Highlighting the Positive – Do You Focus on the Pros or the Cons?

For the most part I try to focus my energy and my life on the positive. To be perfectly honest it’s difficult to live in the negative. Life is full of ups and downs, but I don’t want to be one of those people who constantly lists all of the bad things that happen to me or the way my life disappoints me.

Whenever I write about luck and opportunity on this blog I inevitably receive comments and emails pointing out how perspective, (the desire to see things positively or negatively), impacts my outlook. While I definitely lead a blessed life I know in my heart that perspective plays a role in just how good it feels to live it.

Marriage is one of those tricky situations where husbands and wives can choose to focus on the positive or the negative. Sometimes I write and think about the negative aspects of my spouse, but that really isn’t fair to him.

Here is the truth about my husband.

I had a series of major medical problems shortly after we were married. During that time my husband never wavered in his devotion to me. Although we had known each other for seven years before we were married it was certainly scary and unexpected. I’m not sure what my husband thought deep in the back of his head, but he NEVER showed any desire to abandon me.

On the night that I was admitted to the hospital he came home, gathered up the blanket I slept with as a child and brought it back to my hospital room. Given the circumstances he wanted to make sure I was at least comfortable. He called me on his drive back home that night and cried at the thought of leaving me there without him.

My husband is the small gesture, big bang for your buck kind of guy. When we were dating, (it was early in college), he left love notes on my door and in my notebooks in the hopes that I would be happy and surprised when I found them.

When he left for Colorado one winter he stowed them in all sorts of places so I would find them as I went about my day. There was one inside the dishwasher, one inside the freezer, one next to the cat food and a bunch of them in my car and dresser. Just sweet little notes to show he thinks of me and knows my daily routine.

At night he often makes me an ice cream sundae. He scoops the ice cream, drizzles chocolate syrup on top, with sprinkles, mini chocolate chips and whipped cream. He knows exactly how I like it.

He checks in on me at night. While I’m writing in my blogs or reading a book he’ll come by from time to time to say hello. He touches my feet, shoulders and arms and makes sure I have a glass of cold ice water.

At night he often turns down the corner of my blanket so I can slip inside without displacing the covers. He’ll charge my laptop or iPad and leave it next to my pillow.

Whenever I’m sad or upset he immediately knows something is wrong even when I don’t tell him. He always manages to find just the right way to cheer me up. Whether it’s giving me a big hug or making me smile.

He says the sweetest things. The kind of things that make my eyes swell with tears because I immediately know how much he loves me. It took us a few months to conceive our son and he once told me it was perfectly okay, that it was in fact a good thing, because it meant we had more time to share together. I can’t tell you how much I needed to hear those words at that moment in time and how much they meant to me.

He supports our family by trudging off to work five days a week and coming home to run his business until two o’clock in the morning. It’s important to him that I stay home with our son, (rather than placing him in daycare), and he never waivers on this fact even when I do. He tells me often that I’m a good mother, especially on the days that are the most trying.

He’s always looking for ways to improve our lives. Although I usually squawk about spending the money, he’s often right about the impending changes. They do make our lives both better and easier.

He’s a handy guy, which I would definitely recommend as a trait in a husband. He can fix just about anything and usually does. If he can’t he never complains when I ask him to call the electricians or plumbers. It’s a job I don’t like to do and I’m happy when he’s in charge of communicating our needs with those guys.

There are so many positive things to list that as I type this I’m surprised by how much I harp on the negative. In life we often take the people around us for granted. I hope he reads this list and realizes just how much I love him!

2 thoughts on “Highlighting the Positive – Do You Focus on the Pros or the Cons?”

  1. It derives from an inner locus of identity.

    When you complain about the negative characteristics of those around you (spouse, family, friends, etc) you put your happiness in someone else’s control. You say “I can’t be happy until you change X” where X is “love my family”, “spend time with my sisters”, or any other thing that’s wearing on you.

    It’s selfish to expect someone to change their behavior solely for your satisfaction. What gives you the right change them and is that right symmetrical? Would they have the right to change you?

    That’s an argument waiting to happen. Of course everyone wants to change people around them and sometimes they’re even willing to change themselves.

    But in the long run it’s less stressful and more productive to just appreciate people for the positive things they bring to your life and to cherish your time together.

    Be the bigger man.


Leave a Comment