My 5 year old daughter learned an important lesson this past weekend. I had taken up my usual spot on the couch after cleaning up from dinner, ready to wind down after a full day. My beautiful wife sat down right next to me, and when my daughter asked to sit by me instead of mommy, I told her no.
I knew I had only a few seconds before the tears started flowing, so I explained to her that I loved her, but mommy was number one for daddy. Struggling to find the right way to explain it to her with out her feeling unimportant, I told her that mommy was in my life before any of our daughters were born.
She seemed to understand that but still had a puzzled look on her face as if trying to figure out where she fit in the picture. I decided to help her see into the future and told her that she would be her husbands number 1 when she was old enough to get married.
This made her very happy, and she said, “Daddy, mommy is your number one and when I’m married I’ll be number 1”.
The joy of knowing that you are the top priority in your companion’s life is an irreplaceable feeling. Husbands and wives should always put each other first. Yes, even before the children.
I remember a conversation I had with my father when I was a young man. He told me that if my brothers, my mom and I were hanging off the edge of a cliff, he would pull my mom up first every time.
The lesson that your companion is number one seems obvious, but in practice, we often are lacking. We get so busy with work, hobbies, children, and other distractions that we get our priorities out of focus. We need to remember to always take time for and care of our spouse, set that time aside before you commit to anything else.
In the song “Always on My Mind” (I prefer the Willie Nelson version) a man is begging for another chance to save his relationship. With apologies for making her feel second best, not loving her as often as he could or should have, he realizes that she should have been number 1 the entire time.
Save yourself from having to sing this apologetic song for having neglected your love. Put her as number 1 today!
Here’s the practical advice:
- Date Your Wife – What ever form your dates take, be sure your spending 12-15 non-tv/non-sleeping hours per week with your spouse. Be together.
- Have Fun Together – Enjoy each others company. Do things together you both like. Do things together that you may not like but need to do (e.g. yard work, house work, grocery shopping, etc). Make everything an enjoyable time.
- Attitude Check – Keep yourself positive. Don’t allow negative thoughts to take away the joy and good times you could be having.
- Work Through Conflicts – If you’re struggling with an “unresolvable conflict”, don’t give up, continue to try to work through it. Here are some tips. Remember to always fight fair.
Above all else: Love Your Wife