Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tender Hearts

The night before our wedding, I decided to check my suitcase and make sure I had everything I needed for the honeymoon.  As I was going through my things, I found a note.  I saw the delicate, perfect handwriting and knew exactly who it was from.  I sat with the letter in my hands, unsure whether I was going to open it yet or not.  I knew I was not supposed to know it was in my suitcase until I was out of the house, but what pearls of wisdom did my mom have in store for me?

I gingerly opened the letter and began to read.  It was marital advice from someone with nearly 30 years of experience.  One of the things that really stood out to me was, she spoke of the fragility of my husband's heart.  "Your husband, although strong and the head of the household, is very sensitive.  He wants you to respect him and his decisions more than anything.  Every time you cut him down or speak negatively of him, especially in front of your friends, it crushes him more than you will ever know.  He is still a small boy in a man's body seeking your approval.  Go to him if you are having a problem with something he has done.  He will love you all the more for coming to him in private instead of tearing him down in front of your peers."

I am certainly not perfect with this advice, but I was so thankful she told me this because at least now I am aware of how much I can hurt him.  I think this whole idea is not something that comes easily for women, or maybe just women like me.  I tend to say whatever is on my mind without realizing the consequences of my words.  I have always had this problem and I am pretty sure, not a day went past without my mom saying, "If you do not have something nice to say, do not say anything at all."

She also told me that a man can feel the most vulnerable with his wife.  No one else's praise means more to him and on the other hand, no one else's ridicule cuts like his wife's does.  I think this knowledge is good at whatever point you are at in your relationship.  If you are just starting out, he will be attracted to your encouragement.  As the relationship progresses, he will feel safe with opening up to you.  If you end up getting married, he will love you for your respectfulness.

My Tender Heart

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