Steven Lake interviews his wife to find out what he does that makes her happy. There were some surprises.
I never know week to week what I am going to write. Something catches my attention, it could come from an article, a news report, or an engagement with a client. And then I have it. This time it was reading Kim Bongiorno’s 81 Things Dads Do That Make Us Weak in the Knees.
I guess I wanted to know what, if anything, I do that makes my wife go weak in the knees, or at least makes her happy. And no, we do not have kids. So there goes 81 opportunities. But I figure there must be other non-kid oriented ways of being and doing that she appreciates. In order to find out I conducted an interview and this is what she told me.
1) She really likes it when I look around and see where she could use some help without asking. This happened the other morning and I swear, she just about jumped out of her skin in excitement. She was preparing breakfast and I was on the computer dealing with emails, twitter and LinkedIn. For some reason I wandered over to the kitchen and asked her if she wanted me to put the toast on. Such a small thing – such a huge and positive response (makes me think I should do this more often).
2) Taking at least one full day off to be together with no other obligations. This tends to be Sunday for us. We both have work and our writing which keeps us busy and focused on other things besides each other. Taking one day a week off to be together makes her happy. Me too.
3) When I smile and laugh. My wife especially like this when we are in conversation about something. In her words, “When I see your face light up” she gets a warm glow for me.
4) When we go on holiday. Lots of time in new environments and tons of time together. Holidays have been critical in our relationship development. You can read more about this here.
5) Date night! Whoa, that is a biggy. She loves it when I plan out an evening for us. She feels taken care of, special, and that I am putting effort into the relationship and not taking her for granted. It’s fun too.
6) Paulette (tired of calling her she) feels excited about me when I am funny, witty, and smart in public.
7) Loves it when I take care of my concerns (e.g., buying car tires for my car) without having to drag her along to keep me company. FYI: I don’t have to go with her when she buys clothes. Though, sometimes we go together when we both need to shop.
8) I have to use a direct quote for this one. “I love it when I hug you and you feel strong after working out.” Well, I’m getting excited. I think this one qualifies for “getting weak in the knees.”
9) When I take her ideas seriously, especially those around spirituality, self-understanding, and personal growth without presenting counter-arguments. Just hearing her and her journey of self-discovery in an accepting fashion so that she doesn’t feel the need to have to defend herself.
10) And finally, my wife loves it when I spontaneously grab her and “start dancing,” whether in the kitchen or out in the street.
Speaking of hope, here is an activity that has changed (from her point of view) from being an obligation to being a pleasure. When we used to go out for a walk, apparently I would talk incessantly about business. This bored her to tears and more importantly, Paulette felt that this was keeping us anywhere but in the present moment. She used to think, “Oh no, not another walk.” Now, she feels more relaxed and not having to focus on the business and all the associated problems. Walks, now make her happy and are more relaxing for me. Give a little, gain a lot.
If you have never asked your partner what you do that makes her happy I highly recommend it. Not that it is your responsibility to make her happy – it should be your joy.
Photo: Flickr/Angus Mcdiarmid