Below, I have included a version of an article that came across my path last week. I have shortened it a little, but it still does a great job of illustrating our theme of putting “First Things First.”
“Not too long ago, I was deep in my closet, cleaning out the clutter, when I found an old tin box FULL of letters. Sitting on the floor, I began reading one after another. They were love letters, written to my husband, David. My heart began to sink and my eyes filled with tears as I read sentences like: ‘Hello gorgeous, how’s my darling, sexy, charming, romantic, thoughtful, loving man doing?’ ‘I miss you so much I feel like I’m going to go crazy!’
All I could think was, Who is this girl?
Reading her letters, I was overcome by feelings of jealousy. She was sexy, fun, romantic, and totally in love with my man! I felt so many emotions, but most of all shame because that girl was long gone and in her place was a stressed out, anxious 40-year-old mother of two.
I no longer made Dave feel wanted, let alone desirable; but more like a roommate or friend. Traci Shafer was encouraging, always laughing, dancing, singing, and saw beauty in everything around her. Traci Bild, well… let’s just say she had a lot on her plate.
For days I thought about those letters. The passion and emotion in them was intoxicating and I was tired of being tired. I wanted what my twenty-something-year-old girl had. More importantly, I wanted what she and my husband had together, so I set out to find her.
The first thing I did was make an effort to have more fun. When cleaning, I played blasting music, I traded the treadmill for kickboxing and the park bench for the swing next to my kids.
Next, I started bringing fun into my marriage. From disco dancing in the kitchen, going on pub crawls to taking road trips together, our relationship returned to its roots with fun front and center. Slowly, the woman Dave married returned. The truth was she was there all along — she was just buried in responsibility.
Being a woman today isn’t easy; there’s always going to be more to do than hours in the day. What I learned from this experience is the importance of prioritizing the things that matter most and having Dave at the bottom of that list wasn’t going to work. I pushed him to the top, and our family is better off for it. Here are a few more things I did that had lasting effects on our relationship. I encourage you to give them a try: Offer compliments! Spend time alone. Make it fun! Create new habits.”
– Written by Traci Bild, Author, Speaker & Entrepreneur
I did not include this article as a message only to the wives and mothers in our community. Far from it. I think it is very obvious that what she says translates over to us husbands and fathers as well. We too probably have a tin of love letters somewhere that would remind us of a time when we invested lots of energy into the relationship with our spouse or future spouse. Like the author above, many of us have let the priority of our marriage slip down the “list” in our lives and need to make the effort to push it back up to the top.