We fall in love, and we don't know what we're doing.
We get married, and we're clueless.
We embark on one of the hardest jobs imaginable - living in emotional, spiritual, and physical intimacy with another person, and we're totally unqualified.
We don't, most of us, know how to love the person we're going to spend our life with.
It's not hard, in theory. But in practice...hoo, boy.
The hard thing is that loving your spouse doesn't take into account how he or she makes you feel. It's about how your spouse feels, and how you affect that.
So, what's the secret?
Listen - When you were courting, you probably hung on every word your beloved said. (though you may have been paying more attention to the lovely voice and sweet lips than to the content). But now...be honest, do you sometimes feel your spouse talks too much?
Do you have a feeling you can't get a word in edgewise?
Do you sometimes just wait for them to finish, so you can talk?
When people 'talk too much' in a marriage, it's usually a symptom, that they feel they're really not being heard. They feel that what they say isn't really worth listening to - since the one person who's supposed to want to hear them goes zombie while they're talking.
So,more words. Anything to break through!
Does this sound familiar?
Yes, a flood of words is usually a call to please listen. The content may be a recitation of the day's activities, or a penetrating psychological evaluation of a Tier-1 Taliban, but it is your spouse's content. It's important to him or her, and it should be important to you - because it's theirs.
So, just listen. Don't wait to speak, don't tune out, don't put up the shutters in your eyes that show your lack of interest. (And don't roll your eyes, either.)
Just listen. And when your spouse is finished, ask questions.
What if your mate is on permanent send, and simply won't stop talking?
Listen anyway. Listen for their heart, listen for the sake of the love you share.
Will it make your spouse listen to your pearls of wisdom? Maybe.
Will it make your spouse appreciate what a fine lad or lass they've married? Possibly.
Will it get you more sex, or a new golf club, or help in rearranging the living room this weekend? Doubt it.
Will it make your spouse feel better about him-or-herself?
Yes. And even if it's permanent send for life, and even if you never get a word in...do it anyway.
Do it for love.