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Fanning the Flames

Posted on: Sunday, February 3rd, 2019

Blog entry by: Marla Mulloy

“So tell me about your day.”  My husband says this to me every evening.  He is practising being a good partner. I don’t think he comes home excited in anticipation of hearing about my day.  I don’t think the activities of my day give him butterflies as he drives through the construction and traffic lines to get home each evening.  He is still teaching, working long days in a high school, surrounded by students, young people that need his full attention and all of his wisdom. I am sort of retired from my career as a teacher and I have quite a lot of flexibility and freedom.  I think this must drive him crazy. I think that sometimes he doesn’t want to know what I did that day, which is often a long and detailed list.  But he has cultivated a habit that has become a touch point in our relationship.  I know that he asks me to tell him about my day so that I will be reminded and reassured that he cherishes me.  I know that he does this partly as a reminder for himself to see me and dote on me just a little, even when he is overwhelmed by the lists and chaos of his own working life.  He cherishes me for many reasons and he nurtures that in one small way by this habit of asking me about my day. For this I am grateful.

In relationship it is sometimes easier to cultivate a tendency to notice the worst, the things that bother us rather than the positives. And then, smug and puffed up, we follow through, satisfying a need to inform our partner about these little flaws. This can’t be good. Even the criticisms that are only audible to my own mind must be downers to a certain extent. Negative thinking is exhausting. Cherishing is lighter. It gives energy. The act of remembering just one of his positive traits and just one thing that I love about him when we are apart makes our coming together easier and lighter. Imagine what it would do for him if I told him these two things as he came in the door at the end of the day. Talk about fanning flames!  Nurturing gratefulness for each other, instead of resenting what is missing, is partly a habit of mind. Get into the habit of cherishing each other. Every day.

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