This summer Benjy, one of my four sons, signed his dad and I  up to participate in a project called Storyworth. Each week we individually receive a question that has been selected for us by Benjy. It has really helped me to jump back into writing again. I had been experiencing a kind of writer’s block I guess you would say. Anyway, I had big doubts and just couldn’t make progress. Then the questions started coming. The title above is the question I had for this week. I thought it would be fun to share it with you. It might also make a really good conversation starter with your spouse. I’d love it if you would share your thoughts with me in the comments.

Having been married now for over fifty-five years, I’ve learned a few things about having a happy relationship. They probably aren’t secrets to others, but it has taken me time to discover how to truly be happy in this relationship with your dad. Most people probably learned these in kindergarten, but I’m a late bloomer!

Be kind

It may seem obvious but trying to come up with a clever come back or trampling over your husband or wife’s feelings to make a point takes lots of withdrawals out of their love bank.

Notice things and appreciate them

These don’t have to be big things but it’s good to be specific. “Hey, thanks for making the bed this morning, I know it was my turn.” “You cut the grass at that angle I like; it looks really nice!” “You look great in that new shirt I bought you. I’m glad you wore it today.” “I loved the card you put under my pillow when you left to go on your hunting trip.”

Say please and thank you

This one blurs into the last one a bit, but it really helps to keep making deposits in the love bank. “Could you please change the battery in the clock in the office.” Then of course notice it when he or she does it. I forgot that part this week! “Thank you for turning on the porch light for me before I got home from rehearsal.” “Thanks for setting the table.”

Love one another

I’m talking about when it isn’t expected. Like making a point to put your hand on their cheek when they’ve been sweet. Taking the morning dog walking shift even when you don’t usually get up first. Holding the hug longer than usual. Ignore the socks left on the coffee table. Practice the “sneak up behind them hug.” Buy or make their favorite dessert even if you know it’s not good for them.

Hold hands

I’m a fast walker. I’m usually the first one in the door before your dad has a chance to catch up. I’m trying to slow down and even hold his hand. (Something new) I realize that his hand won’t always be there for me to hold.

Admire them

Your dad is an amazing man. He is good at so many things. He doesn’t always think so, but I want him to know that I know him and admire everything he does well. He is a wonder with our finances. I’m the spender and he’s the provider. He evaluates and plans. He is a great friend. He’s loyal and oh so kind. He PRAYS! He remembers prayer requests and prays for them months and years later! I know this because he asks me how someone is doing when I should have told him that person got “the job” six months ago. He is a crack shot. Some of his friends call him “The Legend” when it comes to hunting. Even when you might be angry at each other, it’s important to let your spouse know how great they are.

So as you see, these are not really secrets, but I’ve learned this is how to be really happy with the “hunk” who is my hero and also your father.

Thanks for asking.