Relationship Struggles? Fix It in 2 Words!

The hubs and I are really magnificent together.  No, really.  We have a BUNCH of friends who have said, “I want us to be like Lynn and Jeremy!”  Apparently, especially in the 24/7 togetherness of the Encore Voyage, spending a lot of time together seems to grate on people’s nerves.  Lately, we’ve been talking with some of our couple friends who are struggling in their relationships.  Remember my post about Retirement Togetherness?  It seems I need to spend a little time on Item Number 10.  As I listen to my friends (and I do hear both sides of the story), there is something which is obviously missing in their day to day dealings with each other.  First is an understanding taken from John Gray’s Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. (Gray, 1992).

Men Want to Be Appreciated

Women Want to Feel Cherished

So here’s what I want you to take away from that:

Guys –

You don’t have to do a whole lot of mushy stuff.  There is nothing to be fixed here.  It does not take a great deal of planning big events.  We know you are action oriented creatures, but this is much simpler than that!  Women want to feel loved. You need to:

  • Hold her hand
  • Tell her she’s beautiful
  • Wrap your arms around her from behind while she’s doing the dishes
  • Touch her cheek
  • Look in her eyes and tell her you love her.
  • Look in her eyes and listen to her – even if you think it’s rambling drivel!
  • Rub her shoulders
  • Make sure she knows, by telling her, that she’s the most important thing in your world!

Get it??? Cherished!  You can add to the list in a jillion little ways!  The common theme here is that these are not huge “do something” types of things – they are gestures that come from your heart!  Simple, No???

Ladies –

What you need to take away from Mars/Venus is that men are Doers!  They are genetically predetermined to be the hunters!  It is their job to fix things and take care of things.  They are action oriented.  To them, going to work or taking care of you, or even mowing the lawn is a big f*ing deal!  Now…it also helps if you understand that mens’ egos are pretty much wrapped around the above concept.  If you tell them HOW to do something, or criticize what they’ve done, you are effectively saying to them, “I don’t trust you to be able to take care of me!”  Understand that to men, this is a slap!  So ladies, bite your tongues when you want to elaborate on how things should be done.

And now for both you Guys and Gals out there:

Here is the simplest easiest way to accomplish all of the above with two simple words:

Thank You

Here’s what it looks like in real life:

Gals – 

  • Thanks for mowing the lawn, it looks great!
  • Thank you for gassing up my car today!
  • Thank you so much for stopping at the store on your way home!
  • Thanks for wiping up the water around the sink!

Ladies, all you need to do is NOTICE the things your guy is doing every day, and thank him for it.  Routinely.  Frequently.  See, he is instantly and easily appreciated!

Guys – 

  • That was a delicious dinner, honey, thank you!
  • Thank you for doing all that laundry today!
  • The house looks wonderful – thanks for all your hard work!

(Now before you go getting all bat-shit crazy about my very noticeable sexist categorization of tasks, just know that I recognize it and am just trying to make a point! – insert your own world here!)

When I’ve listened to my friends tell of their relationship woes, what I usually hear that each side is looking for the WIN.  The guys want whatever they have done to be right, enough, appreciated.  The gals are somehow feeling not loved enough, not cherished. Both sides want the other side to change something.

But how about this for a thought:

For cryin’ out loud, people, just say “Thank you” to each other!

It’s a focus not on winning or losing.  It doesn’t require either side to “give in” or lose anything.  You don’t even need particularly to change what you’re doing!  You just need to be kind and acknowledge the other person.  I’m not talking about gaggy, sickeningly sweet, nauseating sort of stuff here…I’m talking about every day respect and consideration.

That’s how WE do it.  I don’t think I’ve ever cooked a meal where hubs didn’t say, “That was delicious.  Thank you.”  Both my dad and his dad did the same.  It is a chivalry and gentility to be emulated.  And I can almost guarantee in any marriage, if both sides would put those two words in the front of their minds, and would actively look for opportunities to use them, Martians and Venusians would get along much better.

So what say you?  I am going to be anxiously awaiting to hear in the comments whether or not you think I’m crazy, or even better, if you put these words to work!


Photo Credit: Unsplash – Mayur Gala

8 thoughts on “Relationship Struggles? Fix It in 2 Words!

  1. Autumn

    So true. I make sure I don’t forget to show gratitude and this is appreciated. My friend swears by the book Five Love Languages by Gary D Chapman. Good post, thanks \ -.-/ me, bowing, in case you’re wondering

    Liked by 1 person


    Good reminder to treat each other with respect and appreciation. No matter how well we treat each other, though, giving each other space – especially in retirement – is very important. I think it’s the 24-hour togetherness that can cause friction. Everyone needs alone time, and that’s ok.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Encore Voyage Post author

      I would agree. We haven’t really experienced being completely together all the time – because as you say, we each have our own things that we’re busy doing. If we were actually in the same place together – Yowza!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. patwdoyle11

    A great reminder. Here’s another tidbit – My husband would tell his friends/co-workers another element he believes in as well. “If you think it’s 50/50, it’s not. It’s 100/100. If you think you’re putting in 100% of the appreciation in the relationship, you’re doing it right.” Yeah, he’s a keeper! And yes, I thank him regularly – for making dinner, doing the laundry. Seriously! See no female stereotypes in this house. 🙂



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