Romance Series: The Mindset That Changed My Relationship
Hello and welcome back to the blog!
It feels good to be sitting behind a real KEYBOARD and not just my smartphone LOL. We have covered a lot of ground in this romance series, so I thought it was only fitting to talk about the mindset that has changed my entire perspective when it comes to all things romantic. This mindset helps me when I feel emotionally distant from my husband, when I feel "off" or when I begin to forget why we even became a pair in the first place.
And the mindset is... GRATEFULNESS.
I know, I know... it sounds boring and entirely un-sexy. I didn't even like the idea of focusing on gratefulness when I first began it. But I cannot deny the positive impact it has had on my life and my marriage.
I think we can often begin to take one another for granted in a long-term relationship. It's easy to lose sight of the spark and "romance" as we've been discussing these past few weeks. Many of us know and understand that the romantic sparks and chills may not last for years and years, despite the number of septuagenarians proudly declaring that their wife still "gives them butterflies."
When we meet and fall in love with another person, we can feel the joyful excitement, euphoria, and endorphines every time we see them. But, as familiarity creeps in, much of that euphoric joy creeps out as well.
The intense euphoria we feel in the beginning of our romances can rarely be replicated, save from expensive vacations, starlit evenings, and romantic "dates." Life together as a married couple is NOT as series of cutesy homemade dates, evenings out, or romantic dances. Sure, we still dance in our kitchen, laugh our heads off to comedy shows, and tease each other, but with our familiarity comes bouts of normalcy, mundanity, and the boredom of routine-filled life.
In an answer to all of these long-term issues, many blogs, articles, and Instagram captions highlight the importance of alone-time, date-nights, vacations, and time away together. I am POSITIVE that all of those are essential in our journey towards romance, but they're not the antidote for today.
No, my antidote to you today is something that doesn't even require the participation of your loved one: it is to adopt a spirit of gratefulness. A spirit of gratitude and thankfulness in our hearts will give off a similar feeling of euphoria and joy that romance gives.
Now although a constant euphoric high is an unachievable and kind of a silly goal for our long-term romances, it doesn't mean that a dose of intense appreciation, affection, and love for our husbands isn't going to increase our joy.
On the contrary, the time spent appreciating, valuing, and being thankful for your man can cause you to feel increased levels of attraction, emotional connection, and love for him. You are essentially emotionally bonding with him, even though all you're doing is thinking about him.
When I first fell in love with my husband, he was such a breath of fresh air in my life that I swear that half of the "euphoria" I was feeling, was just strong gratitude for how he was affecting my life and for how different he was from other guys I had dated.
I have found that since then, every single time I sit down and think of three things I am truly thankful for about my husband, I begin looking at him differently. Instead of seeing a man who's too busy for me because he's working, I see a man who is providing for our family and our needs, and I am filled with gratitude.
The spirit of gratitude changes my entire demeanor and attaches a level of respect and understanding when I communicate with him. Gratitude changes my perspective, my heart, and my entire day. It reminds me of what I love about my husband and gives me grace for his flaws.
Gratefulness brings back the romance because it brings back a nuanced and light perspective of my husband. It showcases the positivity, hope, and joy, instead of the boring mundanity. Gratitude illuminates the things we love, appreciate, and value, and it never fails to draw us closer to our partners.
However, I need to add a note here.
If you truly cannot come up with a single thing that your man does for you that you're grateful for, then maybe it's time to reconsider your relationship. If you're married, I recommend counseling, and if you're not, I recommend counseling and potentially time apart.
If your man brings you increased levels of pain, trauma, and frustration through his philandering, abuse, cruelty, or disloyalty, he is not a good partner. Your partner should be working towards the growth of BOTH of you, not just himself. Take note of behavior that is a conscious sabotage of your success as a couple. Be ready to confront that behavior and always remember that you are too valuable, loved, and special to live in an environment of abuse, cheating, control, or anger.
Now, back to gratitude: I don't think we should ignore serious issues and problems in our relationships for the sake of "gratitude," but I do know that for minor bouts of boredom, complacency, or even low-level resentment, taking on a spirit of gratefulness can completely transform your mindset.
When we approach with a level of gratefulness, grace often follows suit.
When I see my husband fall asleep during a movie together, I can sometimes feel annoyed that he's not enjoying things with me. But when I think about it from a perspective of gratitude towards him, I see things differently, and instead realize that he's tired from a long week of working to provide for our family. The frustration melts away, and gratitude comes in its place.
Gratefulness reaps gentleness, grace, and good energy.
Gratefulness is the antidote to a waning romance and to your own spirit. When we are grateful for someone else it helps us be less prideful and edgy towards them.
A spirit of gratefulness requires us to humble ourselves enough to recognize the positive attributes, contributions, and generosity that our spouse brings. When we view them with gratefulness, we are acknowledging that they give MANY things to us; love, affection, attention, or provision.
I don't think we need to trick ourselves into loving people, but I do think it's okay to sit down and reflect on why we appreciate our loved ones. Everyone deserves to have their contributions acknowledged. Instead of sitting down and being upset that your husband couldn't buy you a trip to Bora-Bora, why not sit down and be grateful for the mortgage he pays, or the camp site he arranged for the summer.
Be grateful for the little things and remember that you could be living under a bridge right now. I try to remember EVERYTHING my husband contributes and gives me, not just jewelry and vacations. He gives me money for electricity, warm water, food, and clean clothes. I know that might sound dramatic, but I would rather participate in dramatic gratefulness than unamused resentfulness.
Realizing these things always puts me in a tender mindset, ready to interact, love-on, and bless my husband, just as he does for me.
But in total, if you are married to a GOOD man, write down what you are grateful for and enjoy the euphoria that follows. I promise you that there is not a better feeling than realizing that you are being graciously loved, cared for, and provided for by someone's personal sacrifice of their time and energy.
Sending you all my love today my beautiful readers.
Stay grateful and stay romantic.