The Story: Veronica was well liked in her village, but her father always put her down. She came to believe she was plain, that she’d never find a husband, and that she would never be happy.
“Forget about the (customary) two-cow bride-price,” her father complained to his friends. “I’ll tell the village she can go for free, or maybe a handful of chickens will do.”
Meanwhile, a young man named Jose fell in love with the kind, hard-working girl. He approached her father to ask for her hand.
“I’ll give you five cows,” he said. “Will you give us permission to marry?”
A bride-price of five cows was unheard of – even for a woman considered a prize. The other villagers laughed at the young man and insisted he was a fool.
Soon after the wedding the young couple made plans to move to Jose’s home village, many miles across the mountains. News of their coming precipitated a buzz of anticipation.
“Jose is coming home,” people whispered, “and he is bringing a five-cow bride.” They had never heard of such a price. “She must be very beautiful.”
Not only were the villagers’ expectations primed, but Veronica herself basked in the persuasive truth of her husband’s high regard. She held her head high, and she entered her new home with a confidence she had never known before.
The village was not disappointed.
Tell her she is beautiful: You don’t have to read Norman Vincent Peale’s Power of Positive Thinking to understand this truth.
Make sure she catches you looking – at her: Perception is built on small details. A glance, a word, a raised eyebrow, a smile.
Never view pornography or “girlie” magazines – the message will be clear: A husband more interested in other women devastates his wife’s self-esteem.
Never compare her negatively to other women: If you really believe your wife needs to look better, tell her she’s beautiful now. If you want her to lose weight like her sister, or get toned like your neighbor, the last thing you should do is point that out.
Place her picture prominently on your desk and carry it in your wallet: Introduce her to your friends as, “My awesome, beautiful wife.” In other words, develop and support a culture of positive regard.
Shower her with gifts and tokens of love at unexpected moments: Communicate how valuable she is. Nothing does the job like unconditional, generous, spontaneous love.
Compliment her in front of your children: Make sure your kids know how special, how beautiful, and how loved their mother is. They will repackage those sentiments. The truth will leak out and do its work.
Purchase intimate apparel, have it gift wrapped, and leave the package for her with a love note: Need we say more? I don’t think so.
Be deliberate about romance: Remember suave, debonair, charming, courteous, sophisticated, and romantic? Be that guy.
Treat your own physique with respect: Let your wife see how you respect your body and your health. Self-respect is a value that replicates within the family. “My wife deserves the best that I can be…”
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