Taking Time to Simply Notice
When we take the closeness of relationships for granted.
BY DR. BOB MEISNER – SEPTEMBER 10, 2019
“Our courtship was exciting, and our wedding day was a dream. Little did we know that a switch flipped in both of us on the day we said: “I do.” At the time, the change was so gradual that we didn’t even notice it. We begin taking each other for granted. I viewed our wedding day as the finish line in the courtship.”
Why is it in relationships we tend to treat those we love the most… the worst. Why do we say things… mean things, to those we’re close to that we would never say to someone at work, at church, or in a grocery store. Where’s the logic in this?
It’s almost like the closer one gets to a person, and the more trust that has been established, the more a person feels like they are able to push the limits of that relationship. They take liberties to do things that would never be done to others whom they don’t even know or care about.
What’s happening is that they’re taking the closeness of a relationship for granted.
Sadly, the natural trend of marriage is for romance, affection, appreciation, and communication to decline over time, not because couples start to dislike each other but because they become too comfortable (familiar) together.
In this article, I want to share with you some thoughts that can lead to some real-life application so you’re not living life by default but rather with intention and purpose. Being aware of what you’re doing and how others experience you is invaluable in making the needed course correction for you...and the more you’ll enjoy your life and relationships.
1. Plan to nurture the positive in your relationships.
With intention, first, look for and find the good. What’s undone, incomplete or missing may be glaring you in the face. But, wait for it, find the good and be thankful. There is always something to be thankful for.
2. Develop a customary routine of how you transition throughout your day.
In a marriage, take notice of how you leave for the day and secondly how you reunite after a period of time being apart. If you’re inconsistent and allow the pressures of life and work to drive the mood you bring into the home, you can lose the sense of excitement. If you’re critical of your day and others at the time of reunion, you can become fearful or even dread seeing each other.
I daily practice experiencing the love of God. I want to live and move into my day satisfied not needy. Secondly, I practice noticing my intentions whenever I transition throughout my day. Leaving and entering the house. In the car. Before a meeting, etc. In each of these, I simply pause, notice and prioritize His peace in my heart.
3. Set aside two minutes of undistracted communication every day.
This may seem so simplistic… two minutes… but these two minutes have the power to revitalize your relationships.
Talk about your day.
Express your needs.
Take a moment to slow down and connect eye to eye, breathe and remind yourselves, “we are better together”.
4. Love, Value and Appreciate
Sadly, couples tend to take the good in each other for granted all too quickly - and can even stop noticing the good that the other is doing - while focusing more and more on the petty failings of the other.
This is a one minute exercise. Position yourselves face to face while holding the hands of each other and lock eyes (don’t forget to smile).
Begin by using your spouses name and say, “I love, value and appreciate ___________________ .” The more specific you are and current the better. And for one minute share back and forth what you notice and how meaningful it is to you.
Cultivating a heart of gratitude will create that doorway that leads to hope. There your inheritance in Jesus awaits to become your reality. Remember the two most important words in the world: Thank you.
Hear more about this topic on Episode 18 of All About Relationships Podcast with Bob and Audrey.