"How are you, really, my love?"
When he sees you at the end of the day, I want your man to open his arms wide to you and pull you in for a close, loving hug, and place a kiss on the top of your head, or the side of your neck. I want him to ask you, “How are you, really, my love?” and, “What can I do for you that would help you feel amazing?” I want him to do the chores without you asking, to surprise you with breakfast in bed on the weekend, or dinner out, and schedule getaway weekends for just the two of you. I want him to tell you you’re so beautiful to him, and that he loves you so much. I want him to really listen when you share from your heart, and to openly share from his. I want him to want to grow and evolve and do his part to make your marriage alive, sweet, connected, and full of mutual support. This is what my clients and I work towards. It is what we end up with. But we don't just snap our fingers or wave a magic wand to get that kind of closeness, or that kind of behavior from his end. Because we can never (try as we might) control another adult. (You know I am always rueing this fact! But fact it is.)
Yet, we CAN influence. We CAN inspire. We CAN change the dynamic and steer it in the direction we want it to go. As women, we have SO much influence. You’re already always influencing your marriage--whether you mean to be or not. Whether in a way that brings harmony and connection, or in a way that brings disconnection or tension. We don't get where we want to be in our marriages by waiting for him to change (especially if you've asked for him to change and he hasn’t). To get where we want to be in our marriages, we change ourselves. WE show up with all the things we want him to bring us:
We learn to communicate our desires and our pain in honest ways that actually work.
We create a deep security and well-being in ourselves, and learn to provide ourselves with the feelings we want, so we don’t feel we “need” so much from him.
We learn to really love him for who he is, and stop loving conditionally (only when he acts how we want him to), and we express ourselves from that love, respect, and appreciation.
We take loving care of our own harder emotions, so we don’t react out of them and drive bigger wedges between us and him.
We learn to work with the particular strengths and weaknesses of our unique partner--so we draw out the very best of him and inspire his intentional participation in our ever-improving marriage.
We carve out regular time to nourish the marriage, on purpose.
And even when there is temptation to sting or lash out, we choose to act from love again and again. Love for him. And love for ourself.
When we do all this and more, we create the very best version of our own unique loving relationship. One in which we feel so seen and nourished and held. And we trust ourselves to always know how to keep the love alive in our marriage for all the days to come. Though getting here takes focus, it never feels like hard work. Because it brings us an exhilarating kind of joy, and a sense of buoyant certainty in ourselves, and in our marriages, that nothing can replace.