Gifts of Love
Last week I wrote about the benefits of giving your mate the gifts of love and respect. I mentioned that men tend to prefer respect and women tend to prefer love, but it is safe to say that both genders appreciate healthy doses of each. I promised to return this week with other suggested gifts you could give that do not involve spending a lot of money.
Three gifts I remember giving to my wife jumped to my mind that did not cost me a penny but which she greatly appreciated. Before I tell you what they were, I must tell you that there is a danger in writing a column or post on marriage. Readers might get the idea that I am a perfect husband, or that I consider myself to be a perfect husband. I can assure you neither of those statements is true. I am the most perfect husband my wife has ever had, but since I am also the only husband, she has ever had that tarnishes my ranking just a bit.
Early on in our relationship, I was walking by myself when I looked down and saw a heart-shaped rock. I picked up the rock and got some yellow paint and a small brush. On the rock, I painted the letters RP L MP. Since I was away at the time I put the rock in the mail. I received a delighted phone call in a few days in which she told me how thankful she was for the small token of affection I had sent.
Another no-cost gift I gave my wife was to respect and honor her relationship with her family – her mother in particular. We started our lives together in Cortez, but after five years I had a strong desire to move us to Farmington. Since she was born and raised in Cortez – where her mother still lives- she was not thrilled about the idea. After much discussion, she finally consented to the move. In appreciation, I promised her I would never ask her to move any further from her mother than the 70 miles are between Cortez and Farmington.
Over the years I have never begrudged her time with her family nor ever put her in a position of having to choose between them and me. She and they know they are always welcome in our home and that means a lot to her.
The third gift I recall is perhaps the most appreciated of all. Any one who knows me knows that I have a tendency to kid at times. Ok, so that’s an understatement, but it posed a serious problem for my wife and our relationship. There were times when I was being serious about a matter, and she was convinced I was kidding. This proved to be frustrating to both of us until I gave her a fool-proof way to know for certain if I was serious or not.
I promised her that if I ever said “Maridell I love you and I’m not kidding” she could take it to the bank and believe whatever I had just said was the truth – or at least what I believed to be the truth. Over our 36+ years of marriage, I have never violated this promise. I have at times said things like “Maridell I like you, and I’m not kidding,” or “Maridell I love you, and I’m serious,” but she has always been clever enough to know not to believe those attempts at Ron-foolery.
Again, I do not promote myself as the ideal husband and state that every man should do as I do. They likely should do as I say, but that’s a different subject. My point for today is to challenge you to look for creative ways to show your mate that you love and appreciate him or her.
If you read my column, or if you read my upcoming book PLAY NICE in Your Sandbox at Home, you will hear me say that I hate the expression “marriage takes work.” I work all day and don’t want to think I have to go home and work all night. Marriage takes paying attention and frequently giving to your mate. So long as both are doing this, you can look forward to a long and happy marriage.
Ron Price is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Four Corners Coalition for Marriage & Family, a 501-C-3 organization dedicated to strengthening and equipping marriages and families in the Four Corners Area. He is the author of PLAY NICE in Your Sandbox at Work, and the soon-to-be-released PLAY NICE in Your Sandbox at Home. You can contact Ron at firstname.lastname@example.org or 505 327-7870.