Category Archives: Love

Feeling or choice?

“Love is not a feeling, it’s a choice.”

 Emerson Eggerichs

I used to think love was a feeling. It was something you fell into. It just happened to you.

And I think initially it can be, when you start to date and explore relationships. But,when you are young, you often don’t really understand what it takes to love someone.

We think we know. We think that everything will be great. We think we will love the person no matter what.

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But we have NO idea what life will throw at us. We don’t know that life itself will be hard.

That some days, we won’t feel like we love our spouse anymore.

That some days, it will take everything we have to just like them and not be completely irritated.

But, these are all choices.

While we don’t have a choice about how others treat us, we do have a choice about how we live. And our attitude.

We can choose to love someone, no matter what.

We can choose to take another step forward in our relationship.

We can choose to work through our problems, instead of taking the easy way out.

Everything in life is a choice.

How you choose makes all the difference in the world.

Do you think love is a choice?

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When was your last date?

When was the last time you went on a date with your spouse?

My husband and I dated for a long time and were married for six years before we had our first child. We went on dates as a married couple all the time. Of course, we didn’t think of them as dates because it was just what we did. We spent time together. We played golf every weekend. We loved traveling when we could.

Then, we had kids.

All of sudden there wasn’t much time for being alone anymore. I didn’t think about this, as I was so happy to be a Mom and learn all about this wonderful new little baby who made us a family. Our priorities shifted. It wasn’t as essential or as easy to go out to dinner all the time, or to go to a movie, or to play golf. Every waking minute we were not working, we wanted to spend with our son.

We also didn’t live near family when we had our first son. So, there were no grandparents to watch him so we could spend time together. And finding a babysitter at that young of an age wasn’t something I was very interested in. We simply stopped making time to be alone as a couple.

Obviously, this is something that happens to most couples when they first become parents. It’s natural and is good to get a schedule and routine with your child. And treasuring all of those “first” moments is something that you can never experience again. We didn’t want to miss any of it.

Unfortunately, the pattern of not making time as a couple continued throughout the years. Once you stop dating each other, it’s easy to forget how much you liked it and needed it. My husband would try to tell me, but as a new Mom, I was focused on one little guy instead of both of the men in my life.

I look back now and realize that we should have continued to make time together, even if it was short, simple dates for dinner. We do that now and it makes a world of difference. Yes, it is much easier now because the kids are older. And life does not seem so incredibly chaotic as it did when the kids were young.

Is it easy to carve time in your schedule to date? Usually not.

Is it easier to just stay home and relax without planning a date? Most of the time.

Is it worth it to carve out time to be with just your spouse without your kids? Absolutely!

What are some of the unique things you do to ensure that you keep a regular date night with your spouse? I’d love to hear from you.

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R-E-S-P-E-C-T

“It would be easy enough, then, to deduce that communication is the key to marriage, but I don’t agree. To say that communication is the key to marriage is to assume that both spouses speak the same language. I have learned that in fact, the wife speaks a ‘love language’ and the husband speaks a ‘respect language.’ They don’t realize this, of course, but because he is speaking one kind of language (respect) and she is speaking another (love), there is little or no understanding and little or no communication.” 

Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

Several years ago, I would not have agreed with this quote. I would have said that spouses can communicate no matter what. But the longer I am married, and after realizing how true this really is, I am amazed at what a difference it can make in your marriage.

Understanding this concept has truly changed the way that I interact with my husband. In the past, I would get upset if he didn’t do things the way that I wanted him to. Or, if he wasn’t responding how I would respond. Now I realize that we have very different languages and we respond differently to many things.

A few years ago, we did a small group at our church on the book ‘Love & Respect‘ by Dr. Eggerichs. It was a great way to talk about different challenges that we have as men and women and how we interact with each other. I learned so much from reading the book and discussing it with other couples. We’ve also read ‘The Five Love Languages‘ by Gary Chapman. These are both extremely insightful books that help you understand some of the ways you are different and possibly solve some of the ongoing disputes you’ve had over and over again.

 

Wall post with love in different languages. Ta...

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One of the biggest lessons I learned is how much my husband needs to feel respected. To him, it is what keeps him going. If he’s not getting it, he is going to be cranky and irritated and have little motivation to show love to me. It’s how he feels loved. He used to try to tell me this, but I didn’t want to hear it. I felt like he was just being immature and needing far more attention than I had time to give while working full time and raising two little boys. I thought he should just “man up” and deal with it. The less respect I showed him, the more irritated we each got with our situation. It was a never ending cycle.

He certainly wasn’t going to go out of his way to help me with anything if I wasn’t showing him respect. And I would get mad that he wasn’t helping or pulling his share of the load, which are things that help me to feel loved.

Now that we understand this, our marriage is different. I can sense when he is not feeling respected, and he can sense when I am not feeling loved. It has made a huge difference in our marriage.

Have you read either of the books? What changes have these concepts made in your marriage?

 

 

 

 

 

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