3 Ways to Experience More with Your Husband
by Cindi McMenamin
I’ll never forget the day I was cleaning through my top dresser drawer and found a treasure.
I almost threw out the stack of aged, yellowed papers, weathered by time and slightly torn on the edges. When I unfolded the papers and read through them, I instantly realized why I’d kept them all those years. On them were written words any woman would want to read over and over again. They were love letters from my husband that included phrases like “I love you beyond expression,” “You complete me like no other,” and “I love you desperately.”
As I read through them, my eyes teared up. And then my heart dropped.
I haven’t had a letter like this from him in years, I thought. Why doesn’t he write like this to me anymore?
All of the letters dated back to the first few years that we were married. Nearly 30 years ago! And they all described the captivating woman he saw me as—the woman I had hoped in my heart of hearts that I still was in his eyes.
How I would have loved to believe that I hadn’t changed a bit through the years. How easy it would have been to believe that he was the one who had become distant, more critical, less interested and less passionate than he was the day we married. It was a little tougher to put that magnifying glass up to myself and ask if I was the one who let resentments build up or baggage get in the way.
I realized if I was to be the cherished wife who receives another letter like the ones I found in my top dresser drawer, I would have to become that woman my husband wrote to so many years ago.
Here are a few of the steps I took to remove the baggage, rebuild love and recapture my husband’s heart. And they amount to three simple ways you experience more with your husband:
1. Respond to Him like a New Wife
When I asked myself what it was I was doing to make my husband write letters to me like he once did, the answer was simple: I was responding to him like a new bride.
Remember when you were a brand new bride? It might be decades ago or just a few weeks. But oh, what a feeling! You couldn’t wait until the two of you got off work so you could be together again. You constantly checked your voicemail messages or your phone to see if he had called during the day. You had a special sparkle in your eyes when you talked of him and a spring in your step when you walked alongside him. What would it take to get back that loving feeling for him? If you’re waiting for him to do something different, I guarantee he will when YOU start responding to him like you once did when you were a brand new bride.
2. Reframe What You Say to Him
Most of the baggage in marriage comes from words the two of you have said to one another. Careless words. Accusing words. Hurtful words. Many times we didn’t even intend for those words to sound the way they did. That’s the whole point in reframing your words to your husband. Ephesians 4:29 tells us to “let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” So, instead of saying, “Are you going to wear THAT to dinner?” Say instead, “I’d love it if you’d wear that blue shirt you look great in.” And instead of saying, “Why don’t we go out on dates anymore?” try instead “I miss spending time alone with you.” Ask yourself, before the words exit your mouth, “Will this encourage him and make him believe I’m in his corner?” If the answer is no. Don’t say it at all.
3. Refuse to Dwell on the Negatives
In every relationship there are memories and situations you are best to let go of so the two of you can move forward. Negative thoughts and memories may assault you at times, but don’t let them run rampant in your mind. Instead, practice 2 Corinthians 10:5, which instructs us to “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” Capture that thought and kill it. And then remember why you fell in love with your husband in the first place. Was it his tenderness? The way he made you laugh? His dependability and faithfulness no matter what the circumstance? Focus on his positive qualities—even ones that you believe are no longer there—and you just might start noticing them again.
Cindi McMenamin is a national speaker and author of 16 books who has been married 30 years to a pastor and introvert. Her newest book, 12 Ways to Experience More with Your Husband, released February 1 from Harvest House Publishers. For more on her resources to strengthen your walk with God, your marriage or your parenting, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.