Remember the first time you saw your spouse’s eyes light up? Maybe it was the first time you gave them a special gift or picked them up unexpectedly. Maybe it was when you got engaged or when you saw each other on your wedding day. Maybe it was the first holiday you spent together. Maybe it was when you found out you were having a baby or when you got your first glimpse of that baby.
Now, when’s the last time you saw your spouse’s eye light up? If it’s been a while, maybe you should ask yourself why it’s been that long.
Last week I started a series called, “What I’ve Learned About Marriage From Buying a House.” One of the things I’ve learned is that it’s important to see your spouse’s eyes light up. I got to see my wife’s eyes light up when we put a contract on a new house. It’s not a big house. In fact, it’s not much bigger than the house we’re in now. It’s not an elaborate house. It’s rather simple compared to other houses. The thing about this house is it is our first completely NEW house in 35 years of marriage; (and it’s probably the last house we’ll have before our kids put us in a home.) My wife’s eye’s lit up, because this is something she’s always wanted.
You maybe thinking, “Well sure. It’s easy to make your spouse’s eyes light up when you give them something big and expensive!” But that’s not the point. The point is…it’s something she’s always wanted and I was willing to do it.
There are things your spouse has always wanted. Many of these things are not big and expensive. They’re simple and relatively easy to do. They may take a little time and intention, but they can make your spouse’s eyes light up. They are things like:
- Do that little chore for them, even though you have something else you would rather do.
- Watch their favorite movie with them, even though you don’t really like it.
- Take an interest in something they’re interested in.
- Send them an unexpected note or text, telling them how much you love and respect them.
- Be more consistently romantic.
- Be more consistent sexually.
- Surprise them for lunch.
- Surprise them with a date.
- Surprise them with a weekend get-a-way.
- Tell them how good they look to you.
- Give them a break by taking care of the kids.
- Cook their favorite meal or take them to their favorite restaurant.
- Give them a back rub with no strings attached.
- Give them a back rub with strings attached.
There are many things that will light up your spouse’s eyes, but you have to pay attention and be intentional about it.
How do you know if something will really make your spouse’s eyes light up? Start by asking yourself 3 questions…
- Is this important to them? I once had a couple come to me for marriage counseling. When I asked them why they had come, the wife said, “My husband doesn’t love me!” The husband was floored by her declaration and said, “What do you mean I don’t love you?! Look at the car you drive! Look at the house you live in! Look at how much you and the kids have! How can you say I don’t love you?!” The wife responded by saying, “Those things aren’t that important to me. What I want is for you to spend time with me and the kids.” Sometimes we can be trying to tell our spouse we love them but we’re not shooting at the right targets.
- Is this something they’ve been wanting? Your wife may have said they want to get out of the house, but it doesn’t mean they want you to take them fishing. Your husband may have said it’s been too long since the two of you spent time together, but that doesn’t mean he wants to sit on a bench and talk about life. Chances are your spouse has either been telling you out-right what they want, or they’ve been giving you some not-so-subtle hints. Listen to those things. Ask questions if you’re not sure. Be a student of the things your spouse wants.
- Will this show I’ve been thinking about them? Lighting up your spouse’s eyes is about the fact that you intentionally thought about them. Everybody does something special on Valentines Day. That’s not really thinking about your spouse, as much as it is following the crowd and convention. But when you do something unexpected and intentional for your spouse on a normal, run-of-the-mill day, then it shows you’ve been thinking about them. And this can light up their eyes.
What I’ve learned about marriage from buying a house is that it’s important to make your spouse’s eyes light up. You don’t have to buy a house to make your spouse’s eyes light up, but you do have to do something that’s important to them and shows you’ve intentionally thought about them.
Think of some times when you saw your spouse’s eyes light up? Dig back through those memories and share one of them in the comments.
Copyright © 2015 Bret Legg.