The Marriage Knot 

knotTen Ways to Capture Your Husband's Original Loveknot

The following is a brief test that can be taken individually
to see the degree of effectiveness of the original love.
These are not given in any order of importance, just a
number of things that are called
"little things" which mean a lot.

wedding cake with roses
  1. Does your husband open the door for you and usher you in and out of the car?
  2. Do you always receive a kiss when he leaves and a kiss when he comes home?
  3. Does he say often "I love you"?
  4. Does he notice that new thing that you get or made?
  5. Does he remember anniversaries and other special days with cards, or some remark and/or a present?
  6. Does he surprise you from time to time?
  7. Does he call a few times during the week from work, if possible just to say "hi"?
  8. Does he from time to time give you a helping hand around the house with the "home operation".

The chapter could easily be entitled "How to Capture Your Mate's Original Love." However since wives usually take the initiative, the title is given toward the perspective of the wife. Still a husband could certainly utilize the suggestions given here forth.

To see beyond the love and to keep fresh the relationship between the mates is paramount in a successful marriage. As a marriage counselor I can see ( sense) as I counsel with young couples preparing to get married a great deal of conflict on the horizon unless changes are made. To all of the couples, I always inform them that it is not a 50-50 relationship, .more like a 60 - 40 one, each giving more.

Many couples today (as do we) have a storybook romance. It is a shame that everybody can't feel the tingling vibrations of a young love regardless of the age attained.

1. Food

This is sort of funny, but placed first in the ten ways, because I suppose is that age old saying: "The quickest way to a man's heart is through his stomach." Now I don't know who said that. I do believe on many occasions it has been true. So, I suggest to the wife, or wife to be, at least on occasions, set a very romantic table. Not only is it appealing, but it can be the instrument to "turn on" a romance.

With children, I have known couples that have on certain occasions, ate before or after then so as to give a private atmosphere. Now, don't get me wrong, the dinnertime is a very SPECIAL time for the family. It can be the highlight of a stressful day at work, home or school.

2. Love Notes

The use of love notes may seem silly to you as a reader, but the love notes are very beneficial in recapturing the husband's love. In fact, something along this nature, though very insignificant in itself, is something that husband will respond to. Plan a note or two when he least expects it.

My wife, Nancy, is a genius at surprise notes. To give you several examples: One day I was in an elevator making a hospital call and I just happened to reach into my pocket and felt a strange piece of paper. I pulled it out and it was a note in the shape of a snowflake with a special message. Other notes I have personally found in some most unusual places? I recall two in particular. One instance I was sin the country of Haiti. I was in the middle of the jungle and I ran out of film. In those days the film was sealed in a metal container and then sealed in a cardboard box. I unsealed the cardboard container and unscrewed the metal lid. To my amazement I found a note. My wife had carefully unsealed the box of film and placed the note in it. Needless to say, it started my love-blood tingling.

The other example that I recall was when I was attending a seminar during a lunch hour. I was busy eating my sandwich and listening at the same time to the lecture, watching different words appear on the whiteboard. I was so intent on looking at the board and listening to the guest speaker that I just started "gobbling up my sandwich". The first bite seemed a little odd. I thought to myself, "Well, this is just perhaps the rind of the lunch meat or maybe it's the end of the slice." I gave it little thought. The next bite as I continued chewing, felt unusually funny also, and it was not until had started the third bite that I realized my wife had written me a note and had put it in my sandwich. And, believe it or not, I had eaten so much of it that even to this day I don't know what went inside of me, except a lot of love!!

There are a host of methods and ways where surprise notes can be utilized from the inserting in candy bars, to placing them in a suitcase or a shoe or what have you. I know that with a little of creativity you will find your own special places.

knot

3. Conversation

There is one thing that I never fail to emphasize in marriage counseling and that is talk - talk. When there is a misunderstanding - talk. When somebody does not understand what has happened - talk. When you talk you will find the difficulty tends to fade away. A lack of communication is one prime source of marital problems today.

Most marital trouble starts with bickering. Occasional disagreements will arise. When this is "on" it is important for each to vent their feelings. At the same time the other must hold on to the image of an adult while the other is playing the role of a childe, or vice versa.

There is a healthy talking and there is an unhealthy talking. Let me explain. A couple came into my office with a problem….it was monumental. They could not get around it. They sat across from me and both talked at the same time. When one would talk the other would try to change what was being said and vice versa. It was not that they did not have respect for one another, but they both talked at the same time - trying to p[rove their point.

Finally, in desperation, I told them just to "shut up". (Yep, out of character those were my words.) I sent one out of the office - and quietly listened to the other. By now you can finished this paragraph as to what I did.

Obviously if this was going to be a rewarding session each would have to listen and then have opportunity for the other to respond. What I saw unfolding before me was perhaps the first time this couple had actually "communicated".

It was a beautiful time. Peace entered the office. When, at first their temperament rose their hearts started pounding fast. The results were ugly hateful words. Now their "listening ears" were on. I had some coffee brought in. I encouraged their dialog. When this young couple walked away, they walked away holding hands. They came in at odds with one another - at their wits end - they walked out hand in hand with one another. Ok, not all conflicts have a "story book" ending. But you would be surprised.

The bottom line in this section is the big four-letter word: TALK. Conversation encouragements. So valuable even when there is not a problem.

You know how important having a date with your spouse is on a regular basic. Well, how about having a "listening date" - Shut out the world. Put it on your planer. Don't let anything but an emergency interfere. Turn off the radio, CD player, TV or any entertainment electronics that is geared for your ears. Just be together.

There are walks around the block or on the beach. There has to be a park or an area near where you live to just be together and talk. In fact Nancy and I enjoy "wordless drives" - just holding hands - of course one on the steering wheel.

There is still: "Home Sweet Home" for a wonderful place to experience one another. In raising our 5 children we found that there were those special times when they were in bed. Yes, bring out that old candle if you like - brewing up the coffee or getting a cold drink. Bottom line is preparation for a CANDLELIGHT CONVERSATION. You can hold me to this: "Your Candlelight Conversation" can be the time where dreams can be dreamed, plans can be planned and love can be renewed!

rose bridal bouquet

4. Tell Him You Love Him

Never let the sun go down on a day when you have not told your husband you love him. I met my wife in graduate school and she was told by their house mother these words: "Nancy, when you marry Neal, never let a day go by without telling him you love him" I can honestly say - to my knowledge (except for traveling out of country) my sweetheart has done that.

In all counseling situations - and in every degree of difficulty - they have always been told several times, "You must not take your spouse for granted." Sure you love him, but you must tell him you love him. There is a mighty difference. There can be times when pressures can be great he can't feel your love, but he can hear it. So tell him you love him and as we have mentioned there are many ways in the "show", but don't forget the "tell"

5. The Art of Appreciation

There is an inherited, deep drive that is within each of us, namely, to be appreciated. Always compliment your husband and never run him down to anyone in private or in public.

Our age is so complex and the home is being hit so hard today, that we need to place a renewed interest in the tie that binds. There are people today in families (perhaps like yours?) who need love and need happiness and one "on ramp" to that is appreciation.

Tell your husband what a grand guy he is. Build his self-respect. If he blows his cool, remember he could have had a bad day at work - he is still a great guy.

6. The Use of Pictures

Now, don't turn me off as - sure this is "lame". BUT the following remarks could be put to use. I guess I am aware of this because I have been in a number of homes where pictures were absent. One in particular.

The master bedroom - hall - even bathroom are places for great pictures. What kind? Well, there have to be some pictures recalling a unique event. A time when you shared something so great or observed something so great that it merited taking a picture.

Of course, marriage pictures (regarding how long ago) are always in the vogue. In fact as these words are being typed I looked up and above the monitor is a picture of Nancy and me stepping out of the church where we were married. I keep it there year around and I love looking at it.

As for pictures around the house or in the bedroom (even garage) they will be constant reminders of days gone by as you at that moment "walk down memory lane." I encourage the playing up of the past, the reliving of experiences. However, they are just the stepping-stones of the projected future between you and yours.

knot

7. Family Fun

Sounds strange? Well for some - "We've never done that before". In fact I actually told one man, "You know _____ you are so wrapped up in the financial structure of your business. You are so busy making a living for your small family and the accumulation of dollars and things that you are actually failing miserably." We did end on good terms, but the bottom line was he was so caught up in making a living instead of making a life.

The list is endless as to where to go and what to do. Yep, you don't have to go camping. However, that aspect of family fun has rich rewards. It is time where you can talk love, act loved and let your kids know you love each other.. You know it is ok to kiss in front of your children. As they grow up seeing you hold hands that will by example go along way in their married life.

Then something that more and more couples are doing is taking a yearly "honeymoon". OK, it is called an anniversary. And, you know, it could be only one day - just away. At least celebrate, celebrate, celebrate is some way that day that the two of you said, "I do". Our anniversaries are in photo albums - a year to a page - and the pages number 50 "honeymoons" (a the time of these writings).

8. Birthdays

Now here is an area that, believe it or not is overlooked. How can that be? Got me. But I have observed many just pass through the day - maybe getting no "Happy Birthday" statement.

While made fun of by some, I go on record to say: "Regardless of the age, celebrate the birthday." It is their DAY. It was a special day when they increased the population of the world! Why so special? Again, because it was the day they were born. It is in the strict sense, "their day". - - and it goes a long way to capture your husband's original love.

9. Pray

In some way or form - communicate together to the Lord. The phrase has been worn out: "The family that prays together stays together". For a couple not having a "religious" background this is difficult. But, at least have a starting point. Where, how? Well, one can't beat before a meal. Just a simple acknowledging that God has provided the food.

Acknowledging God - talking to Him, is praying. It does not have to be in any form. Conversation prayer between a couple is praying. In other words it does not have to be "heavy" as some would put it, but what is praying except talking. To whom are you talking? Almighty God. Bringing your petitions and situations to Him through the name of Jesus is the bottom line.

knot

10 Miscellaneous Time Capsules

One stated to us, "I would do new things, if I knew what to do. Give me some suggestions." OK

Make arrangements to join for lunch, either at home or in the vicinity of his job from time to time. This may be only a few times a year, but they can be meaningful experiences. Let him know you are interested in his work, also. He will reciprocate, asking about the home.

Cherish the home as a sanctuary. Your home is truly your castle and remember that every castle has a king and every king has a queen. You are his and he is yours and together you can have a candlelight experience of a lifetime. Don't let the "world" enter. It is your estate, no matter how humble. Let him feel that his home is his castle and a place of refuge from the onrushing world and in short - it is heaven.

I recall seeing a painting of a woman who was pulling a wagon with a little child in the wagon. The child was holding a bouquet of wild flowers and there were several other children who were walking beside the wagon. It was a rural scene and this mother was on her way home. The caption read as fellows:

"Everything pretty when father comes home". Everything pretty when father comes home. You know when Dad or the husband comes home he has to play a new role. I say "play", but I do not mean pretend. He has to shed the pressures and problems of work and he must try to shift gears into a comfortable atmosphere. A wife plays a tremendous role in making her husband feel as if coming home is like coming/going to heaven. A home should be a heaven. It should be haven of rest and it is a place where the mates should worship one another in the proper sense of the word and adore one another.

So, prepare yourself, what ever that means. One wife said, "I, at least, have the living room picked up when he comes home. The kitchen might look like a devastation area and in a real mess, but there is one place, at least, that is inviting." If he is coming home from a lot of confusion, that makes sense.

To conclude this chapter, let me just throw in a lot of miscellaneous statements.

Don't judge, have a time of sharing and help your lover with his shortcomings by constructive criticism and by helping him be all he can be.

Make great plans. Have a real date once a month.

Enjoy sex - it was ordained by God. Cuddle every night.

Great is your responsibility as a wife. Incorporating some of the suggestions in this chapter will have results and you will see more and more of an outward expression of his/your love. Even though a man is sometimes not affectionate, he can be taught and he will respond. I speak from experience.

May your home be a reservoir of strength throughout the days of your life.

knot


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