I’m sure you’ve seen the Facebook post floating around. It’s a picture of a Nerf gun with a note attached from a wife: “Husband: Welcome home. I’m hiding in the house with a Nerf gun. Here’s the other one. The loser cooks dinner tonight. May the odds be forever in your favor. XOXOXO” It’s usually accompanied by some comment like “Relationship Goals.”
I have to admit that every time I see it, I roll my eyes.
It honestly, truly isn’t a goal of mine to have a Nerf gun battle when Chad gets off work in the evening. In fact, most nights I’m more interested in the extra set of hands that walks through the door when he arrives. Three kids, homework folders, dinner, math assignments, extracurricular activities, baths, and I guess in between all that I forgot to schedule a playful Nerf gun battle with the only adult that I will interact with today.
But, despite my bad attitude about grown up Nerf wars, I do think there’s an important element of that Facebook post that husbands and wives often overlook. We need to stop and ask ourselves a question: Am I pleasant to come home to? Sure, I may not be plotting an elaborate game to play when he walks in the door, but am I generally a person who isn’t easily irritated? Who doesn’t fly off the handle at the least little provocation? Am I someone who inquires about my spouse’s day? Makes him a priority? When my husband thinks about seeing me at the end of a long day, does he look forward to getting home?
Chad and I spend a fair amount of time counseling couples who are having marriage struggles. One thing I often find myself telling these couples is to simply be nice to each other. No one wants to come home to find a grouchy husband or an irritated wife. We all want to walk into the door of our homes at night knowing that we’re walking into a pleasant place, where we are loved and supported and listened to.
Not every night is going to be loads of fun and wildly memorable. But, with just a little bit of thoughtfulness and effort, most every night really can be a pleasant and encouraging experience. People sometimes comment about how much Chad and I seem to like each other. And, it’s true. We are friends, and we treat each other as such. Of course we have said things that were unkind. We have spoken in tones that weren’t so sweet. But, for the most part, we enjoy being together because when we’re together we are having fun. Not Nerf gun battle fun, but fun.
This Christmas week seems like the perfect time to examine ourselves and decide: Would I want to come home to me? If the answer is no, it’s time we make some changes and become the kind of spouse that is pleasant to be around. I think you would be surprised what a difference it can make in your marriage.
This article originally appeared at Your Mom Has a Blog.