Valentine’s Day is coming up–the day that reminds far too many married women that they’re not married to a romantic. Unfortunately, the communication problem isn’t limited to one day a year.
A psychologist friend and I were bemoaning the struggle our men have in knowing what to say to us to create intimacy. My friend laughed, “They need a cheat sheet!”
“That’s a great idea!” I told her. And Pillow Talk Printables were born. I created a list of compliments and conversation starters that can make any man a romantic. I knew I needed a discreet way of keeping them bedside and decided to make them Altoid-tin size. Scroll down for the link and printable directions, but first I have a few tips to make the cards the most effective.
#1 Select the conversation starters you like most
I created 30 compliments or conversation starters. Some of these may do nothing for you. No problem! Just don’t use those you don’t care for. I included blank cards for you to add the words you most long to hear.
#2 Stay positive
My own husband has educated me that romance for him (and I suspect for many men) is intimidating. He admitted he would rather not even try than fail. To counteract that hesitancy, DO NOT CRITICIZE if your man is bold enough to use these cue cards. In fact, may I suggest rewarding him the best way you know how? 🙂 This is not the time to bring up past conflicts. Those are best kept away from the pillows.
#3 Put the blame on you
When you present these cards to your man, explain that you know women can be hard to understand and you’re sorry about any confusion you’ve created. You are giving him these cards, you’ll say, to simplify things. When he wants to be intimate with you (however he defines that), he can choose a card to start a conversation. Remind him that the most erotic part of a woman’s body is her mind and that you’ll be so happy if he gives the cards a try. Promise that you won’t be critical.
Note: If your husband is still resistant to using the cards, ask him why. There may be hurt feelings or unresolved conflict that must be addressed before using them. If you need help building communication skills, see your pastor or marriage counselor.
Great gift idea
These cards would make a great anniversary gift and would be a lovely bridal shower gift, especially for a couples’ shower. Maybe your own man is romantic, but you know someone who could benefit from this romance cheat sheet. Please pin it and share it to strengthen marriages.
Save the cards to your computer and print them on cardstock. I prefer white. Cut the cards of your choice out on the lines and add them to an empty, clean Altoids tin. Use the “Pillow Talk” card as a cover for the box. I recommend adhering it with glue dots.
Be sure to check out the other iHomeschool Network free printables!
In my grandparents’ generation, it was uncommon for moms and dads to say, “I love you.” Their generation spawned the Mommy Dearest generation, who was ready to spew forth a list of grievances against their parents at the first therapist’s invitation. Today’s parents try to do everything possible to avoid being the subject of a malicious memoir. Most say “I love you” quite frequently. Unfortunately, I think we’re still failing to communicate love. One reason is our refusal to say I’m sorry.
Words We Need to Hear…
When you think back over the worst times of your life–the relationship that ended badly, the job you were fired from, the blame you didn’t deserve, what do you find yourself longing for? When the victim’s family gathers to see the execution of their loved one’s murderer, what do they long for? I think they want to hear a heartfelt “I’m sorry.”
We Don’t Say to Others
We all long to hear these words when we’ve been wronged, yet when we’ve hurt someone, failed someone, or disappointed someone, we don’t say, “I’m sorry.” We say, “I love you.” We explain why it wasn’t our fault. Why we didn’t have a choice. Why anybody could understand if they walked in our shoes. That it’s just how we are. Meanwhile our frequent proclamations of love are giving us more divorces and failed families than any past generation.
Because of our propensity to avoid the I’m-sorry, I have quit telling anyone but my immediate family that I’ve been hurt by something someone said or did. When I have admitted to hurts in the past, thinking that this is a healthy way of managing relationships, I don’t get “I’m sorry.” Instead, the wounding party produces a voluminous list of grievances from the past decades. Apparently no “I’m sorry” is warranted if you’ve been hurt too. In the rare instances I have heard a “sorry,” it is almost immediately followed by a “but.” Or it’s a “sorry you took it that way.”
Why We Don’t Say “I’m Sorry”
Why do we refuse to admit to wrongdoing? When we don’t say we’re sorry, we carry around the guilt of our misdeeds. Perhaps we can fool others into thinking we have no responsibility for anything that we do, but we can’t fool ourselves forever. Guilt eats away at our conscience producing physical and mental disorders in addition to the destruction of our most precious relationships. Do we avoid saying the words because they make us vulnerable? They most certainly do. Negotiating conflict in relationships effectively requires vulnerability, a give and take. Some of us, however, are afraid to say we’re sorry because we think it makes our worst fears about ourselves true: I’m a terrible mother. I’m insensitive. I’m a rotten wife. A bad employee. An idiot.
Saying we’re sorry only means that we admit to doing something that wasn’t right. Saying we’re sorry actually means that we are good mothers, wives, and employees who are sensitive and smart.
I know there are times I haven’t said I’m sorry when I should have or at least as quickly as I should have. But like my parents’ generation desired to say “I love you” to give that which they missed in their own childhoods, I am determined to tell my children I am sorry regularly. They may still write a nasty tell-all book about all my failings, but at least they won’t be able to say, “And she never said she was sorry.”
Do you need to say you’re sorry to someone? Pray for the strength to do it today.