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Being a better boyfriend for your wife - part 3

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Dear readers, if you are just tuning in, this is the latest installment of my 90-day journey into the unknown realms of my relationship with my wife. In doing so, I have taken it upon myself to step back and to more or less play the role of her boyfriend instead of her husband. So here is what I have been doing lately.

Have you ever been driving down the road and a song comes on the radio that sparks all sorts of fond memories about someone? Happens to me all the time. I sing along as best I can and sometimes, I even tear up a bit at the lyrics and what they mean to me. I took this a step further and wrote my wife/girlfriend a love letter with the lyrics of a song that we both know included in it. I then added my take on the meaning of the song and how it makes me feel warm and genuinely blessed to have her in my life. Guys – this really works. You don’t have to be a great writer to tell your wife or girlfriend how you feel about her on paper. And using the lyrics of a song is a great way to use the songwriter’s work to get you started. Trust me - it’s worth it and she will love you for it.

Another thing that I have been getting better at is simply calling her just to see how her day is going. I often don’t have a whole lot of time for things like this, but I do have a few minutes here and there that can be put to better use. Sometimes I call, sometimes I text, but it’s always impromptu and not part of another conversation. I’m coming to find out that it’s the little things that we often overlook after we have been in a relationship for a long time. This complacency is what I am trying to reduce if not eliminate from our time together. That being said, after nearly 30 years our relationship has naturally matured, but I’m just trying to make sure it doesn’t stagnate.

Even the mightiest tree can snap if it is too brittle, but the ones that are strong enough to bend can last through nearly any storm. As a couple, my wife/girlfriend and I bend pretty well through most situations. Each of us has their own strengths and weaknesses, but I am learning that together we make a pretty good team. However, teams – like trees – need regular maintenance. Just having the essential elements in place for survival is not enough. You have to work at it like a garden, I am finding out. I am also learning that these little things that I have been working on lately are analogous to the nutrients necessary to keep a relationship healthy enough to bend and to thrive in the long run. That’s what I’m hoping for, anyway.

If you have any advice or suggestions for me during this journey, please send them to my personal e-mail: I look forward to hearing from you and be well.

Alan Shoalmire is a resident in Grimes County and the owner of Grill Sergeant Hotdogs and submits a column to the Navasota Examiner every other week.