I don’t know about you, but I absolutely LOVE listening to music. Country music often speaks to my soul, deeply.
The other day, I was on the three-hour drive from PG to my parents’ house in the Central Valley. When I do this drive, I put my music on shuffle while the kids watch a movie on the iPad in the back seats. On this drive, two songs came on that put into words what I often try to explain to the couples I work with.
The first song was “Nobody” by Dylan Scott *swoon*. Ya’ll! This song! Not only are the words expressing something powerful and essential to a good marriage, but the beat got me rocking and moving while driving though the Pacheco Pass.
In the song, Dylan Scott sings about the little things he truly understands about his partner. He knows how she likes her coffee, what makes her mad, and even what look she gives when she is done. Then the chorus goes, “Imma love you til the good Lord comes back for me and you! Girl, nobody gonna love you like I do.”
This is what we need to strive for in our marriages!
Nobody should be loving and adoring your spouse more than you!
When my husband and I were going through premarital counseling, our pastor talked about this idea. He said, “Nobody should question who loves your spouse the most in this world. It needs to be you!”
So much easier said than done, am I right?
So how do we do that? How do we love our spouse more than anyone else in this world? More than their parents? More than their best friend? More than our kids?
Here are 3 Steps you can take to start loving your spouse like nobody else:
- Never stop dating your spouse.
- Be curious about who your spouse is and how they keep growing.
- Think of your marriage as your life's masterpiece.
1. Never stop dating your spouse.
And when I say never, I mean it! NEVER!
When we are dating someone we actually like and think we could spend the rest of our life with, what do we do? What did YOU do?
Did you go on trips all the time? Did you explore your neighborhood and local places? Did you go out to a new restaurant every week? Did you go to the same place every week because you were broke? Did you talk for hours on end?
One thing that can often happen after we have been together for several years, after careers take off or kids are born, we will stop actually doing the things that made us fall in love in the beginning.
My husband and I were long distance for four years before we got married, and during that time we would be on the phone talking about everything every day, sometimes for hours on end. When we got married, we saw each other every day and stopped having those long, deep conversations. We had to learn how to do that again because it was what my hart needed to feel connected.
One of my best friends, she and her husband used to go to a bunch of football parties and tailgated all the time when they were dating. After they were married for two or three years, they just stopped going because they got caught up in life.
It happens! There is nothing wrong with this. BUT, we need to not become complacent with staying in this dynamic.
Take your spouse to that Denny’s you used to go to all the time because you could only afford the coffee. Set aside an hour one night where you turn off all electronics and just talk with your spouse. (If you need a list of questions in case the conversation lulls after years of disuse, check it out HERE).
2. Be curious about who your spouse is and how they keep growing.
Maybe you and your spouse have been together for two years. Maybe you have been best friends for 15 years. Maybe you just celebrated your 35th wedding anniversary.
No matter how long you have been together, trust me when I say your spouse will still surprise you.
Not like they will throw you a surprise birthday party, but that who they are, how they think, will not be what you expect every single time.
In order to love your spouse better than anyone else on the planet, you need to be curious about who your spouse is.
It is when we are curious that we notice things we may not have noticed before. Curiosity makes us ask questions, get clarifications, and helps us truly understand what we are looking at.
I worked with a couple one time where I talked about this idea of curiosity with your spouse. One of the folks said, “But I already know everything about her!” (Now mind you, this couple had been married for over 15 years).
Do you think he actually knew EVERYTHING about her? If you understand people at all, you know the answer to this.
But I like to ask questions to get people to their own answers rather than just correct them like I know everything. So I asked questions. By the third question, he got it.
Here is the biggest reason why we need to always be curious about our spouse: your spouse is a human being who will grow and change as they get older.
People do not stay exactly the same. That is the beauty in humanity! We are always learning and growing and experiencing the world in ways that make us act differently, think differently, and believe differently. Maybe not major life-altering shifts, but even in the little ways it can make a big difference.
So be curious about your partner. Notice when they react to traffic differently. Notice when you finally get their coffee right. Ask about their dreams and fears. Be curious and see how your spouse surprises you!
3. Think of your marriage as your life's masterpiece.
Darius Rucker. This man’s voice, his music. You gotta give him a listen!
Now, when I was on my drive, I said a second song came on that hit me. It was “My Masterpiece” by Darius Rucker.
In this song, Rucker sings about some of the staples of human accomplishments. Picasso’s art, men walking on the moon, Ray Charles playing the piano.
Now, maybe you are a Ray Charles and are killing it in the music industry. Maybe you are working on the most sensitive national security technology that will change the course of our society.
You still need to look at your marriage as the masterpiece your life will create.
You gotta love your spouse like they are the most important thing in your life.
Your marriage cannot be a convenience in your life. If your marriage just gets the scraps of your energy, of your time and attention, I can promise you that it will not bring you the joy and fulfillment that it can bring.
For first responder couples, this is much harder because of the craziness of the job. But, one thing I see that is true for most responders is that this life of service bring purpose and meaning. Would you believe me if I told you that your marriage can give you a greater purpose, more powerful meaning, than your job ever could?
IT CAN! And IT WILL! If you put into it what your spouse needs. If you love you spouse in their language.
So be curious about your spouse. Never stop dating them. And make your spouse THE priority in your life.
Do these three things with intention, with consistency, and no one will ever question who loves your spouse the most. It will always be you.
Trust me. You won’t regret this.
Take care, friends!
Alisha is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California. She is also the Director and Co-Founder of Code 3 Counseling. Alisha specializes in working with first responder couples. You can contact her through our website.
*This does NOT apply to people in domestic violence relationships. If you or your spouse are being put in physical/emotional danger, you need to seek crisis support services, such as the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
If you find that this exercise or these conversations brought up some stuff you are struggling with, either individually or in your relationship, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for help. We are here to support you, and we understand that this can be a challenging issue to face.
Remember, it may be your battle, but you don’t have to fight it alone.