Long-standing marriages or partnerships may have stood the test of time, but not necessarily without risk of failing.
As with any relationship, any marriage is constantly being challenged by the couples themselves. Their opposing personalities and preferences get in the way when the spark that blinded them to their respective individuality has long popped away. Add to that the years spent together, sharing the same bed and the same john – not to mention other things or situations that both have vowed to partake and support “in richer and poorer, in sickness and health, till death do us part.”
The last part could be the key to keep holding on. A vow is, after all, a vow. You may break a promise in as many times as you make it, but a vow is reverential. Like you’re going to be thrown to hell if you dare break it.
1. I love you. Before she became your wife, she was the most beautiful lady you laid your eyes on. The letters rolled out your heart and leapt from your lips, captivating her with those words. You must have meant it really, igniting the same response from her. Love begot love- and continues to this day. But there are bad days, of course, when the words don’t come out easily. How about letting your fingers talk by tapping your phone or computer keys to send the words flying virtually to her? Too much pride on whose turn it is to say those words puffs out the magic in marriage. Husbands started saying them, and wives always love hearing them said.
2. You look great. The years certainly would take their toll on anyone, male or female. Bulges form here and there, undies mistaken for skirts or shorts. The wives can take the depreciatory remarks good-naturedly from almost anyone. But when it is the husband who rubs it in uncomplimentarily – and worse, before an audience yet! – that would be disastrous. Making it a habit (like the wives don’t mind) is, to tone it down, a mistake. Complimenting your wife’s goodness in all fronts is the way to go. If you can’t honestly say, “hey, you look great!” Maybe, you can say to her “you’re great!” in that new hairstyle, in those shoes, in the kitchen, with multi-tasking, with the kids…and the list goes on and on.
3. Thank you. Of all, perhaps, saying “Thank you” is the easiest to do, whatever stage or season of the marriage is. For small and big favors, it’s worth saying it. “Thank you” for passing the plate. That would still be communicating! And that line should be kept open – even if there are times the signal is not that good, buffering, simply wait or restart, if need be. In good and bad times, you still have each other. Period. It is like looking at the mirror and finding your reverse image (if the husband is the head, the wife is the tail). The feeling of being complete is simply overwhelming, uttering “Thank you” is a breeze. There is an Unseen Power that lets the head finds its tail. When the match fits perfectly, it’s done. Both of you can only say, really, “thank you.”
How about “I’m sorry?” What for? When “I love you” says it all. Nobody’s perfect, remember? Each has his/her own faults, mistakes of omission and commission, and guilt.
And if there are readers out there asking what husbands would love to hear from their wives in turn, the same would generally still apply. Changing pronoun gender would do the trick.