” being checked off doesn’t exactly say, “you are important to me and I love you so much!”. We were seeing that doing things to manage our daily life is part of our commitment to our marriage and responsibilities we have placed in our lives such as kids, home, etc. These things are not however helping our intimate relationship with each other grow and become better. We decided some things have to change, but what? How do we show each other love so that the other person actually feels loved?
At some point during the weekend I spoke to my Mom about the challenge hubs and I were having. I asked how she and my Dad have dealt with this in their marriage. She offered some great advice. She told me that they had to have a conversation on expectations and what they expected during the day from each other. She suggested that hubs and I sit down, away from each other, and write down what our expectations of each other are at different times of the day. For example what do I expect hubs to do in the morning? I expect him to feed the dog. I also expect that he will make breakfast. So I will put those down on my list. Then she said to come together, without the kids around to distract us, and talk about what our expectations are of each other. She also said that when talking do not use phrases that are trying to defend your position or excuses as to why you do or do not want to do something for example, “well you have always made breakfast so that’s why I never do it”. These will only start arguments and take you away from positive communication. Just go over the lists and communicate positively about what expectations are realistic or not. Once you have communicated expectations to each other, you will both know what the others needs and wants are. Mike and I think this is excellent advice! We are encouraged by this idea because we will have communicated effectively about what each other’s desires are. We will both be heard. When a person feels that they have been listened to then they feel important. Feeling important to one another in a relationship creates feelings of love and acceptance.
The other conclusion we came to on our own was that we need to make a priority to sit down and talk to each other for 15-30 uninterrupted minutes EVERYDAY. We did this in January and let life take that time away from us. We know that by taking this time for each other we will be able to talk about issues before they become middle of the night arguments. We did this just last night, we talked about our day and how we were feeling about things going on in our life. I can’t tell you how much more loved and appreciated I feel by just having some undivided attention from my hubs! I really needed that!
So why am I telling you all about the challenges in my marriage? Because I have a feeling many of you have these same issues. So I decided to create a four week challenge for any of you who are in a serious relationship, you don’t have to be married to accept this challenge. I am challenging you to take the next week to do two things. First you and your significant other need to write out your expectations of each other as I talked about above and then schedule a time in the next 48 hours to sit down and talk about them. Second pick a time in your day that you can both sit down for 15-30 minutes face to face without any distractions and talk to each other about what is going on in your life. For some it may sound silly to sit down and talk to each other I mean you see each other every day don’t you? YES you do but I can’t tell you how many days in our relationship I have felt alone and that hubs didn’t care about how I was doing. It wasn’t that he didn’t care it was just that we didn’t take time to talk about how we are each doing. So take the next seven days and write out your expectations, talk about them and spend 15-30 minutes a day (undivided attention, no phones, no tv, no music, no kids, pets, etc) just talking about your day with each other.
Hubs and I are taking this challenge. The next challenge I will telling you about how it went for us and giving you another challenge of the week. You can find the next challenge HERE —> Love Challenge Week Two. I do not think we will ever be argument or disagreement free, but I do think we can be middle-of-the-night-frustration free! I also think that we can learn to love each other in a way that we both feel important, heard and loved. So what do you say? Are you up for the challenge? Post below if you will be joining me and Mike. Cheers to you and your relationship! Start today and really make it better till death do you part.
Strive For Progress!