I believed for a long time that I would be married, and I also realized that God had given me several key relationships throughout my developmental years to prepare me for my husband. My older sister and a few best friends, not to mention my parents. Mason and I truly had a good foundation to our marriage thanks to a lot of investment from family, friends, and a year of invaluable pre-marital counseling!
We are now 5 years in and I still struggle with one key aspect in my relationship with Mason. You see, Mason is someone who feels most loved when he receives words of affirmation. I am not. I am a high expectations person who struggles to verbalize in the moment. If you are following this, you can imagine what polar opposites we are in this and what a recipe for disaster it *can* be!
Certainly, we have lived through some disastrous days in the last 5 years, and adding our firstborn to that mix has only made our time to communicate and invest in each other more slim. Not that that’s a bad thing, it’s actually a good refining challenge for us to get better in our relationship!
We had one of those disastrous days (or even a week maybe) recently, but through some sharing and conversing, we found a simple fix to one of my common failures.
Allow me to sum up:
Because I have strong preferences and high expectations, Mason often feels criticized for not doing something properly. I’m not intending to criticize him, but without any affirmation he only hears critique.
Here’s the new formula I developed: verbal affirmation regarding whatever action he took, then give my preference for how I would like it done. Icing on the cake would be to follow that with another affirmation!
verbal affirmation + preference + verbal affirmation
It has worked like a charm in our communication and relationship, and we can now laugh about it instead of being frustrated with each other over petty things. Hopefully this will help someone else whose spouse needs that verbal affirmation!