guest post by Cheri Gregory
My husband is a disagreeable giver!
I know, I know.
Doesn’t sound like one of the most romantic thoughts crossing my mind after more than a quarter century of marriage.
But it’s certainly one of the most important.
This epiphany hit while I was listening to Adam Grant’s Global Leadership Summit* talk, “Give and Take: A New Perspective on Leadership,” in which he describes four types of people:
- Agreeable givers
- Agreeable takers
- Disagreeable takers
- Disagreeable givers
Agreeable givers are everyone’s favorites, to the point they often become doormats. Agreeable takers are “fakers” who can fool us into treating them as givers. Disagreeable takers are pretty quickly labeled as jerks.
But it’s the disagreeable givers who, according to Grant, are the most misunderstood and undervalued.
They invest endlessly in the people and causes they care deeply about.
They just don’t care about how they come across.
What Happens When I Get Hung Up on How
A few weeks ago, a scenario that’s played out thousands of times in our marriage started to run according to script.
Daniel and I were in the kitchen, and he said something that ticked me off. I started to react, but in the nick of time remembered I’m trying to ask myself what problem is he trying to solve?
Which forced me to recognize I was all set to react without knowing the facts. (And while I may be a Highly Sensitive Person, I’m an HSP who scores high in analytical reasoning. I expect my emotions to be grounded in data, thank you very much!)
As Proverbs 18:13 so bluntly puts it
To answer before listening—
that is folly and shame.
So I asked myself, If I’m not about to react to facts, what I am I about to react to?
The answer was simple:
I’m about to react not to what Daniel said.
Or even why he said it.
I’m about to react to how Daniel said what he said.
I’m waaaaaaaay too hung up on how.
Focus on Why and What Before How
Now, I’m not suggesting that how other people speak to us isn’t important.
I am simply confessing I have been way too hung up on how, to the exclusion of why and what.
When I paused in the kitchen to ask myself why did he say that? I knew, without even asking Daniel, that the over-arching answer would be:
- because he loves God, and/or
- because he cares about what’s right, and/or
- because he is committed to me and to our family
And when I asked myself, what did he actually say? the answer was something simple and reasonable.
Sure, it’s important in any relationship* that we discuss how we communicate with each other. But how doesn’t deserve top billing, at least not for me.
I’ve become convicted that my knee-jerk reaction to my husband’s how prevents me from hearing his why and what.
When I find myself getting all bent out of shape over how — and I start gearing up to turn lawyer, judge, and jury — I’m telling myself:
Don’t react without the facts.
Only then, ask how.
Cheri Gregory is a teacher, speaker, author, and Certified Personality Trainer. Her passion is equipping women to relate and create with less drama, more delight.
Cheri is the co-author, with Kathi Lipp, of The Cure for the “Perfect” Life and the upcoming Overwhelmed.
Cheri has been “wife of my youth” to Daniel, her opposite personality, for twenty-eight years and is “Mom” to Annemarie (25) and Jonathon (23), also opposite personalities.
Cheri is the host of “Grit ‘n’ Grace: Good Girls Breaking Bad Rules,” a podcast for women tired of trying so hard to measure up. She blogs about perfectionism, people-pleasing, highly sensitive people, and hope at www.cherigregory.com.
*Note: This blog post reflects one woman’s experiences, reflections, and insights in a marriage between two well-intentioned but flawed individuals. It does not attempt to speak to any relationship that includes abuse, addiction, adultery, abandonment, and/or apathy. Such relationships are beyond the scope of this post and may need the intervention of a trained counselor.
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Are you a stepmom? One of the best ways not to feel like a wicked stepmother is to accept your husband just like he is. But how can you do it when you may be struggling to accept everything (and everyone) that comes with him?
Accepting Your Husband
- Remember that part of your paycheck belongs to another woman.
- Remember that his children came before you in time.
- Think about whether or not your heart is committed enough to his children.
- Remember he carries guilt for his part in a broken marriage.
- Remember he has to unlearn old patterns of relating and has to learn to live with you.
You can find more great info in my book But I’m Not a Wicked Stepmother!
5 Ways to Tell Your Hubby You Love Him without All the Words by Paula Tobey
Have you ever been in a rut in your marriage where you find it tough to ‘talk’? Maybe you argue or you’re just not connecting as well as usual. Maybe you find yourself not in the same place of love like you were a few years back. Whatever it is, friend, I am here to tell you it is okay. There is always something you can do to help get out of that rut, and it starts by doing one small thing at a time.
Today, I will share with you five ideas of things that you can do to show your hubby you love him without all those words, because let’s face it, he probably doesn’t want to hear them anyway.
Marital connectedness is so important in a family. It helps the kids in many ways to feel secure, not to mention setting a positive example for them as they grow and enter into their own relationships. Parents have a responsibility to model for their kids behaviors and attitudes that help establish positive development. One of the best things we can do for our children is teach them love and respect. There are lots of ways you can teach this without preaching or teaching with words. Your behavior and actions will show them better than any words can how you feel, so go ahead, win him over without words teaching your kids how to show love and respect for your husband!
- Dressed to Impress – Complimenting your Hottie on how good he looks in his dress shirt. This is one thing that I have not been very good at, but it means so much to my husband when I tell him that I like how he looks. Words of Affirmation go a long way for some, but even saying that you like how soft his shirt is, can be just the kind of compliment he needs to hear. After I have said a statement like ‘I like how soft that shirt is, it looks great’ I will undoubtedly receive a text a little while later thanking me. Take it from me, you hubby likes to know you are still attracted to him after all these years.
- Get Your Own Box – Cheeze It’s are one of my husband’s favorite snacks. I cannot eat them because I’m gluten free, so I tend to buy things for the family that we can all eat. However, my husband told me about a year ago that he really loves it when I buy those for him because he knows that I went out of my way to get him something that I would not normally buy. It is not something that I will get often, and as a matter of fact, I save those for things like an Easter Basket gift, but when I do get them, his face lights up like a kid getting candy! For that reason alone, I will make sure he gets his own box!
- Precious Post It Note’s – When I go out of town for a few days, I like to leave my husband (and daughters) little notes to tell them that I love them. When we were getting ready to move a few months back, I was cleaning out my husband’s medicine cabinet in the master bath, and I found a piece of paper taped to the inside of the mirror with all kinds of post it notes I had left him over the years. It made me smile to see that not only had he kept them, but that he wanted to be reminded often how much I love him. Because I smiled, I am pretty sure he does too. I did not quite realize just how much those little precious notes were to him until then.
- Shopping Cart Surprise – Once I was on Amazon, and I noticed that my husband put an item in the Wish List. It was just a book, and it was not expensive, but I went ahead and ordered it for him. To his surprise, the exact book he had been looking at mysteriously showed up! It was cute when he asked if I had ordered it for him, and I just gave a little grin like ‘I don’t know what you are talking about – who me?’ He then gave me a nice big hug and kiss. It was fun. Sometimes it is the little things that add up to make the big things not so big!
- Good To The Last Drop – Every morning my husband is up before me. He does not need as much sleep as I do, and he enjoys his quiet time to read the paper and drink his coffee in the mornings. One work day this last week, he was actually still in bed, and I was awake, so I got up and made him some coffee. I wanted to be sure he had some because I figured he must have been pretty tired to still be in bed. When he came out and I had the coffee out for him, he was so surprised, he asked me who I was. J It was very unusual, but I do know that if I continue to do little things like that, he will be happy to drink every last drop!
For more great ideas on making your marriage more connected and fulfilled, come on over to my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ParentingCoachPaula and check out the posts, books and videos.
Paula Tobey is founder of PheMOMenal Life Ministries a community for women to go get encouraged and equipped to be the best mom’s they can be to their children by living a healthy balanced life and by becoming all that God created them to be. For more information go check out her website here www.PheMOMenalLife.com
LOOKING FOR HOLIDAY GIFTS FOR YOUR MAN?
Christmas can be reverent, joyful, exuberant and fun, but it can also be… romantic. And Kathi and Erin want to show you how you can make this Christmas a wonderful time for your family, but also a hot, hot, hot time for your spouse. Listen in and hear:
- Kathi and Erin’s best tips for making your marriage a priority during the holidays.
- Ideas for romantic gifts for your spouse. (The kind of gifts that the kids shouldn’t see you open.)
- Fun and, yes, even sexy suggestions for holiday romance that will make your husband’s eyes light up.
Click over to Kathi’s blog and read her best red gift ideas and then stay tuned for more information about when Kathi and Erin’s new book releases.
Have I got some Red Gift ideas for you? Make Christmas fun for your man by buying him a few of these items!
1. Lingerie (for him to open, but you to wear)
2. A box of Red Hots with your husband’s picture on it.
3. Matching boxers
4. Warming lotion (use a coffee warmer to keep it warm)
5. PJs (You wear the top, he wears the bottoms)
6. A card with 10 reasons why you are grateful for everything he does
7. 21 Post it notes around your room of reasons you love him
8. Mistletoe on the headboard of your bed
9. A box of chocolates (with instructions for the two of you to share them in bed.)
Don’t forget to listen to this week’s podcast – Naughty…and nice holiday gifts for your man — RED GIFTS!
Photo courtesy of Free Digital Photos. (http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Christmas_g54-Santa_Woman__Holding_A_Gift_Box_p123859.html)