In my last blog I passed along The Best Marriage Advice I’ve Ever Received. In this blog I want to pass along what I think is the second most important advice for a good and growing marriage.
The lesson came from the life of Marilyn Monroe.
Many years ago a freelance writer from the New York Times was interviewing Marilyn Monroe. The reporter was aware of Marilyn’s past and the fact that during the early years Marilyn had been shuffled around from one foster home to another.
So the reporter asked, “Did you ever feel loved by any of the foster families with whom you lived?”
“Once,” she replied, “when I was about seven or eight.”
“The woman I was living with was putting on makeup, and I was watching her. She was in a happy mood, so she reached over and patted my cheeks with her rouge puff. And for the moment, I felt loved by her.”*
What does this story have to do with building a good and growing marriage?
If the foundation of a good marriage is built on serving one another (as I stated in my last blog) it’s also built upon what I call the 4 A’s:
Acceptance Affirmation Affection Appreciation
Everyone needs these 4 A’s, and they should be most deeply experienced in a good and growing marriage.
Granted, they may be expressed in different ways—a touch, an act of kindness, a word of approval, a card, a gift, a smile, a hug, a laugh, a meaningful conversation, a nice meal—but in every good and growing marriage they are essential. No exceptions!
One of the ways my wife and I express these 4 A’s is through our words. Several times throughout the day my wife will say to me “Kenny, I’m so thankful for you.”
Or I’ll call out to my wife from another room, “Hey Missy,” (she thinks I’m going to ask her to do something for me or help me find something) but instead I’ll say, “Do you know how proud I am of you?”
Or if I’ve worked on a project like paying the bills or planning a trip, she’ll say to me, “Honey, thanks for doing this for us.”
Recently she’s started putting post-it notes on the mirror over my side of the sink with little statements of appreciation and affirmation written on them. (O.K. I know I’m spoiled, but get over it!)
No, we’re not saints(!), and our marriage isn’t perfect, but we do have a great and growing marriage, and one of the reasons is because we intentionally practice these 4A’s.
So practice these 4 A’s in your marriage and you’ll be glad you did. I guarantee it!
Ken L Roberts
(*The story is from the book, The Blessing by Gary Smalley)