The more you give, the more you receive.
When I woke up yesterday morning, I looked over at my husband and smiled. He was sleeping later than usual, and that made me happy.
I got up to make coffee, something he does so much of the time. It felt good to be doing it for him for a change.
The coffee had just finished brewing when he came into the kitchen. He had a loving smile on his face. He kissed me and thanked me for making coffee.
You may be thinking, What’s the big deal about making coffee? But that’s just it. It isn’t a big deal, except to the other person in the marriage. Every kindness, every thoughtful act, everything done with an easy heart is a big deal in a great marriage because it is appreciated. It’s so easy to make my husband happy and doing so makes me happy.
We don’t take each other’s kindnesses for granted. Because we don’t, we have ample opportunities to feel grateful and pleased. It’s not one small gesture or one grand gesture here and there. It’s a way of life, day in and day out.
Imagine that every day of your life you receive small gifts, each one thoughtful and beautiful, something you desire but don’t expect. That’s what kindnesses are in a marriage. Little gifts that keep on giving while inspiring the recipient to give the same kind of gifts, in equal or greater measure.
These gifts cost absolutely nothing and yet are priceless.
And this is just one of many ingredients found in a great marriage. There are a thousand different things that can make a marriage a strong and very happy one!
Over the years, people who know us have asked, “What’s the secret to your happy marriage?” I’ve always wondered why they think it’s a secret.
Maybe it’s because those of us who are truly happily married seem to be keeping a secret because we don’t talk about it very much. Sure, sometimes I want to shout from the mountain top that I’m the happiest and luckiest woman alive because I’m so happily married.
But bragging, which this would certainly seem to be, is something we are taught is rude. I wouldn’t brag aloud about my marvelous marriage any more than I would brag aloud about, say, making a lot of money from a stock I took a chance on. It just seems . . . tacky.
In my experience, people react badly to boasting of any kind. Think about it: What kind of emotion does someone’s bragging bring up in you? If you’re like most people, you either think the person is lying (or at least exaggerating); or you experience a prick of envy that causes you to feel unfriendly toward them.
Yet here I am, bragging about my wonderful marriage. But there is a reason for compromising my manners!
What if I shared the so-called “secrets” of a great marriage in a weekly blog? What if I did it because I truly wish for others to have this kind of happiness in their marriages? If I could share my tried-and-true experiences — and the experiences of other happily married couples whom I know — would that sharing be taken in the right vein? I hesitate to even undergo this venture because of the afore-mentioned reasons: disbelief and/or disdain.
But this is what I want to write about at this lovely juncture in my life. After writing several moderately successful books, I’m ready to take a different path. I want to share what I’ve learned over thirty-five years about the many facets of a great marriage.
I feel vulnerable putting this out here. In writing these blogs, I’m saying I’m an expert on how to have a great marriage. Despite these misgivings I have about how people will react to what I share, I have to believe I can do no harm by sharing my positive experiences and long-acquired knowledge. And maybe, hopefully, something will resonate with a reader.
The concepts I write about are not unique, but how I relate them to a happy marriage is unique. A Circle of Love was not coined by me, but it is used in context distinctive to my marriage. Recall the line from the song, As Time Goes By: “The fundamental things apply, as time goes by.” It’s how we build on those fundamental things that enhance and strengthen a marriage, and I want to share what have been successful building blocks in my marriage.
So, with joy in my heart, here’s my first “secret” to a great marriage that I wish to share:
The more you do for him, the more he wants to do for you.
The more he does for you, the more you want to do for him.
It’s like a circle, wherein the love you give
Keeps coming back around to you
With more potency, and more good energy,
Each and every time.