There’s a simple definition of cherishing that doesn’t fully encompass the word, but it’s an essential
part of it. If you cherish someone, you seek to enhance their life.
If you cherish a diamond, you set it in gold and regularly shine it. If you cherish a car, it gets washes and waxes and you think about where to park it.
If you cherish a spouse, you think regularly about how you can enhance your spouse’s life.
It’s the little things. Noticing what they like. What they need. How to step in and make their life a little easier. Connecting with them. Being considerate. Kind. Doing errands that are helpful. Thinking ahead of what makes them happy. One man said about his wife: “Lisa likes to read the local paper so I try to make sure she never has to go outside to retrieve it. She hates filling up the gas tank so I try to remember before trips to fill it up. She’s not a big fan of driving in general, so if there’s a shopping trip I can take her to on the weekend, I’ll do my best. In turn, Lisa excels at this much more than I do. When I’m tired and my schedule is overwhelming me, Lisa’s service goes on overdrive. She won’t let me do anything. I off-handedly mention I should eat sometime soon and suddenly a meal is in front of me. I reach to pick up the plate afterwards and she’s already there, scooping it away. “I’ll let you get back to work,” she says.
In any romantic relationship, it’s important to be mindful of each other and notice. Notice what makes them happy, what makes their life easier and how you can step in and make a difference. Make sure you are doing what they want, not what you think they should want or what you want for them. If you like classical music and your spouse likes country, you wouldn’t give them tickets to the symphony the same night Dolly Parton is in town! Be mindful of how and when to put their needs first. If you wake up and ask yourself, “How can I enhance my spouse’s life today?” and nothing comes to mind,
It can be fun trying to do this and something we all did when we dated. When dating someone we like it’s easy to spend time thinking about how we can please them. Just making him/ her smile was exhilarating! Giving attention and making them feel special made us feel special. It wasn’t a burden. But often when I work with couples who have been in a long-term relationship, focusing on the relationship is often not a priority. People are more focused on their responsibilities, like work, making money or raising their kids.
What makes people feel special and cherished is to be heard, validated, respected, and loved for who they are. The main reasons people have affairs is that they feel noticed, appreciated and alive due to the attention of someone else. We can keep the spark in our primary relationship by appreciating our partner, and staying mindful to continue to give to the relationship and make it a priority. When couples cherish each other, they can expect a relationship with much love and joy!