First, some quick back story.
My husband and I run a business together … I hate meetings … and it really annoys him how bad (read: unprofessional) I am when it comes to meetings.
The other day we were in a staff meeting. And after roughly 15 minutes (the limit of my attention span) my ‘meeting face’ kicked in. The one that says ‘I’d rather be anywhere on earth than here right now.’
I saw my husband caught a glimpse of my face. As his head did that double-take thing and swung back round to look back at me, I braced for the reprobation I probably deserved.
Instead his face softened and he just gave me a smile.
One that said ‘I know you hate these things. But push on soldier, they’re part of the job.’
In that moment I was simultaneously flooded with two emotions.
The first was that gorgeous warmth you feel when someone unconditionally loves you, no matter how much of a pain in the arse you are.
The second was shame for all the times in just the last few days (and there were many) where I reacted to something annoying he did with a sigh of exaggerated ‘patience’ or a roll of my eyes.
I roll my eyes a lot. And never really understood the impact of those eye rolls till the meeting that day.
This is the message an eye roll conveys: ‘gosh you’re annoying’. Or worse, ‘gosh you’re stupid’.
When the person you love most in the world tells you (no matter how indirectly) that you’re annoying and stupid several times a day? Well, it builds up. Your psyche and confidence takes a hit and before you know it you’re slinking around the house scared to do anything for fear that it too will be seen as annoying and stupid.
How bad is that? Without realising it, I had been doing this to my husband for … ages.
When you’ve been with someone for a long time you assume no matter what kind of shitty behaviour you dish out on them, they’ll just take it. This phenomenon is called ‘taking each other for granted’ and had driven a wedge between us in the past. If I wasn’t careful it was going to happen again now.
So that moment in the meeting was a wake-up call. Anyone who’s been in a relationship knows they are hard work.
It was time for me to starting working again at falling harder in love with my husband every day.
Here’s what I did:
1. Ditched the eye-rolls.
If you’re a professional eye-roller like me, this is hard. Very hard. But watching my husband brace for my eye-roll after doing something ‘stupid’, was enough to make me catch myself. Practice makes perfect and it’s something I’m getting better at every day.