It seems there are so many times that my husband will go on and on verbalizing, what sounds like thinking out loud regarding plans for what to do month to month, week to week. Often times I will catch bits of what he is saying and end up tuning a lot out. Or I have my own train of thoughts going on in my head that overshadow and drown out what he is communicating.
At one point this past weekend while my husband had initiated one of these ramblings of immediate plans, I became aware of my own thoughts and made a determination to focus on his words. The conversation was like many we have had before, it was not urgent or pressing. My engagement in the conversation was unique as I tried to quench thinking, problem solving or judging that comes natural. As to not simplify this process, I want to be clear that I had to continue refocusing and stopping my own intrusion of thoughts. However, what I discovered was rewarding.
I know my husband wants to be a good person, wants to be a good dad, a good husband, yadda yadda yadda… However, following this moment of really trying to listen to my husband, my awareness of how strongly this motivates him was raised. My appreciation of him as a person, the father of my daughter and as the man I am choosing to spend the rest of my life with was put into a clearer perspective. Listening this way helped me to set aside knowing that I love him and really reinforced one of the reasons why I love him. It also allowed me an opportunity to validate his position as a leader striving to provide a happy life for his family.
If there is one thing that I know about marriage whether it’s from 3 years of personal experience or from every other married person’s advice… Marriage is work. It takes a daily effort to show and receive affection, to share and to listen. I thought I was working daily on my marriage, it’s now that I am aware I was not really doing the listening part well. Dropping my own thoughts and taking in what someone else is saying is hard work, and it is worth the effort. Really hearing my husband’s words no matter how big or small the issue will help maintain on our relationship.