On our hiking weekend, Danny and I arrived late at the trail head after driving through darling mountain towns in the Adirondacks. We are nuts, I know, but we decided to spend the night in our car so that we could be right at the trail head at sunrise.
I had never slept in a car before, but it seemed like it wouldn’t be too bad. We parked and leaned back our seats. I got out my sleeping bag for some extra comfort and warmth. Danny was very, very certain he wouldn’t need his sleeping bag and so he left it packed deep in his backpack. Are you SURE, honey? You won’t get cold? Positive!
The night carried on and I. didn’t. sleep. a. lick. I could tell Danny didn’t either.
I actually had a bruise on my back from the discomfort of the seat. It was one of the most uncomfortable nights of my life.
At 4:30 am, I hear Danny make loads of noise unwrapping a mylar blanket. I melted. The poor guy was cold and trying to not wake me.
Of course I was awake, so I surprised him and spread half my sleeping bag over to him. I could have been as grumpy as can be. And Danny, too. This was one of those moments, you know. But, instead we felt so sad for each other that we were so uncomfortable, cold, and couldn’t sleep.
We do this thing where we pay close attention and if we notice the other person is not doing too well, then we kind of stop ourselves in our tracks and offer them MORE love/patience/kindness in that moment.
It’s one of my favorite things that we do in our marriage!!! And it averts grumpy moments (and worse) like you wouldn’t believe. And it leaves plenty of opportunity for good things to happen. i.e. Danny said, “Well, if we’re going to be awake, we might as well be together.” And then we found out why it’s not a good idea for teenagers to park in cars in the woods. 🙂
Here’s a little challenge: Pay close attention, and the next time your spouse is not doing too well for any reason (including if they are snappy or grumpy), see if you can up the love for them in that moment of weakness- it could come in the form of patience, the lack of agitation, gratitude, verbal expressions of love & appreciation, a calm demeanor, etc. This is one of the most powerful marriage tips I can share 🙂
It would be so fun to hear if any of you do this!
A few other posts I wrote on marriage that you might enjoy:
–The Best Tips I Can Give You for a REALLY, REALLY Great Marriage
–Another Tip for Husbands & Wives
–A Date Night in Bed
–Dirty Socks & Smacking Lips
–Are You Working Away at a Hard Marriage?