It’s The Little Things
As a divorce attorney, I see many clients at the end of their relationship. The reasons are varied, but fall into several main categories: infidelity, the other is too controlling, they no longer have a connection, stress of everyday life (finances, chores, children), drug/alcohol addictions, and mental or physical health issues. At one time, these people were in love, but everyday life severed that love and in most cases (at lease by the time I’m hired), there is no chance of tying it back together.
Since I deal with the destruction of relationships on a daily basis, it is with a great sense of relief when I arrive home at night, and after I spend time with my husband, that I can lose myself in either reading or writing a romance novel. As a romance writer, I create characters who overcome all obstacles just to be with the other person. Love conquers all. The hero and heroine battle the odds and perhaps change the course of their lives to accommodate the other. Yes, it’s a fairy tale, but it’s that happily ever after ending we should strive for in real life.
Perhaps we gave up a dream or changed in some way in order to be with the love of our life. Instead of looking back and allowing dissatisfaction to set in, we can learn from our favorite heros and heroines who had to work for love.
It’s my belief that it’s the little things that count. A kiss, a touch, a small gift that means something to the other, or a gesture that shows you care. It’s a kind word, a smile, making dinner, or picking up the other’s favorite ice cream at the grocery store.
What do you like to give and what do you like to get that shows love?
It is the little things. I love romance novels for much the same reason as you. Love the happily ever afters 🙂
What a great point you make, Maria. Sometimes it’s the little everyday gestures that mean more than expensive presents or romantic speeches.
And I forgot to say we were married 32 years on Sept. 6th. No one in either of our families (other than his parents maybe) have been married nearly as long, nor expected us to last. I think that was because none of them could sustain a relationship.
I’m with you, Maria. My husband is so good about thinking of me in those small ways. It makes me appreciate him when I’m feeling low and he simply gives me our little family love signal (tap of the heart and pointing to that person) and I feel better. He’s taught almost all of our grandgirls that signal, down to the two year old. It warms my heart to get this silent love from any of my family and he started it. I try to remember to grab his favorite Ike and Mikes when I’m out just to let him know I was thinking about him.
Great post Maria. I read romances because I need the escape and love a happy ending.
I love these get-to-know-you posts. My answer to your question. Gifts don’t impress me. It’s the day-to-day gestures that mean the most. I had two failed marriages, one due to abuse, the other due to addiction. I didn’t have any expectations when I married my third husband. It was a temporary marriage of convenience which has lasted for 35 years. Why? He’s the kindest, most generous and loving man I’ve ever known. Also, he makes me laugh and buys me chocolate.
I started writing to you this morning but It went away. I’m in Mexico. Enough said. Thanks to all of you for sharing the little things that make your marriage work. Everyone is so busy doing what we do on a daily basis that it’s easy to take each other for granted. We can inspire each other to remember to do/say those little things.
Great post! My hubby and I have been married for almost 20 years, and he still never goes to bed (I stay up late writing) without giving me a goodnight kiss. If we’re watching TV, we take turns giving each other back rubs. If the other is stressed, we take over “their” chores. So, yes, the little things count!
Living in a failing marriage makes me hyper-aware of what I’m not getting that I need, and also acknowledging that I have some responsibility for upkeep that I’ve not been meeting as well. I, too, disappear into the world of romance, either reading or writing it, because fairy tales help me cope, and help me forget about the difficulties in life, at least for a while. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
My husband and I have had 43 years of love and support. We really care for each other. Maria, there ARE love stories in real life that work.
My husband and I have been married for twenty-eight years. Unfortunately, that seems to getting more and more rare nowadays. I think for us the key is talking to each other. Even if we can only spare a few minutes a day, it’s so important to take that time.
I think what I like to give and get back is spontaneous time. I love to wander and spur-of-the-moment, unplanned trips are the best. Nice to know you’re out there promoting romance. Great post.
Saying thank you. Sometimes those two words mean even more than I love you.
Funny, my husband and were just discussing how important the little things are. Great post.
It is absolutely the little things we do for one another, and the giving of time more than anything, that shows love or friendship. But I also tell my daughter that communication is the most important thing because without that, problems and unhappiness just percolate.
You lead an interesting life in two camps,I must say! Good luck with your book.
I agree wholeheartedly…. it’s not getting roses once a year on an anniversary, it’s having the coffee ready or picking up a favorite treat on the way home from work. The little things count in all relationships – marriages, friendships, family, and with children… thanks for sharing and reminding us all, Maria!
Thanks to all of you for sharing your personal ideas about love. One of the things my husband does when we’re at our beach house on the weekend is ride his bike to the bakery. He always gets me my favorite pastry. I love that. It sounds like you all agree it’s the little things.
I’m sitting here thinking about what I like to get that shows love… I guess I would say my husband’s time. 🙂 I show my love to my hubby and kids by the little things I do as a wife and mom. Don’t I sound like a throwback? I never think about gender roles. I do what I like to do and he does what he likes to do and we support each other.
Well said, Maria. A kiss, a hug for no particular reason, bringing me a glass of wine, or looking after me in some way always makes me feel good. And I absolutely love when my husband takes over some household chore. Since he retired a couple of years ago he’s taken over the cooking. Some of his dishes have been winners, some not so much. But at least he’s trying, so I give him props for that.
It is the little things. You are so right. My husband was a bit of a sexist when we first married in 1980. He was raised by parents who divided everything into men’s work and women’s work. I was raised the same way until my mother got a job outside the home when I was in high school. I watched my parents struggle through several years of battling over gender roles, made even harder because I had a severely handicapped sister. But struggle they did, and I learned at an early age that love is worth the struggle. Yet when I first got married, I still tried to be “the perfect wife.” I did all the cooking, cleaning, and laundry while going to school full time and then later, having a full time job. But as I got more stressed, my husband began pitching in to help, and eventually, there were no “roles.” My husband now does 90% of the laundry and 1/2 the grocery shopping. And since my knee surgery on Sept. 2, he’s done 90% of everything around the house and yard. It’s all about communication, cooperation, and love. And yes, love is the most important element.
Great post, Maria. I so agree with you. Relationships are hard… especially in the “me” society we live in. Taking time to put the other person first, thinking of them when you make a decision… it’s the little things that bond an intimate connection, build trust and glue a marriage!
Very well said. My views run concurrent with yous, having worked as a paralegal for seventeen years, we did some divorce, but mostly criminal. What mankind does to each other is mind-boggling. Which is why I too go for the Happy ever after aspect. Enjoyed reading you article, put your book on my read list. Good Luck.
Maria, What an interesting juxtaposition between your two careers! I love that you can still reach for that happily ever after in your stories, given what you see on an everyday basis. I agree it’s the little things that make a difference because put them all together and they become a pretty wonderful thing: love!