With Valentine’s Day just a few days away I thought this would be a good time to write another “How to Be a Spouse” post. I want to elaborate on one of the The Rules that we went over in the last “How to Be a Spouse” post; Validation.
“Validate. Validate. Validate. I realize that it’s hard to understand pain when you don’t experience it at all times of day, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. A comment here and there about how you appreciate everything I do-despite my pain- helps me know that you know the battle I fight every single day. It also takes away some of the guilt when I feel too ishy to cook dinner or do the laundry. In this vein, asking me how I’m doing at different times during the day is another way to validate my pain. This lets me know that I am not the only person who worries about it all day long, and helps me know that you care, and want to know how I am doing. Again, being asked about my pain instead of me having to bring it up gives warm fuzzies all over. “
This is so, so important. As my spouse you are the one person who knows my true struggle, unfiltered and as unedited as it gets. (Though I still probably edit it because I don’t want you to worry) With this in mind, any opportunity you have to validate my efforts, my struggles, my pain, and even my accomplishments is an opportunity you should seize.
Take a moment to call me in the middle of your work day to see how I am, or just to say “hi”. Maybe offer to be the one to pick up the kids after school, or stop for milk on the way home. If last night’s pain spike was bad, send a quick text to see if my morning is better. Even just an extra hug with an “I think you’re great” is such a huge boost to my self-esteem. It lets me know that even though we got some rough cards, you still love me-aches and pains and all.
Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity for this. Write it in a card, or on a note with some flowers. It doesn’t have to be a novel of your undying love for me, or a page all about how awesome I handle it all, just a quick line or two will do.
Take it from a Spoonie, a little love goes a long way.