Updated: April 11, 2013 9:39AM
You know that old saying, familiarity breeds contempt?
While we might not be contemptuous of those we are closest to, we certainly might develop a propensity, over time, to become indifferent. Elie Wiesel, writer and Holocaust survivor, noted that the opposite of love isn’t hate but rather indifference.
Scary, isn’t it?
When daily life becomes a habit and we get comfortable in our zones, we start to take the ones we love most for granted.
For Roger Doherty, of Crown Point, the sudden death of a friend shocked him out of his indifference and motivated him to make a more conscious effort to show a greater appreciation for his wife.
“My friend left for work one day, giving his wife his usual quick kiss on the cheek and a distracted ‘love you’ as he hurried out the door. A couple of hours later he had a massive heart attack at his desk.”
Visiting with the widow several weeks later, the lady expressed a wish they would have one more chance to look into each other’s eyes, as they had when they were fresh in love, and express the love they really felt.
“All I could remember were all the times my hurried kiss or hug are little more than a part of my mindless routine as I run off to do other things that seem so important,” Roger said.
As a result, Roger — and his wife — now make a more concerted effort to slow down and make time each day to show their appreciation for the gift of each other and the love they share.
“This can range from a special night out for dinner and a show to something as simple as holding her hand while we watch TV,” he noted. “When we began to make that effort to reconnect on a deeper level — to find things to appreciate each day — after all these years together, our relationship began to grow once again.”
How do you show your loved one(s) appreciation?
Christina Heintz, Schererville: I take every chance I can, whether he’s present or not, to tell our kids what a wonderful father they have. He spends time with them every day, takes an interest in what they do, encourages them to be whatever they dream they can be. And, he showers them with lots of hugs and kisses. They are made to feel they are everything in their father’s eyes because they are. They need to hear how lucky they are and he needs to hear how special that is to their mother.
Dan McGee, Merrillville: I still flirt shamelessly with my wife, even after 18 years of marriage. It makes us both feel young and in love, like when we were dating.
Wilma Kenning, Gary: When my husband helps around the house, I always tell him how much I appreciate it, even when it’s not done exactly the way I would do it.
Mike Pappas, Crown Point: My wife always puts me and the kids first so I encourage her to have a night out at least once or twice a month with her sisters or friends. I try to show my appreciation in little ways every day.