Sheila’s Marriage Moment: Pay Attention to the Little Things
I’ve started a new Friday feature where I give a 400-word inspirational marriage moment. Here’s this week’s!
When Rudy Giuliani became mayor of New York, the city was reeling from crime. It was a scary place to live.
And what he decided to do gave people apoplexy. Instead of trying to understand criminals, or get to the root of why people choose crime, he adopted James Q. Wilson’s Broken Windows theory. And I think this may apply to our marriages, too.
Wilson said that instead of worrying about the big crimes, you should start by worrying about the little ones: the broken windows, the graffiti, the muggings. Focus on petty things that give people the sense that “this is not a safe place”. The street looks dismal. People take no pride in things. Once one building has a broken window, people stop taking care of the buildings on either side. And that gives criminals the impression: you can operate here with impunity, because no one will do anything to you. Nobody cares.
So Giuliani started erasing all the graffiti, had people arrested for it, and arrested all those who jumped the turnstiles at the subways. And lo and behold, murders dropped. Burglaries dropped. Violent crime dropped.
Let me ask you: Are there broken windows in your marriage?
Many marriages are a lot like 1980s New York City: they’re dismal, there’s lots of destruction, and there’s not much hope in sight.
But perhaps if we could focus on the broken windows, the other things would take care of themselves.
So do the little things. Often we are nicer to strangers than we are to our husbands, because we can see all the reasons why our husbands don’t deserve it. But say a kind word. Scan for things to praise–and then speak those things out loud. Decide to do something with him that he enjoys–even if it’s not something you particularly enjoy. Kiss him when he walks by. Text him during the day and tell him WHY you’re happy he’s your husband.
Sure, you may still have big issues. But when you do these little things, day in and day out, you build goodwill. You give the impression: this marriage matters. I value you. And that goodwill becomes the foundation so that you can start addressing some of these bigger things.
Start with little acts of kindness. Don’t focus on the huge problems. And maybe those huge problems will become easier to tackle.
What’s #1 at To Love, Honor and Vacuum?
#1 NEW Post on the Blog: Top 10 Ways To Get Out of a Sexual Rut
#1 on the Blog Overall: 16 Ways To Flirt With Your Husband
#1 on Facebook: Top 10 Sex and Marriage Red Flags You Shouldn’t Ignore
#1 on Pinterest: Stocking Stuffers for Your Husband Something tells me this is the most popular one that we are going to be having for a while. (bookmark this for later!)
We’re Leaving Today…in our RV!
My husband and I are starting out on our second big adventure in our RV! We’re traveling down the east coast over the next few weeks, where I’ll be speaking, and we’ll be birdwatching, and I’ll be doing a few media interviews. And then we’re leaving our RV in South Carolina for a few months before rejoining it in January when we speak in Florida and Georgia and head to Texas for February!
Winter in Florida, Georgia and Texas sounds a whole lot better than winter in southern Ontario.
But before we hit there, I’m giving my Girl Talk in Baltimore, MD, and Smyrna, DE, this Sunday and Monday! I’ll be at the Smyrna Church of Christ on Sunday at 4 in the afternoon (see all the info on Facebook!), and then at the Eastern Assembly of God in Baltimore on Monday at 6:30 (see more here)! They’re both going to be great events, so if you’re in the area, come on by.
Then on Sunday, November 15 at 6:00 I’ll be at Rockfish Church in Raeford, North Carolina, near Fort Bragg, for another awesome night. I’d love to see you!
And if you’re in the Florida/Georgia/Texas area, I’m booking now for my Girl Talks in the winter! I have some bookings already, but I do have a few more openings. So if your church wants a super easy event to host (you really only need to do coffee & chocolate; I take care of the rest), that pays for itself, email my assistant Tammy. She wants to help YOU get ME to your church!
And on Instagram…
Have a great weekend, everybody!