But I only practiced the first seven steps on the list. I didn’t even know that the eighth item existed. As a result, our partnership became somewhat lop-sided with me doing more giving, and my husband doing more receiving. I became strong and accomplished in the first seven of the eight guidelines for success, but then hit a ceiling.
“That’s what a good wife does, keeps your dreams alive even when you don’t believe anymore.” – Michael J. Sullivan
For a long time, I didn’t understand that the balance of giving and receiving is crucial. I was too heavily weighted on the giving side. I had to master an important missing component. All eight parts operating in concert are the secret to success. My husband and I renew our vows on our wedding anniversary and Valentine’s Day.
We don’t expect to automatically re-enlist our relationship. We take the time and effort to make a conscious choice, and in so doing declare out loud to each other what we are committed to one another in this next phase of our marriage.
One year, I couldn’t think of anything new to add to my vows, so I asked my husband if there were things he would like from me. He asked me to declare that I would take better care of myself. As I took a look at what work would be required to make the necessary changes, I became more aware that I had been groomed by my family, and the female gender conditioning of the wider culture, to focus on being in service to my husband, my kids, and others.
The concept and behaviors of responsible self-care were never adequately addressed. It became clear that self-care was not as strong as it needed to be for me to move to a higher level of well-being for myself personally and for my marriage.
My husband, on the other hand, because of his family and the male gender conditioning that men receive from the wider culture, has always been strong in the area of self-care. And in the spirit of expecting the best for himself, he wanted me to be the most rested, relaxed, and content that I could be so that I could bring my happy self to him.
It was enlightened self-interest on the part of my partner that motivated him to confront me about not giving so much to him, to save more time and energy for myself, so that the first seven items on the generosity list would be brought to him with more ease, intensity, and vitality.
I did declare responsible self-care, and as soon as I began to live that vow, our relationship moved to a higher level. By balancing the giving and receiving in our partnership we took a big leap up, and I was able to rest assured that I had achieved my deeply desired goal of being the woman of his dreams. When my husband said these words out loud to me, it was the fulfillment of my grandest dream.
Written by Linda and Charlie Bloom
Originally appeared in Psychology today
Love is what gives our lives meaning. A loving relationship makes you feel happy, content, and complete, and everyone is looking for one whether they admit it or not. If both of you strive to keep each other happy and satisfied, then both of you will be winners. Your relationship will not only be stronger but fulfilling too.
If you want to know more about how you can be the woman of his dreams, watch this video below: