While I can’t fly faster than a speeding bullet, make myself invisible, or read people’s minds, I CAN harness the super-power of affirmation by telling John the numerous reasons he is special to me or the many traits I admire in him. Never underestimate the super-power of affirmation to build up your spouse and enhance your relationship.
Each day, John and I write a short note of affirmation identifying something we appreciate about each other. This simple sentence or two not only sets the tone for the rest of our day, it helps to set the tone for the rest of our marriage.
When John affirms me for something I do or even for who I am, I sit up a little taller and I feel more confident. His affirmation helps to empower me to be the best person I can be. Through his daily affirmations, I see myself through his eyes and am often amazed at what I see.
For example, when John leaves me a heart-shaped sticky note telling me I’m beautiful, I actually do feel beautiful. When he sends me a suggestive text telling me I’m sexy, my desire for him grows even stronger. These are all small deposits into the emotional bank account that grow with interest over time, helping to create a sense of appreciation, respect, and love for each other.
JOHN: I try to affirm Julie not only for something nice or creative that she has done, but to go beyond that to affirm her for the beautiful aspects of who she is – generous, loving, thoughtful, attentive, empathetic. When I affirm Julie in this way, I can see her eyes get a little brighter. When she does the same for me, I feel deeply touched as well. Affirming is more than merely complimenting. It is a heartfelt appreciation for the incredible gift that we are to each other.
We’ve discovered that the person doing the affirming is as uplifted by that loving act as the person receiving the affirmation. When I affirm Julie for what she has done or for the qualities that I so dearly love and treasure in her, I also feel uplifted. What a powerful gift for my soul as well!
The opposite is also true. When we disaffirm one another by correcting each other when it is not absolutely necessary (which most of the time it is not), a barrier is quickly erected in our relationship that breaks down the joy and intimacy that we normally share. There aren’t many things more disaffirming than being told that we are wrong. Fortunately, when we recognize this and ask for forgiveness, it allows us to get back on track in our relationship. One of the greatest affirmations of all is saying, “Yes, I love you enough to forgive you.”
Even if we’re not a superhero for the rest of the world, we can all be a superhero in the eyes of our spouse – simply by harnessing the super-power of affirmation.