Years ago I was talking with a friend and she shared a story with me, she told me that her husband had bought her a beautiful diamond bracelet for an anniversary present and when he gave it to her, she was shocked. In her surprise as he was latching the bracelet on her arm, she made the comment, “What were you thinking? I can’t believe you did this, you know we can’t afford it.” My friend said that her husband promptly removed the jewelry, placed it back in the box, and put it away in his top drawer. She said it was almost six months before he gave it to her and this time she said two words: Thank you.
I remember listening to this story and simply thinking I had nothing to worry about because my guy doesn’t give jewelry for presents, see how I went negative immediately? There was a tremendous lesson in the story she offered but it took me a long time to receive it. Over the years, I found myself in similar situations; my guy would proudly get the baby ready for church and I would correct him in the outfit he had chosen for her, or he would brag on me to friends about something I had done and I might admonish him in front of others because the details were wrong, or maybe he loaded the dishwasher incorrectly….I mean, creatively and I would feel the need to let him know it could have been done better.
Why do we do this? I’m not sure if it is a knee-jerk reaction or a control issue, but it is not okay. Like my friend with the beautiful bracelet, when I correct my guy for something he tries to do for me, I teach him not to bother because I cannot appreciate it.What if I chose to be delighted instead? Or at least, appreciative? In her book, The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages, Shaunti Feldhahn details the importance of small acts that deliver big results and the number one action a wife can take to communicate love is to thank her guy for the things he does.
I wish I wasn’t such a slow learner, I could have saved my guy a lot of frustration over the years, but I am thankful for friends who share their struggles and triumphs to help me get there. Let’s all work on being more appreciative, if not downright delighted, when our spouses try to please us.