(A Daily Emotional Check-list for Couples)
Many people feel time is not their friend. It effects their relationships. They think, “How can I set aside time for HER, heck, I hardly have time for myself.” The Chedva Love-Management Model promotes togetherness by inviting the discovery of treasured, unique and meaningful moments. Love is taking the lead, making the space, separating the seconds and setting aside the time to make one’s relationship momentous. Love is when we create an opportunity to bond, always asking ourselves, “How can I seize this moment to connect with him right now?” and “What can I do to make her feel treasured today?” In order to ensure that a spouse’s emotional needs are being met on a daily basis, the following five areas need attention.
Physical touch provides an emotional need. It is a way of communicating emotional love and a powerful vehicle to communicate marital love. Physical touch must be mutually enjoyable. A spouse who is not getting enough physical touch in appropriate ways will make sure he gets it in less acceptable ways and will often become emotionally withdrawn. If your spouse finds hugs too obtrusive, find other ways to touch him: pat his back, sit close to him on the couch, stroke his finger when you pass him something, etc. Daily soft touches will be fondly remembered and will greatly enhance intimacy between you and your spouse.
Top-priority individual time. By giving someone undivided and focused attention you are telling him that he is important as an individual. He is more important than the ringing phone, the laundry, the messy floor or the crying baby. This time together builds connection and trust. This time does not necessarily need to be hours — even ten minutes would be effective. In times of trouble, your spouse will turn to a person who made him feel important. Everyone needs to feel important to someone. Denying a spouse individual time forces her to seek it elsewhere. What should you do with your spouse? Whether it be spontaneous or fixed time, make sure it’s mutually enjoyable. You can play a game together, go for a walk or just sit and talk. If it’s mutually enjoyable, you can even do your finances together. Even talking together while you wash the dishes counts. The key here is focus. Let the phone ring. Let the children whine. Be your spouse’s pillar of strength, providing them with emotional security.
Giving without expectations and without any strings attached. Once every ten days to two weeks (or simply mention it that often) you should give your spouse something just because you love him. If you are expecting even a “thank you” then it’s not unconditional. The giving does not have to be a tangible object. It can be a favor — picking up his dirty socks one day because you see he’s tired, ironing a special dress that your wife forgot to prepare, going against your nature to do something you really think your spouse would appreciate. This should only be done every two weeks or so because too much unconditional giving can backfire. For example, if you make a spouse’s bed one morning (usually his “job”) because you see he is running late — that is an unconditional chessed. However, if you continue to do this for the next two weeks, he will come to expect it. When we give him something unconditionally we have to point it out to him because he will not necessarily notice. Involve your spouse. Let him in on the plan. Direct his attention towards it so he will come to appreciate it. The goal is to make your spouse feel loved, appreciated, accepted and understood.
Spend five minutes a day appreciating your spouse (doesn’t have to be one chunk of time). This is for ourselves. This helps combat all the anger, frustration, worry, negativity and overwhelming feelings of daily life. Bringing to mind her unique qualities helps us focus on what a gift our spouse truly is. It can even be done while she is asleep; you’ll wake up in a better mood in the morning. Don’t get to the point where you have to lose something to appreciate it. Find joy in what you have NOW.
Time together should start and end with positive energy. Give her encouragement, respect, love, independence and touch. Praise her sincerely based on the amount of effort expended and not the outcome. Avoid giving attention in a negative way such as nagging, criticizing, judging… You can judge your level of positivity by setting a timer to go off every 15 minutes, then reflect on how much positivity there was in those 15 minutes. Happy people want to make others happy. A happy home motivates spouses to want to make each other happy.