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12/27/13 5:05 P

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Fireproof Your Marriage - I Will Not Take For Granted
By Gloria Waite

Do you know what it's like to feel taken for granted? Most of us do fairly well at showing appreciation when we receive a special gift or surprise. But....do we stop and appreciate the daily routine jobs our mates do for the family or marriage? Do you take for granted the marriage you have? Or the husband you have? Or what your wife does for you?

It seems that the wedding vows should include: I will not take for granted: my wife, her love, my husband, his work ethic, his fathering, what she gave up to stay at home with the kids?

It's never too late. Most couples would love to keep their marriage like it was when they first started dating.....wanting their current love life--better--more energized, but they do not always know how to do it. I'd like to share the story of Jan and Mike.... a couple that I mentored,..not their real names, of course.

Mike had worked very hard over the years to grow his own business and to support his family. But, as often happens when you have your own business, it began to spill over into the evenings and weekends and use up what could have been intimate time for himself and Jan. Jan took care of carting the children to their activities, keeping track of everyone's schedules and went back to school a couple of days per week--in addition to the regular chores such as cleaning, laundry and cooking. When schedules conflicted, Mike's travel often took him out of the picture and it usually fell to Jan to make sure everything else that needed to happen in the family--actually happened. Mike had kept himself so busy all of the time--that he hardly noticed his own feelings of being taken for granted, let alone how overburdened and unappreciated Jan was feeling.

When I met Jan, she was on the verge of leaving the marriage. She felt that love was taken for granted in their marriage and she didn't see any hope of change. She had tried to talk to her husband about how unappreciated and taken for granted she felt--for a couple of years at that point. Keep in mind: Mike wasn't getting quality time with his wife either, but he kept himself so busy....that he didn't really notice. Mike was only getting his work needs met. When Mike found out she was really thinking of a marital separation, he finally 'got it.'

One of the most powerful things Mike changed-- that made her want to stay in the marriage--was to show his appreciation of her. He started telling her--at the end of every day--something he appreciated about her or what she did or how she treated him. It completely changed her attitude about him and about the marriage...once she realized his sincerity. The threat of the marriage ending made him determined not to take for granted--anything that he had. He realized that he had almost lost it.

What started as kicking up the appreciation--snowballed. Before you know it, she was appreciating things that he did, wanting to more time with him. Because he no longer felt taken for granted, he wanted to do romantic things for her and because of the increased romance.....their sex life came back. They were able to keep their marriage together and it all started with the increased appreciation. This is not something that you can force to happen. You can just start with your part. Start showing appreciation for your wife or husband....and be open to the changes that come.

If you want to get motivated to show your wife appreciation or tell your husband that you appreciate him, ask yourself: What would my life be like without my husband? What would I do without my wife? Does my wife (or my husband) feel taken for granted? Is love taken for granted in our marriage? Fireproof your marriage with Appreciation. Kick it up--starting now.

Whether you are young marrieds or married for many years, I'm sure you want to keep love alive -- for all of the wonderful things it brings with it.


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