Skip to main content

Pushing Buttons

Make your own memes at imgflip.com
Being married to someone for a long time doesn’t just build a family, it also builds familiarity.  You know exactly what buttons you can push with your spouse.  It’s like a superpower in a way, and with great power comes great responsibility.

Nick: There are times when I don’t use my powers for good.  Sometimes, I push Jen’s buttons just for the sake of mischief, like dropping unnecessary puns or reading innuendos into the words she’s saying even when it’s clear that isn’t what she means.  Sometimes I get the laugh I’m looking for, but not always.

Other times, I can push it even further.  For example, when Jen asks a question like “do you want to go to the home store and get some things and do some stuff around the house?”  I push her buttons by going along with her but not really being a part of it.  I make a show of pretending to be indifferent and don’t really engage when she asks for my opinion.  In my worst examples of this, I realize I’m doing it on purpose, knowing it will bother her and thinking I’m entitled to do so because I didn’t want to go to the store in the first place.
It never goes well when I’m pushing these sorts of buttons.  We end up giving each other the cold shoulder and spending time in our opposite corners of the house, quiet, grumbly and distant.

Jen: While I know which of Nick’s buttons I can push to really irritate him, I also know which buttons I can push that he appreciates or responds well to. For instance, there are times when Nick has to stay up late on an emergency call from work. When this happens, I can choose to break out of our usual routine of him getting up to feed the cats the next morning, and I can quietly get up and do it instead. Letting him rest longer and bringing coffee back to the bedroom with me pushes his “gentle wake up” button and starts his day off better after a long night. Nick recognizes and responds to my care for him. Our relationship benefits throughout the rest of the day through more connectedness and caring touches.

Just like the Justice League, we are like superheroes when we work to defeat our own self-centeredness and focus on our spouse. We can choose to use our superpowers to push the buttons that improve our relationship. When we do this successfully, we are rewarded every time. 

What about you? When you are next presented with a choice between pushing the button to help your spouse or pushing the button to irritate your spouse, which will you choose? We encourage you to look ahead from the moment and imagine the results, because with great power comes great responsibility.

Image from giphy.com

Comments

Other Popular Posts

Great Sex!

Sex between a married couple is not only good, it’s very good. If you read the research and surveys, you will find that married couples experience better and more frequent sex than non-married couples. Married couples are healthier, happier, and live longer. When we went on a WorldWide Marriage Encounter weekend, we were more than a little surprised when a priest told us that our love-making is good, is important for us, and is important to the world. He encouraged us to “make mad passionate love!”
    So, why has married sex become something else? Society and media portray sex for married couples as dull and lifeless, a tool used to manipulate, something to joke about, and something that - beyond the newlywed phase- gradually drifts away. We’ve been sold this bill of goods, and we often buy into it! What we really crave in our sex life is to give and receive something powerful- to experience the depths of our passion and love for each other, to be as intimate as possible. Our freq…

8 Misunderstandings That Are Hurting Your Sex Life

Why are we writing about sex again?  Sex in marriage is more important than most people think.  It's mysterious. There are a lot of "layers" and complexities to this whole topic.... read on...

10 Stay at Home Date Night Ideas

Date Night has become a household term in recent years and many couples strive to make this quality time together a priority in our increasingly fast paced lives. Throw some kids into the mix (or in our case a granddaughter), and it’s even harder to carve out quality couple time. Not to worry because finance guru Dave Ramsey has come to our rescue with not only a whole host of date night ideas, but most of them are budget friendly. We’d like to highlight 10 of Dave’s Stay at Home Date Night ideas! 

Marriage Manners Matter

"Fine!" and "Whatever!" These 2 powerful words have the incredible potential to bring nearly any discussion to a screeching halt.  They send the insensitive message of "I don't care. Discussion over.  Period. Full stop!"   As married couples, we have probably used these or similar words.  And, if we have raised children we have probably employed time out, taken the car keys or other forms of discipline.

Those 2 little words are not  the focus of this blog.

Annual Marriage Tune-Up

A number of years ago, some friends of ours told us about a little trick they use to keep their marriage healthy, strong, and vibrant. Every year, they pledge to attend some kind of marriage enrichment event together. According to our friends, this does not mean weekend getaways to the beach, skiing, or going to a bed and breakfast together.

How to FIX Your Spouse

Does your spouse do anything that absolutely drives you nuts? Would you like to know how to “fix” them once and for all? Read on.

I Married YOU, Not Your Family

Growing up and getting married means that we leave our family of origin and start a new family.  We’re not asked to forget about mom and dad, but we do need to remember that our spousal relationship is important to take care of because it becomes the solid ground where we plant our new roots.

Come On, Baby, Light My Fire

One reason married couples end up together is because there is a physical attraction between them. Some call it chemistry. There are times when we can’t keep our hands off each other.  We make any excuse to be close, to be intimate.

Advice From a Divorce Lawyer

Yes, this is a strange twist.  We recently heard about James J Sexton's book, "If You're in My Office, It's Already Too Late."  James is a divorce attorney from New York, who started noticing some patterns after 20 years of working with couples whose marriages were ending.

Quarantine Romance

We have been under a stay-at-home order for 5 weeks now due to the Coronavirus pandemic.  Just being in the same house together doesn’t ensure a close, intimate relationship though; we must decide to take actions that bring us together.  We decided to view this mandate to stay at home as an opportunity to find new everyday ways to romance each other.