The Relationship Guru

A couple weeks ago I was giving relationship advice to my sister and I felt like an expert on all things marriage.

The very next day, however, I was so frustrated with Brian that I couldn't even think straight. I was feeling angry, and hurt, and bitter, and defeated. I was ready to swear off marriage and live the rest of my life being single. (I think it's already been established on this blog that I have a flair for the dramatic).

So that's my disclaimer. I'm the last person in the world that should be dishing out marriage advice. One day I'm up and the next day I'm down.

But if I were to give you advice, here's something useful...

In May 2013 during a sermon at church, the pastor challenged every husband and wife to take time out of their week to write down 10 things they loved about their spouse and give the list to their spouse before the next Sunday.

At the time, I didn't think much of the assignment. I wrote down my list of "Ten Things I Love About You" in a little notecard and gave it to Brian early in the week.

As the week passed, I was convinced Brian was not going to give me a list of ten things he loved. I was sure he had forgotten about it. Brian is a typical guy, so I figured romantic list-making wasn't a high priority for him.

Much to my surprise, at the very end of the week - LOW AND BEHOLD - I got my list.

I woke up Sunday morning and there it was - 10 things that Brian loved about me scribbled on the back of a Flexible Foam Insulation Market Overview.

Maybe it was the boredom of flexible foam research that inspired him to make the list, but I was just happy he had remembered.

It was a very nice list.

I folded it up and stuck it in my wallet.

On days when I'm feeling angry, and hurt, and bitter, and defeated, this list has been a lifesaver. In desperate moments when I don't feel loved or appreciated, I'm reminded that "this too shall pass."

I would highly recommend you make a similar list for your spouse, even if your pastor didn't give you this assignment and even if you know your spouse won't give you a list in return.

Expect nothing from other people and much from personal philosophy.

Plus, making the list serves two purposes. You're letting your spouse know 10 reasons why you love them, while reminding yourself  of 10 reasons why you love them.

Because let's be honest, there will be days when it's hard to come up with just one reason why you love your spouse, much less ten.

There will be days when you'll need to resort back to a list you made in 2013.

Just take it from me. The relationship guru.

(I've always been a list maker, even in the early days of blogging: Five Things I Love About Brian)