Last night my wife and I decided we were going to eat some frozen pizza. Christina was trying to finish some homework and I popped the old Tombstone into the oven for a thorough crisping. Pizza done, I brought a dish to her with a smile and “I love you.” Five minutes into eating the pizza, Christina drops her slice which cascades all over her shirt, the couch pillow, the carpet, and the computer. This small act of clumsiness shouldn’t have bothered me but the unique thing about marriage is that small quirks that your partner does start to build into large annoyances. After the pizza damage had been assessed I went into my normal post-Christina clumsiness routine of shaking my head and asking “how the heck did you do that?” Of course, Christina feels bad when this happens and my little routine makes her feel worse while not benefiting the situation at all. The ironic thing about the whole situation is that I was reading Cracking the Communication Code: The Secret to Speaking Your Mate’s Language by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs which is a book about having a loving and respectful marriage.
This book is actually an accompaniment to a book I already wrote about called Love and Respect which essentially says that wives need to give unconditional respect to their husbands and husbands need to give unconditional love to their wives. Christina and I have a great relationship and I consciously make an effort to show her love and affection every-single day. What I need to work on is my insensitivity which makes me seem unloving. I can come off harsh, matter-of-fact, and impatient when I come home from work or when I am flustered in some way. This doesn’t happen all the time but often enough that it is something I identify as a flaw in my communication skills. Cracking the Communication Code resurrected the idea that I need to “date my wife.” If Christina would have dropped a boiling cup of coffee on my crouch when we were first dating I would have laughed it off and smiled. When I was an 18-year-old star-crossed lover all I could think about was how beautiful she was and how blessed I was to be with her. In an attempt to date Christina again I am going to try a couple tangible things: always open the door for her and be extra uplifting when I come home from work. I hope doing these minor things will help me when the next pizza crash occurs and maybe make me respond in laughter instead of head shaking. In the end, I am blessed to have Christina in my life and her ability to deal with my quirks is unbelievable- last night I kept her up because I was constantly saying “chickens” in my sleep :). Respect your husband, love your wife.