Not too long ago my husband and I attended a marriage conference. Well, to be more precise, some bribing and coercion may have been involved in getting the hubbers there. He was concerned that the sessions would involve us sharing feelings and divulging deep thoughts. (I have no idea why that would scare a man away. No clue.)
I don’t remember much from our two days at the conference. Except for one “exercise”: the 20-second hug. Couples were asked to hold each other in silence for twenty seconds. Twenty seconds. Like that’s going to make a difference in a decade-long marriage. Turns out, I should really shush my inner critic. After 11 years of marriage, I discovered that all it took was a longish hug to turn me into butter. I just about melted in my man’s arms. Sure, we give each other hugs all the time. But this was quiet and intentional and made everything all better. It was a sweet moment in our marriage – and it’s going to stay with me a long time.
When we talk about marriage, we usually dwell on the big stuff. But little things make a huge difference. Don’t take my word for it. I have it on good authority from none other than Winnie the Pooh (via A.A. Milne). “Sometimes,” says Pooh, “the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”
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