Busy people rarely give their best to the ones they love. They serve leftovers—the emotions and energy that remain after one’s primary attention has already been given to others. Too drained, too tired or too preoccupied, they fail to give their loved ones the attention they deserve. And a marriage cannot survive on leftovers forever.
Here’s a little trick we learned from our friend John Maxwell. He’s one of the most productive men we know, but he makes an effort to give his best time to his wife, Margaret.
“Years ago,” he told us, “when something exciting happened during the day, I’d share it with colleagues and friends. By the time I got home, I had little enthusiasm for sharing it with Margaret. [So] I purposely began keeping things to myself until I could share them with her first. That way, she never got the leftovers.”
Of course, this principle applies to more than just sharing the news from the day. We give our best to our spouses when we give them attention and energy for the things they’d like to talk about as well.
The excerpt above is by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, authors of the book Your Time-Starved Marriage. I caught them in an interview on the radio last night. I was so intrigued, I thought I might add this book to my 2010 book list!