Express Yourself

Enjoying your Saturday? Great! I am too. We got the lawn mowed, I’ve got some weeding to do and I need to go and find something that will help me eliminate the worries of crab grass – my very much nemesis. My husband and I got into this great debate, however, while we were doing our yard work and the debate began a little on the snippy side – but actually became pretty ribald at the end. Now I am not going to bore you with the details, but here are some of the conclusions we came to.

What Came First

Have you ever heard the question, what came first, the chicken or the egg? Of course, you have. In this case, the question is what came first – the feeling of love or the expression of love? Think about it for a moment before answering this. Now hold onto that answer. Chances are it may change for you by the time we are done here.

Why do we do things for the people we care about? Do we do them because we care about them? Do we do it because it expresses our caring? Are we doing it because they demonstrated their acts of affection first? Why do we do the things we do?

We Choose to Be Loving

Now before you disagree with the statement, look at it this way – when we’re mad at our spouse – we still swing by the dry cleaners – we still make dinner and we still remind them of upcoming events they need to meet. Why do we do that? Because we choose to be loving. We choose to show our affection and to demonstrate that we care through our actions.

Our actions may precede the feeling as well. It does when we are courting. I remember in the early days of my relationship with my husband – before we could even call it a relationship, I would swing by his office on weekends when he had to work and bring him lunch. I would make his favorite meals when I knew he was coming over for dinner and I would pick up books I saw at the bookstore that I thought would appeal to him.

I didn’t do these loving actions because I was in love with him, I was doing it because I was showing him my love. The truth is, too many of us think that we need to have the love or be in love before we demonstrate our love – the simple truth is that when we’re mature about it and we show our love and our feelings will follow us.

Give to Your Spouse

With that in mind, what have you done for your spouse lately? No, I’m not talking about the laundry or the dry cleaners. What have you given to your spouse to demonstrate your loving? Have you found them a book that you thought they would like? Have you picked up a CD or DVD that would be fun for them? When was the last time you got them some trinket or bracelet just to give it to them?

Inside all of us are children that want to be pleased, children that want to be approved and children that want to be understood. When we receive tokens of affection, that inner child is definitely pleased. Think of the big grin that your child has when you give them something and now imagine that same glow on the face of your spouse?

Yep, I bet you are seeing where I am going with this.

The Joy is in the Giving

There is definite joy in giving a gift – joy for the person giving and joy for the person receiving the gift. Sometimes, when you just take the time to give them a gift that demonstrates your love and affection – you can set a more positive tone for your relationship. Worried about what to do? Wondering how much is too much? How much is not enough? Then here are a few suggestions (these are good for those of you still wondering about what to do for Father’s Day too!)

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Has your spouse mentioned that there is something they would really like recently?
  • What’s their favorite dessert?
  • What’s their favorite flower
  • What’s their favorite activity?
  • Do they love music?
  • What’s their favorite meal or restaurant?
  • What’s their favorite kind of shirt?

I bet you have a few ideas now. Sometimes, the best gifts we can give our spouse are the ones that are right in front of us. A new shirt that they love. A new book by a favored author. A new CD or tickets to see their favorite musician. The amount of money you spend is not the issue – it’s the amount of thought, affection and energy you put into discovering the gift that gives them a smile.

Related Articles:

Creating a Gift Closet That Keeps Giving

Frugal Gifting

Declare Your Devotion

Father’s Day Gift Ideas: Stepping Stones

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About Heather Long

Heather Long is 35 years old and currently lives in Wylie, Texas. She has been a freelance writer for six years. Her husband and she met while working together at America Online over ten years ago. They have a beautiful daughter who just turned five years old. She is learning to read and preparing for kindergarten in the fall. An author of more than 300 articles and 500+ web copy pieces, Heather has also written three books as a ghostwriter. Empty Canoe Publishing accepted a novel of her own. A former horse breeder, Heather used to get most of her exercise outside. In late 2004, early 2005 Heather started studying fitness full time in order to get herself back into shape. Heather worked with a personal trainer for six months and works out regularly. She enjoys shaking up her routine and checking out new exercises. Her current favorites are the treadmill (she walks up to 90 minutes daily) and doing yoga for stretching. She also performs strength training two to three times a week. Her goals include performing in a marathon such as the Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness or Team in Training for Lymphoma research. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience through the fitness and marriage blogs.