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Do You Have Your Spouse's Full Attention?

Attention matters. When you say "I do," you are promising to make an intentional effort to focus on your spouse "above all others, including myself."

Yes/No: I regularly have my spouse's full attention and can easily get it when I need it.

Why This Issue Matters

We turn our attention to things that matter. The best way to reveal a lack of concern is not anger, but apathy. When we ignore something (or someone), it's a sign that our affections are not turned toward that thing. If we truly love our spouses, we will give them our attention. And we will receive it as well.

One key element of this statement is the second part--"can easily get it when I need it." The ability to get our spouse's attention and a proper response from them is a sign of a healthy relationship. What good is it for our spouse to love us, if we can't access that love when we need it? A healthy marriage consists of two people who have a healthy dependence on one another. For me to lean on my spouse, I must trust that she will see me and respond to me when I need her. And her with me.

What if you said "Yes."

If you easily answered this question yes, thank your spouse for the gift of attention. In a world where we are easily overlooked, taken for granted, and not seen, knowing that someone looks out for us and is attentive to us is a great gift.

Continue to beware of the times in which your spouse needs you. Watch for signals that they need reassurance or help. Learn to identify the stressors in their lives and assist them through their difficulties.

What if you said "No."

If you answered no, identify what prevents this from happening in your relationship. If you said no to just the second half of the statement, that is different than saying no to the whole statement. If you can get your spouse's attention, but can't get it easily, discuss why that is the case. Maybe you are not sending clear signals or your partner doesn't understand your need.

When the whole statement is easily rejected, there is work to be done. There are a million distractions that compete for our attention. It's easy to drift into bad habits. Make a conscious effort to give your spouse your full attention on a regular basis. Make more eye contact. Put down your phone. Listen intently. Give your spouse the same attention you want to receive.

Related Resources:

Book: Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson

Book: Friends, Partners & Lovers by Kevin A. Thompson

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